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Azure DevOps: An Introduction

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  • Last Updated : 27 Jul, 2020
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Azure DevOps is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that provides several tools for better team collaboration. It also provides tools for automated build processes, version control, project management, testing, release management, package management, and much more. Azure DevOps was launched in October 2018 and has been a feature-rich platform since then.

To get started with Azure DevOps, you need to know about DevOps.

What is DevOps? And more importantly, Why DevOps?

The term DevOps originates from the fusion of two words, Development, and Operations. DevOps can have different meanings to different people and organizations.

According to Amazon Web Services (AWS),

DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.

According to Microsoft,

DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our customers.

DevOps has several benefits:

  • Improved Collaboration among teams
  • Reduction in Lead time from commit to deployment (Lead time is the time it takes for a feature to make it to the customer)
  • Rapid Deployment: Software is deployed more frequently
  • Scaling is more efficient and involves lesser risk

So, DevOps is not just a role, job title, methodology, or piece of software. DevOps is a field that takes skills from Development and Operations to create and run applications more effectively.

What is Azure DevOps? And again, Why Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps is a platform that will make it easier and efficient to implement a DevOps-based solution in your organization. It contains a range of services that cover the complete software development life-cycle. These are:

  • Azure Boards is a tool that helps teams plan, track, visualize, and discuss the work that needs to be done. It offers four different processes to choose from:
    • CMMI
    • Scrum
    • Agile
    • Basic
  • Azure Pipelines is a cloud service that can be used to automatically build, test, and deploy any code project. It is a cloud-agnostic CI/CD platform with support for containers or Kubernetes and works with any language or project type.
  • Azure Repos provides unlimited, cloud-hosted private, and public Git repos.
  • Azure Artifacts lets you create, host, and share packages. It also provides integrated package management with support for Maven, npm, Python, and NuGet package feeds from public or private sources.
  • Azure Test Plans provides manual and exploratory testing solutions.

Azure DevOps is also compatible with various third-party tools.

Azure DevOps is flexible, platform-agnostic, and cloud-agnostic. This means that you don’t have to use all the services provided by Azure and Azure DevOps for your needs. You can choose the best services according to your requirements without any trouble. Azure DevOps is not platform dependent i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you are using Window/Linux/Mac or whether you use .NET, C/C++, Python, or any other language for your development, Azure DevOps is compatible with almost all platforms and languages. The story does not end here, it also does not matter whether you deploy your software to Azure, AWS or GCP, continuous delivery is supported to all these cloud services.

There are some more benefits of using Azure DevOps for your software development needs:

  • Reliability: Azure DevOps is a reliable SaaS platform with regular maintenance and support.
  • Scalability: Azure DevOps makes it way easier for organizations to scale as per their needs without any hassle.
  • Better Collaboration: Services like Azure Boards improve the collaboration among teams within an organization to a great extent.
  • Better Management through Work Items: Azure DevOps makes it way easier to coordinate the management of your systems with Work Items.
  • Access to the latest features: Azure DevOps users get access to new features every 3 weeks.
  • Hassle-free upgrade: Upgrading and patching are way easier for Azure DevOps organizations.

Azure DevOps is a feature-rich, flexible platform that can be used to evolve the DevOps practices within an organization.

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