Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft that provides an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. It also integrates with most leading tools on the market and is a great option for orchestrating a DevOps toolchain.
Azure DevOps comprises a range of services covering the full development life-cycle these are:
•Azure Boards: agile planning, work item tracking, visualisation and reporting tool.
•Azure Pipelines: a language, platform and cloud agnostic CI/CD platform with support for containers or Kubernetes.
•Azure Repos: provides cloud-hosted private git repos.
•Azure Artifacts: provides integrated package management with support for Maven, npm, Python and NuGet package feeds from public or private sources.
•Azure Test Plans: provides an integrated planned and exploratory testing solution.
There are three main reasons why Azure DevOps has an upper hand when compared to other existing tools in the market. They are:
•Flexible – Azure DevOps flexibility in a way that each of the services of Azure DevOps can be used independently and integrate it with the existing tools within the organization that is being currently used, thereby, making adaptability easier.
•Platform Independent – Although developed by Microsoft, Azure DevOps does not focus on only Microsoft-built platforms and language. It has been designed to work with any platform (this includes Linux, Windows, and macOS) and language (this includes .Net, Java, PHP, Python, C, C++, iOS, Android, and NodeJS).
•Cloud Independent – Azure DevOps’ Continuous Integration and Delivery model is supported not just for Azure, but also extends to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Benefits of Azure DevOps
•Reliability – Azure DevOps is a SaaS offering, which is globally available and promises 99.9% uptime SLA, which makes it a reliable DevOps tool. It also provides easy scalability and 24×7 support.
•Timely Patching and Upgrades – As Azure DevOps is a SaaS offering, patching and upgrades are being taken care of by Microsoft, thereby taking off the overhead of the IT teams and making it much easier to use.
•Quick Feature Upgrades – The roadmap for Azure DevOps has already been published by Microsoft and the new features are released rapidly, in a short span of time (usually 3 weeks).
Features of Azure DevOps
Using the DevOps dashboard feature, you can quickly navigate to different areas of the project, add and manage dashboards, and configure dashboard widgets.
•Improved Source Control
Azure DevOps systems support two popular types of source control: Git (distributed) or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), which is a centralized, client-server system. You can add and manage Azure Git tags, review, download, and edit files to see change history.
•Plan and Track Your Work
Azure DevOps systems provide you with a couple of types of work items used to monitor features, requirements, user stories, tasks, bugs, and more. For planning purposes, you can access several kinds of backlogs and boards to support the main agile methods: Scrum, Scrumban, or Kanban. You can add and update relevant work items, manage product backlog, use sprint backlogs to plan sprints, and use Kanban boards to visualize the workflow and update statuses.
•Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD)
Many developers employ the practice of CI/CD, and Azure DevOps supports them. By using Azure pipelines, developers can automate many of the design processes, including defining builds and their steps, creating test instructions, and manage simultaneous releases.
•Support for Manual and Exploratory Testing
Azure DevOps’ test features facilitate manual, exploratory, and continuous testing, including workflow customization, end-to-end traceability, criteria-based selection, and real-time charts that track test activity.
Azure DevOps is a Software as a service (SaaS) platform from Microsoft that provides an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. It is a mixture of the simplest of technology and therefore the application of best practices. Azure DevOps works both public and private cloud configurations.