Introduction to Azure DevOps

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

Why DevOps

Well, the traditional software development model is as follows:

The classic waterfall development model
  • If a client had any feedback, it would take a lot of time and money to rebuild the application.
  • It was the best method to follow if the client knew exactly what they wanted without any changes in between.
  • With no clear vision of the end product, it was difficult to navigate through the right track. Often there would be setbacks which used to lead to delay in development.
  • With no proper documentation, it was difficult to trace back or to cross check.

What is Azure DevOps?

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. At DevOpsGroup, we have lots of customers who have found Azure DevOps fits their needs irrespective of their language, platform or cloud.

What can Azure DevOps do?

Azure DevOps comprises a range of services covering the full development life-cycle. At the time of writing these are:

  • Azure Pipelines: a language, platform and cloud agnostic CI/CD platform with support for containers or Kubernetes.
  • Azure Repos: provides cloud-hosted private git repositories.
  • 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.

Why Azure DevOps

Cloud Computing offers Software as a Service, and it does promote the entire software development process becoming service oriented. With the majority of businesses shifting to the cloud, it is reasonable to say that methods like DevOps can be an added plus to all these companies. It removes the technical and bureaucratic hurdles that cause delays in the deployment of software. Let us now talk about the symbiotic relationship between cloud and DevOps.

  • Azure DevOps Server

Azure DevOps Services Vs. Server

Both the Azure DevOps services and the Azure DevOps server were known as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS), respectively. They provide environments that support Git, Agile tools, and continuous integration. Let us see the differences between them:

Services provided by Azure DevOps

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipeline is a combination of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) which you can use to create and test your code automatically and give access to other users. You can produce consistent and quality code with CI and CD. You can work with programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, C#, and Go. To use Azure Pipelines, your source code must be stored in a version control system such as Git.

Azure Boards

Azure boards make it easy to track tasks, bugs, and features. There are three types of work items:

  • Issue
  • Task

Azure Artifacts

Azure Artifacts is a store that has all your artifacts that were produced while developing and deploying. In simple terms, Artifacts are executable files, i.e., they do not contain any code. You can use multiple feeds to organize and control access to your packages. Are wondering what a feed is? A feed is a container for packages that helps in consuming and publishing. Azure Artifacts provide a fast, secure, and easy feed of binary packages.
Azure Artifacts ensure that your pipelines are fully integrated package management. You can also create packages like Maven, npm, and NuGet. It includes a free usage tier of 2 GB.

Azure Repos

Before talking about Azure Repos, let’s, first, discuss what a version control system is. Version control systems are software that help you track changes that you have made in your code, by taking snapshots of your files. One popular example is Git. Azure Repos is a collection of version control tools which are used to manage your code and provides two types of version control:

  • Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)

Azure Test Plans

You can improve the quality of your code by testing it. With Azure Test Plans, you can test your code manually or exploratorily as well. You can request, provide, and track feedback. You can perform unit and functional testing. Running tests continuously is also possible with Continuous testing.

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