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If you are just starting out with Azure DevOps or looking for a refresher on the features and services available, this post is for you. In this post, we will cover the basics of Azure DevOps, including what it is, what its capabilities are, and how to get started. We will also take a look at some of the more popular features and services available in Azure DevOps. So if you're ready to learn more about this powerful toolset, keep reading!

What is Azure DevOps?

The SaaS platform Azure DevOps from Microsoft offers software developers and IT specialists a complete toolchain for creating applications. It provides solutions for both on-premises (Azure DevOps Server) and the cloud (Azure DevOps Services). Both had been Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) in the previous. A range of tools for collaboration and development are available via Azure DevOps Services, a cloud-hosted service. It is essentially a project management platform, or, if you prefer, a CI/CD platform that offers a variety of DevOps tools. A hosted on-premises version of Azure DevOps Services is called Azure DevOps Server, formerly known as Team Foundation Server (TFS). It provides every feature required to oversee a software development project, including testing, build automation, and release management. Azure DevOps is a SaaS solution that interfaces with many top tools and is made up of many services that span the entire life cycle, such as Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, Azure Artifacts,, Azure Test Plans, and Azure Repos. It was developed as a result of Microsoft's own experience utilizing its own tools.

It enables the team members to organize their duties, work together on the development of the code, and construct and launch the apps. It promotes a culture and procedures that bring together software developers, contributors, project managers, and other stakeholders. Additionally, it helps the company to develop the product in a hurried and agile environment as opposed to using the conventional Waterfall SDLC approach.

Azure DevOps Services

The Azure DevOps service is a cloud-based software development kit that has the ability to automate many aspects of your workflow. This includes things like building, testing, and increasing collaboration among team members by integrating their work across multiple platforms. The SLA (Service Level Agreement) guarantees 99%. It also scales effectively with high availability in any location around the world while being secure at all times through encryption techniques such as SSL/TLS or IPSec VPN tunnels, which protect data from prying eyes.

The Five Key Elements of Azure DevOps

1. Azure Boards

    All features should be broken down into tasks and listed in the project backlog before a new project gets underway. The Product Owner can design an appropriate sequence of tasks here that will be carried out by the Development Team. The capabilities of the Azure DevOps board offer a means of creating Epics, Features, User Stories loaded with tasks, etc. Additionally, testers can develop Test-Case scenarios and report bugs or concerns here.

    2. Azure Repos

      Azure DevOps offers unlimited, private GIT repository access with Azure Repos. One of the most widely used control system versions is GIT. The built-in repos service in Azure DevOps supports GIT's entire range of functionality, including branching, tagging, and pull requests. When an Azure DevOps build pipeline is setup, external providers like GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab can be utilized as source repositories of an application's code.

      3. Azure Pipelines

      A CI/CD solution called Azure Pipelines enables automated building, testing, and deployments. It works with any project or language. It combines CI and CD to create, test, and deploy your code to any number of predetermined targets.

      Pipelines must be set up before:

      • A company deploying in Azure DevOps.
      • Upload the source code to Azure Repos.

      Stages of Azure Pipelines

      Method 1: Create a pipeline definition using YAML syntax.

      • Create a YAML file named azure-pipelines.yaml and define your pipeline in it.
      • Configure the Azure pipelines and add the code base to the Azure repository.
      • Push the code to Azure Repos once all the changes have been made, then make a pull request for review.
      • The default trigger to build, test, and deploy the code to the targets will be triggered as soon as the approver examines the code and accepts the pull request.

      Method 2: Using the Classic interface, define pipelines.

      • Setup Azure Pipelines to connect to your Git repository.
      • Create build and release pipelines with this venerable editor.
      • Push the source code to the Azure repository.
      • The code will be built, tested, and deployed to the targets as a result of this activity activating the default trigger.

      4. Azure Test Plans

      Azure DevOps offers Azure Test Plans as a crucial service, but exclusively to businesses. Everyone in the team is able to maintain code quality and cooperation throughout the development process thanks to its extensive and potent toolkit. It offers traceability, manual testing, automated testing, reporting, and analysis.

      The key features of Azure Test Plans:

      • Try it out on any platform.
      • extensive diagnostic data gathering.
      • Comprehensive Analytics
      • End-to-end tracking
      • Adaptable Platform

      5. Azure Artifacts

      The library service offered by Azure DevOps is called Azure Artifacts. It makes it possible for developers to distribute and use packages obtained through feeds and open registries. Both Azure DevOps in the cloud and on-premises are pre-installed with this service. The first 2GB of storage are free, and payment is depending on utilization. It is compatible with a variety of package formats, including npm, Maven, NuGet, Python, and Universal Packages.

      Azure DevOps Server

      Microsoft's Azure DevOps Server, originally known as Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), is a tool that offers features for reporting, requirements management, project management (for both agile and waterfall teams), automated builds, testing, and release management. It spans the whole application lifecycle and supports DevOps. Several integrated development environments (IDEs) can utilize Azure DevOps as a back end, however it is designed specifically for Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse on all platforms.

      Azure DevOps Server provides three options for scoping and scaling data, such as projects, deployments, and project collections. Deployments are, in their most basic form, merely servers.

      However, deployments can be more challenging and may involve:

      • Two-server setup with sql separated out on a different system
      • Farms for high availability that have a number of servers

      Project collections act as physical database limits as well as containers for security and management. Related projects are also grouped together using them. The assets of individual software projects, such as source code, work items, etc., are collected in projects.

      • Your data must remain within your network.
      • In comparison to the inherited process model, the on-premises XML process model better satisfies your needs for job tracking customization. The XML definition files can be modified using the on-premises model.

      The following servers or integration points can also be set up when Azure DevOps Server is deployed:

      • On-premises and cloud-hosted builds are supported by the build server.
      • SQL Server Reports and the capacity to produce Excel pivot charts based on the cube are supported by SQL Server and SQL Analysis Server.

      Azure DevOps Advantages

      Access To The Newest Features:

      Every three weeks, new features are made available to Azure DevOps users. Microsoft is devoted to quickly iterating on the feature-set and is open, having made their product roadmap public.


      Azure DevOps is a dependable, scalable, and accessible SaaS solution. Additionally, a 99.9% SLA for uptime and round-the-clock assistance is provided.

      The End Of The Upgrade Cycle:

      Upgrades are a common source of frustration for businesses using on-premises CI/CD tools. By switching to a SaaS model, you can stop worrying about patching and toolchain upgrades.


      Azure DevOps is a comprehensive platform that enables developers, testers, and operations professionals to collaborate on software projects of all sizes. It offers a rich set of features and services that can be used by beginners and experts alike. In this article, we’ve introduced you to the basics of Azure DevOps and shown you how to get started using it. If you’re ready to learn more or want to start using Azure DevOps in your own projects, contact us today. We offer free consultations for small businesses and are happy to help you get up and running with this powerful toolset.




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