What is Azure DevOps and How it Helps Businesses Drive Growth
DevOps is no more a new trend. It has become the most sought-after tool for software development. By striking a balance between developer and operations teams, the DevOps methodologies have paved the way for faster and better software delivery.
The software companies are not the only ones that have realized significant benefits from DevOps adoption. Many vendors, including Microsoft and Amazon, are capitalizing on this trend.
Microsoft has introduced Azure DevOps, a flagship Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that offers an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software.
Let’s delve deep into the details:
What is Azure DevOps?
Azure DevOps, earlier known as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), is a DevOps service offered by Microsoft based on Azure cloud computing platform that brings together development, IT operations, quality engineering, and security to roll out better products at a faster pace. It enables businesses to adopt a DevOps culture, practices, and tools to gain the ability to better respond to customer needs and stay competitive.
What Do Azure DevOps Services Offer?
Azure DevOps offer integrated services covering the entire software development lifecycle.
In addition, organizations have the flexibility to choose one or more of the following standalone services based on their business needs:
1) Azure Repos: This facilitates users with unlimited, cloud-hosted, private Git repositories or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) for source control of their code. It enables seamless collaboration to build better code with pull requests and advanced file management. The users can use any IDE or tool to interact with the Azure Repos in any operating system.
Azure Repos also houses the following features:
- Support for Git clients including IDE, Text Editor, and CLI
- Semantic code search
- Collaboration tools
- CI/CD tool integration
- Branch policies to ensure code quality standards
2) Azure Pipelines: Users can automatically develop and deploy applications with continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) tools. It is compatible with any programming language, platform, and cloud. One can run Azure Pipelines simultaneously on Windows, Linux, and macOS using cloud-hosted agents.
Moreover, Azure Pipelines are easily extensible and supports advanced workflows to facilitate multi-phase builds, test integrations, and custom reporting. It also supports containers, enabling users to push containers directly from the pipeline to container registries. On top of that, Azure Pipelines offer flexibility to deploy to multiple environs from Kubernetes clusters to serverless functions and even to other cloud platforms such as AWS or GCP.
3) Azure Boards: This service offers a suite of proven agile tools to enable teams to plan, track and discuss work, code errors, and issues. Users can create Work items, Kanban boards, interactive Backlogs, scrum methods, dashboards, and planning tools to track and report all aspects of the project. Boards can also be customized to suit the unique workflow needs and glean valuable insights using inbuilt reporting and monitoring tools. Moreover, Azure Boards supports integrations with services like Microsoft Teams and Slack.
4) Azure Test Plans: This feature allows users to integrate a cloud-based testing platform to test code quality throughout the development lifecycle and improve applications. It offers planned manual testing, user acceptance testing, exploratory testing, and continuous testing tools.
With Azure Test Plans, users can build test plans and execute test cases within a pipeline. Moreover, one can test on any platform while leveraging end-to-end traceability and data gathering tools to identify and remediate any issues. Moreover, Test Plans supports the Test and Feedback browser extension to enable exploratory testing without any need for third-party tools.
5) Azure Artifacts: This is the artifact library service that allows users to integrate fully featured package management functionality to CI/CD pipelines. Users can create, host, and share Maven, npm, NuGet, and Python package feeds from public and private sources. The packages can be organized in a central library pinned only to the specific project.
Azure DevOps also offers the following collaboration tools:
- Custom dashboards integrated with user-friendly widgets to share information, progress, and trends
- Wikis for sharing information
- Notification center
In addition to the aforementioned standalone features, Azure DevOps supports integration with a wide range of third-party services, including Slack, Campfire, UserVoice, and Trello. It can also be integrated with GitHub.com and GitHub Enterprise Server repositories.
How Businesses Benefit from Azure DevOps Services?
Azure DevOps empowers teams to adopt DevOps culture, practices, and tools to perform optimally and build better products for greater customer satisfaction. The improved collaboration helps teams create seamless processes that improve productivity.
Organizations can also realize the following business benefits:
- Faster time to market
- High market adaptability
- Improve mean time to recovery
- Better agility
- Easy collaboration across domains
- Maintain system stability and reliability
- Shorter release cycles
- Robust security
Useful Link: 6 DevOps Technical Benefits To ‘Startup’ Firms
Why Choose Azure DevOps Over Others?
Microsoft has made it easy for users to start and try out Azure DevOps services for free. Azure DevOps leads the pack with the following unique features:
- Simple and swift set up
- Maintenance-free operations
- Highly scalable and flexible services
- Platform agnostic
- Cloud agnostic
- High reliability
- No upgrades to worry
- Simplified server management
- Prompt access to the latest features
- Improved connectivity with remote sites
As you plan to take the next big step into the future through Microsoft Azure DevOps Services, it may seem overwhelming. With a host of practices and solutions available in the Azure DevOps ecosystem, it is quite common that you may career off course if not planned strategically. While adopting Azure DevOps optimizes processes through technology, the challenge of cultivating a DevOps culture calls for profound changes in the way people work and collaborate. Veritis is the one-stop solution for all these challenges.
With over a decade-long presence in the IT marketplace, Veritis has developed a wealth of experience leveraging industry-leading practices to implement a wide range of business solutions, including Azure DevOps services. Our highly experienced agile and DevOps experts fortify our ability to efficiently manage projects with increased consistency, decreased risk, and enhanced quality.
Veritis has an established framework and holistic approach to help guide our clients through their Azure DevOps journey. We help optimize the people, processes, tools, and architecture required to take clients from concept to adoption, and ultimately to scale. Whether you are an SMB or a Fortune 500 company, we help you realize true business value from your Azure DevOps journey. Partner with us today and expedite the Azure DevOps adoption journey.
- Azure DevOps is a SaaS platform that offers an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software.
- With Azure DevOps, users gain an integrated set of services and tools to manage software projects throughout the software development lifecycle.
- Many of Azure DevOps services are either free for small teams or available through a subscription model or per-use model.
- Veritis has an established framework and holistic approach to help guide our clients through their Azure DevOps journey.
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