What is Azure DevOps?

What is Azure DevOps?
Azure DevOps Platform

What is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps is a Software as a Service or SaaS platform provided by Microsoft that offers an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for the purpose of deploying and developing software. It works with most leading tools in the market and is great for arranging a DevOps toolchain.

Many organizations prefer the Azure DevOps Platform because it fits their needs regardless of their platform, cloud, and language.  DevOps offers a variety of services for teams in organizations such as IT operations, security, and quality engineering to collaborate and coordinate to produce reliable and better products. Adopting DevOps practices and culture and tools allow teams to get an ability to respond to customer needs in an effective manner, increase confidence in the apps, and achieve organizational goals promptly. 

Before delving into the Azure DevOps Platform, let’s explore what Microsoft Azure is.

Azure is a platform that provides different services helping with cloud computing needs. It is referred to as a cloud service provider. It was created by IT professionals and developers, and it helps manage, deploy, and build applications through data centers, which are their globally owned network systems.

Here are some of the core domains of Microsoft Azure:

  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Databases
  • Compute
  • Monitoring

What Is DevOps?

DevOps is the process of integrating Operations and Developer teams to improve productivity and collaboration. It is done by automating productivity and workflows for constant measurement of a performance application. This definition might be too vague for a lot of beginners. That’s why let us explore some terms related to the Azure DevOps Platform.

Every organization wishes for a faster Software Deployment. Since the software market is very volatile, and there is a need for developers to stay updated and make sure they deliver the latest and the best software, integration is required. This is where the roles of system administrators and software developers become essential. A software developer needs to make sure the following are taken care of:

  • New features
  • Bug fixes
  • Security upgrades 

A developer also has to take the time to ensure the following are taken under consideration and completed in a timely manner:

  • Old code
  • Pending code
  • New features
  • New products

When a product is moved into the production stage, there could be some errors as the code written in the development stage could be different. That is why a software developer needs to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

The operator team looks after the maintenance of the software to ensure it gets into the production stage on time.  With growing software development needs, operators have to take care of several servers in parallel. The deployment has to be scheduled effectively to avoid delays.

When the code is deployed, an operator is required to manage any code changes and errors in the Azure DevOps. The operators and software developers work together to solve any problem. They could share responsibilities, start aligning their thinking process, break down silos, and work as a team. One of the most important elements of Azure DevOps is bringing the two teams under one roof. 

DevOps and Apps Lifecycle

There is a lifecycle influenced by Azure DevOps. It plans, develops, delivers, and operates. Each phase is dependent on the others, and the phases are not role-specific. 

Plan

In the planning phase, the DevOps team defines, ideates, and describes the capabilities and features of the systems and applications they are designing. They track the progress at high and low levels of granularity. They overlook the product tasks and tasks that are in the portfolios of many different products. 

Managing agile software development, creating backlogs, tracking bugs, visualizing progress with dashboards, and using kanban boards are some ways the DevOps team plans with visibility and agility. 

Develop

This phase includes writing, coding, reviewing, testing, and integrating code by team members. They build that code into artifacts that can be deployed into several environments. Azure DevOps team seeks to innovate quickly without compromising on productivity, quality, and stability. To do that, they make use of highly productive tools, automate manual and mundane steps, and iterate in small sections through automated and continuous integration. 

Deliver

This phase ensures that the delivery process of deploying the applications into the production stage is reliable and consistent. It also consists of configuring and deploying the governed foundational infrastructure that makes up the production environments or stage. 

In this phase, teams describe the release management process with approval stages. Teams set gates that move the application between stages until they are available to the customers.

Automating the process makes the repeatable scalable and controlled. Doing so enables the team to deliver frequently with peace of mind, confidence, and ease. 

Operate

This phase entails monitoring, troubleshooting, and maintenance. By opting for DevOps practices, teams work to ensure high availability and system reliability and work on getting zero downtime while enforcing governance and security. DevOps seek to identify problems that affect the customer experience and ensure to mitigate all the issues promptly when they do occur. Being vigilant, actionably, alert, and fully visible regarding the applications and the underlying system is crucial.

Reasons Why You Should Opt for the Azure DevOps Platform for Your Organization

Here are some reasons why more and more developers are opting for the Azure DevOps platform. We have compiled a list of all the essential reasons why it trumps any other platform. 

Application Life-Cycle

As mentioned earlier, this system has an application lifecycle that provides continued integration. Every organization needs software that is built from the ground up and runs smoothly. Azure DevOps influences the application lifecycle. Since each cycle is dependent on the other, the team requires the right type of materials and tools to work out. The testing and updates made possible by Azure DevOps help you properly and thoroughly overlook the development of the application. You don’t have to be concerned about different phases and how they will work out.  Azure DevOps also makes everything a lot simpler to navigate and handle.

Enhancing Culture

Besides tracking the work, DevOps helps inspire the company to become more collaborative, responsible, and proactive. The collaboration of teams is a major element of DevOps, and so are clarity and visibility between teams.  Projects have to go through many touchpoints. DevOps makes it easier for every team to process, communicate, and understand the data exchanged between each other. As teams get more aligned via facilitation and communication, the accountability of the project and scope moves from one team to another. Azure DevOps is flexible and can be moved according to the scope and needs of every team. When two teams are working on the same phase, DevOps ensures both of them work seamlessly side-by-side. Due to shorter release cycles, there are many chances to review the content and lower the stress on risk management and planning. Organizations can adapt and give a faster reaction to their clients’ demands. 

Collaboration

Sharing is the essence of the DevOps platform. The ability to manage and host code is important for every organization that aims to optimize revenue generation. Regardless of the type of code, storing it in Azure DevOps provides a central location from where the code can be accessed and managed easily. Versioning code is crucial for code management, and whether an organization wants to use GIT or Team Foundation Version Control, Azure DevOps has it all covered.

Work Items

If you don’t have a code to manage, you can easily coordinate the management of your systems with work items. Work items ensure that the project risk or system bug is taken care of. With the use of the process template, work items can be made around an Agile Framework or the capability Maturity Model Integration that works for system administration. It doesn’t matter how the systems are arranged; work items can help divide complex systems into more manageable workloads.

Delivery and Integration

The reason why Azure DevOps is important is that it provides a robust platform on which an organization can deploy their solutions in a pipeline, allowing for consistent deployment and integration. Whether the deploying solution is hosted in AWS or Azure, the Azure DevOps CICD pipeline can take the solution from development to delivery. With a large marketplace for integration and plugins, infrastructure-as-code can be added into the pipeline in a way that ambitious systems administration can automate far-reaching changes to the environments from a single location.

Open Platform

Azure DevOps is responsible for providing extensive integration with community and industry tools. It is not a closed-off single vendor solution, which was the earlier version of TFS. As mentioned earlier, there is a market place that makes hundreds of extensions available. Therefore, if Azure DevOps doesn’t take steps that are unique and out of the box, there is a high chance of tools already existing in the marketplace. Microsoft has been a leader in promoting cooperation with the competitors. It is evident from the marketplace where integration extensions can be found, ranging from Slack to AWS to ServiceNow. Azure wants to make it possible for the tools in your bag to manage your code development needs.

Your Organization Could Become a Software Company

Many organizations have been delving into software development. In an effort to do better than the competition and achieve distinction and differentiation, many are getting into a newer type of operating model like COM, a cloud operating model. Cloud operating model aims to bring business leaders, teams, and technology managers to specify and determine how much technology is implemented throughout the business.

To measure the success of a company, one must determine how much technology is harnessed. It is both a defensive and offensive strategy. It is important in a world where there is an extensive list of successful businesses going into loss. Designing a Cloud Operating Model and making it the foundation of your organization’s IT infrastructure will make sure it goes on the right path. 

To succeed, there has to be effective collaboration and communication across the whole organization. That is why more and more businesses are opting for Azure DevOps. It has made technical and non-technical team members of the organization come together and work towards a mutually beneficial organizational goal. 

Components of Azure DevOps

To further understand what Azure DevOps is, you must know the components that are attached to it.

Azure Pipelines

The first component is the Azure pipeline. It is a pipeline supported by Azure Platform where you can deploy, test, and build applications consistently

Azure Artifacts

Azure artifacts help you create host and share packages among your team. It makes sure the pipelines have integrated package management. It can be achieved with a simple click. It also helps create NuGet, npm, and Maven packages. 

Azure Boards

If your organization has many teams working on a project, there needs to be better communication. Azure Boards helps make tracking work faster and more effectively. It helps you deal with backlogs, allowing the creation of good custom reports.

Azure Repos

This is like storage or a home for repositories. It helps with unlimited cloud-hosted private Git repositories. You can also push, pull, and add your changes to these repositories. 

Azure Test Plans

Azure test plans provide an organization with a complete toolkit to help perform exploratory, manual, end-to-end testing, which ensures all the software functions are working fine. 

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By making the use of a flexible, fully integrated, and end-to-end secure suite of tools that help manage the development lifecycle, businesses are saving months of development time. They can able to increase and improve internal collaboration and bringing industry-changing ideas to life quicker than before. They can accomplish any given task a lot quicker, all the while enjoying industry-leading enterprise-grade monitoring and security. The deploying of applications using different tools and languages is also done flexibly. Having an Azure DevOps in house and being well-versed in it is helping many organizations make use of its distinctive features to help them grow. It is helping companies make faster decisions when it comes to the safe and secure deployment of applications. This is all about What is Azure DevOps?.