Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps Review: Features, Pros, Cons & Price

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Introduction

Azure DevOps is a Microsoft Software as a SaaS service that provides an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for developing and deploying software. It integrates with the majority of the industry’s leading tools and is a great choice for orchestrating a DevOps toolchain.

Our DevOpsGroup has a large number of customers who, regardless of language, platform, or cloud, have found Azure DevOps to be a good match for their needs. Azure DevOps is made up of Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server, which were previously known as Visual Studio Team Services/VSTS.

Azure DevOps Services is a cloud-hosted service that offers a collection of development and collaboration tools. It is a project management tool, or, if you prefer, a CI/CD platform that provides various tools in the DevOps arena.

Azure DevOps Server, formerly Team Foundation Server (TFS), is a hosted on-premises version of Azure DevOps Services that provides all of the essential functionality for managing a software development project, from testing to build automation and release management.

Use Azure DevOps Services to work in the cloud, or use Azure DevOps Server to work on-premises. This software provides integrated capabilities that you can access through your web browser or IDE client. Depending on your business needs, you may choose to use one or more of the standalone services.

What is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps is a SaaS solution that connects with many popular tools and includes services that span the development lifecycle, such as Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, Azure Test Plans, and Azure Artifacts, which were born of Microsoft’s own experience using their tools.

This software offers developer services that allow teams to plan work, collaborate on code development, and build and deploy applications. It supports a collaborative culture and a series of processes that connect software developers, project managers, and contributors.

It allows organizations to create and improve products at a faster pace than traditional software development approaches.

Azure DevOps Tag Line

This tool allows you to add extensions and integrate with other popular services like Campfire, Trello, UserVoice, and more, as well as develop your custom extensions. Azure DevOps Services also supports integration with GitHub.com and GitHub Enterprise Server repositories. Azure DevOps Server can integrate with GitHub Enterprise Server repositories.

What is Azure DevOps Used For?

The Azure DevOps’s services are described briefly below. You can choose to use them all or just select the ones that best fit your existing operational processes.

1. Azure Repos

This is a set of version control tools that you can use to manage your code. If your software project is large or small, version control should be adopted as soon as possible. Version control systems are software that tracks changes you make in your code over time; as you modify your code, you tell the version control system to take a snapshot of your files. This snapshot is stored permanently in the version control system so that you can call it up at a later date if you want. You can use version control to document your work and coordinate code changes across your team.

2. Azure Pipelines

This automatically creates and tests code projects to make them available to others, and it works with almost any programming language or type of project. Azure Pipelines combines continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) to test, develop, and ship your code to any destination. Continuous Integration (CI) is the process of automatically merging and testing code within development teams. CI helps to detect bugs early in the development process, making them less costly to fix. Continuous delivery (CD ) is a system by which software is developed, tested, and deployed to one or more test and production environments. Deploying and testing in multiple environments increases quality.

3. Azure Boards 

This provides software development teams with the interactive and configurable tools they need to manage their software projects. It features a rich set of capabilities, including native support for Agile, Scrum, and Kanban processes, calendar views, configurable dashboards, and integrated reporting. These tools scale with your business, so you can track quickly and easily all the elements of your project, including work, problems, and code defects. The Kanban board shown in the following image is one of many tools that allows you to add, edit, and filter user stories, bugs, features, and epics.

4. Azure Test Plans 

This offers a variety of rich and powerful tools that can be used by everyone in the team to drive quality and collaboration throughout the development process. The easy-to-use, browser-based test management solution includes all of the features that are required for planned manual testing, user acceptance testing, exploratory testing, and obtaining feedback from stakeholders.

5. Azure Artifacts 

This allows developers to consume and publish different types of packages to Artifacts feeds and public registries, such as NuGet.org and npmjs.com. Azure Artifacts can be used in combination with Azure Pipelines to deploy packages, publish build artifacts, and integrate files between pipeline stages to build, test, or deploy your application.

Features

  • Reliability As a SaaS offering: It is reliable, scalable, and available worldwide. It has an SLA of 99.9% uptime and 247 support.
  • Access to updated features: Users of this tool have access to the latest features every three weeks, and Microsoft is transparent, having published the product roadmap, and is committed to rapid iteration on the feature set.
  • Upgrade cycle is terminated: Increasing the number of sites that use a SaaS model means you don’t have to keep patching and upgrading the toolchain, which is a regular headache for organizations that use on-premises CI/CD tools.

Pros

  • Easy to use and integrated with the visual studio
  • Has full Git capabilities.
  • Very responsive and easy to maintain a site.
  • Capability to store unlimited numbers of projects.

Cons

  • The cost/license per user is higher than many of the open-source-type source code platforms currently on the market.
  • Not easy to integrate with other development IDEs than Visual Studio.

Azure DevOps Pricing

Azure’s pricing depends on many factors, including the type of service, the required capacity, the region, and the managerial level. Azure offers a free plan that gives you access to some services for free for the first twelve months. They also offer a free trial version before charging for the premium plan.

Azure services are offered on a “pay as you go” basis, meaning that users only pay for what they use. Azure also offers significant discounts for scheduled instances (which require a one or three-year commitment) and spot cases (virtual machines that can be plugged into Azure’s surplus capacity at any time).

Below are estimates for some of the most popular Azure DevOps services:

  • Azure Pipelines comes with a free Microsoft-hosted and a free self-hosted CI/CD instance. For Microsoft-hosted environments, it costs $40 for each additional parallel job with unlimited minutes, and for self-hosted environments, it costs $15 for each additional job.
  • Azure Artifacts includes two gigabytes of storage; beyond this, users will pay $2 per GiB for two to 10 gigabytes, $1 per GiB for the next 10 to 100 gigabytes, $0.50 per GiB for the next 100 to 1,000 gigabytes, and $0.25 per GiB thereafter. In other words, as you scale up, you get a volume discount.
  • Instead of picking and choosing individual services, users can also subscribe to a bundle license. The Basic plan includes Azure Pipelines, Azure Boards, Azure Repos, and Azure Artifacts, and is free for up to five users and $6 per user per month thereafter.
  • Azure DevOps Server Express is a free service that allows you to test its capabilities for an unlimited time on-premise and for free. For the paid version, you will need Windows or Windows Server licenses and the Azure DevOps Server 2019 license. For the paid version, Windows or Windows Server licenses and the Azure DevOps Server 2019 license are required.

Conclusion

Azure DevOps is designed to help small to large businesses reduce their time to market, release management, and portfolio management operations. It allows software developers to automate the software development process through testing, package management, repositories, and more.

The platform allows professionals to construct, test, and deploy Azure pipelines, using CI/CD solutions that work with multiple languages and cloud environments, and administrators to connect the system to GitHub or other Git providers and deploy continuously.

Approval workflows, analytics, collaboration, file management, an activity dashboard, troubleshooting reports, and more are just some of the features of Azure DevOps Services. Users can use it to build, host, and share packages with team members.

Azure DevOps Services integrates with several third-party platforms, such as 7pace Timetracker, Docker, Sentry, Slack, and more. It also allows DevOps teams to deploy containers to individual hosts or Kubernetes, and to track the progress of work using configurable Kanban boards and interactive backlogs.

FAQs

Q: What is Azure DevOps?

A: It is project management tool. It offers developer services that allow teams to plan work, collaborate on code development, and build and deploy applications., This tool promotes a collaborative work culture and a set of processes that bring together developers, project managers, and contributors to develop software.

Q: Difference between Azure DevOps and Jira? 

A: Azure DevOps is a suite of development tools for software teams, while Jira Software Cloud helps teams of all sizes to manage work in whichever form of agile is best.

Q: Who makes use of Azure DevOps Services?

A: The most common people that make use of Azure DevOps Services are from the Information Technology & Services industry and Enterprises (1,001+ employees).

Q: What makes Azure DevOps services the best?

A: Reliability is one of the main reasons why this tool is the best choice. It is reliable, scalable, and available across the globe as a SaaS offering. It has an SLA of 99.9% uptime and provides 24/7 support.

Q: Where is the difference between Azure DevOps and Jenkins? 

A: Jenkins is more flexible in creating and deploying complex workflows, while Azure DevOps is faster to deploy.

Q: Does Azure DevOps have an app?

A: No it doesn’t

Q: Is Azure DevOps PaaS or SaaS? 

A: Azure DevOps is SaaS for end-users (Developers, PM, QA, and other stakeholders). All Azure DevOps services can run on VMs or Physical servers in the backend, meaning Microsoft may combine IaaS and PaaS for this platform.

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