In 2012, a global financial services company Knight Capital suffered a loss of $440 million in 45 minutes. The company that took almost two decades to become the most prominent U.S. equity trader went bankrupt within an hour. Why? The software engineer responsible for manually refactoring the code skipped pasting it on one of the servers. Hence, when the system went live, this server executed an old code, which unwantedly bought 397 million shares in under one hour. Regrettably, as per the NYSE policies, the trade done could not be reversed.
This is an acute example of DevOps practices not being followed with due diligence and/or overlooked altogether. Such cases, albeit smaller in size and scope, are more likely to creep up in the modern-day IT-driven enterprise world, where everything is expected to be digitally proactive.
Hence, leveraging the power of DevOps to streamline and accelerate the release process and bring about a cultural change is fundamental to product/service development. These form the very core of successful digital transformation.
Along those lines, this article elaborates on the prominence of Azure DevOps and its relevance to application development. It covers the following:
- What is Azure DevOps?
- What is Azure DevOps used for?
- Key service elements of Azure DevOps
- ACCELQ Integration with Azure DevOps – Azure Marketplace
What is Azure DevOps?
Azure DevOps is a set of tools and services offered by Microsoft to help software development teams provision, manage, and monitor their production environments. It provides a unified set of DevOps tools that can be used to automate, orchestrate, and manage the delivery of applications and services.
Azure DevOps focuses on initiating modernization in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to create a culture of continuous delivery. This translates to optimizing the processes of source control, build, test, and release. This, in turn, can lead to faster time-to-market and reduce project costs.
That said, Azure DevOps provides the facility of employing their DevOps practices to both cloud and on-premises applications. The former, i.e., Azure DevOps Services, can scale on-demand per the needs of the projects and organizations on the whole. The latter, i.e., Azure DevOps Server, entails collecting projects or deploying multiple servers. Either way, both approaches provide essentially the same features and fit aptly with an organization’s environment and needs.
What is Azure DevOps Used for?
Azure DevOps offers a slew of features, which can be used to accelerate the SDLC. Some of the prominent ones include:
- Agile Planning: Provides a collaborative environment for planning projects by centralizing code, software libraries, and testing tools. This helps map the code changes and the associated test-related artifacts across the team.
- CI/CD Pipeline: From maintaining the application stability to keeping its uptime intact and accelerating app development to automating the build-release process, Azure DevOps enables the automatic, sequential execution of tasks across multiple environments thanks to its powerful standalone services like Azure Pipelines (discussed later).
- Customizability: Customizable dashboards and workflows can be used to monitor, track, share trends, and boost collaboration. Not to forget the facility of configurable widgets and notifications and the ability to pick up the services that are of interest within the organization.
- High-end Security: To help secure the otherwise exposed pipelines, Azure DevOps relies on multi-faceted security practices that cater to the specific use cases. These could range from implementing incremental approaches to changing the project structure to even employing security templates. Rest assured, all of this is done with a strong emphasis on the security demand and context.
Key Service Elements of Azure DevOps
Business needs vary, and so do the ways to address them. Microsoft understands this – precisely why it pushes Azure DevOps components as standalone services.
These include the following:
- Azure Boards: Even if taming the complexity of the projects isn’t easy, Azure Boards can still prove to be significantly valuable. Through Scrum and Kanban (work/project management frameworks), Azure Boards helps track and report the progress of various work items across the teams.
- Azure Artifacts: Azure Artifacts is a service, which aims to bring a more cohesive experience for developers and users by providing tools for uploading, sharing, and tracking all kinds of packages (registries like Maven, NuGet) across the organization. It further helps assimilate such artifacts into the Azure pipeline.
- Azure Repos: Code’s source control solution, Azure Repos, allows tracking, sharing, and syncing of all the source code. Version control tools can individually tailor this for every team or project being worked on.
- Azure Test Plans: Testing, especially continuous testing, is necessary for any app development. It helps capture software quality metrics and aids in detecting outages, performance issues, and other problems across the applications. Azure Test Plans help with the same alongside offering manual/exploratory testing facilities.
ACCELQ Integration with Azure DevOps – Azure Marketplace
Azure DevOps sets the foundation for greater collaboration, faster delivery of apps, and hence is a key component to the DevOps movement. ACCELQ’s close-knit integration with Azure DevOps and Dynamics 365 helps accelerate the development process by automating tasks, saving time and resources. This is made possible by:
- AI-driven Codeless Automation: From test management to execution tracking, ACCELQ makes everything straightforward with its agile dashboard and visual app models.
- Continuous Testing: ACCELQ leverages in-sprint automation, automated cloud-based executions and integrates with Azure DevOps to achieve a complete end-to-end testing experience.
Learn more about how ACCELQ uses Azure DevOps to manage code test coverage, build, and release successfully. Reach out to us!