What is Azure DevOps and Why you Should Care
Azure DevOps has become a cornerstone in modern software development, providing a comprehensive set of tools and services that streamline the development lifecycle.
In this article, we explore the significance of Azure DevOps and its relevance to application development. From its origins as a response to a catastrophic software failure to its powerful features and integrations, Azure DevOps has emerged as a game-changer in the world of DevOps.
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 modernizing the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to create a culture of continuous delivery. This means optimizing the processes of source control, build, test, and release. This can lead to faster time-to-market and reduced project costs.
Azure DevOps can be used in both cloud and on-premises environments. Azure DevOps Services is a cloud-based solution that scales on-demand. Azure DevOps Server is an on-premises solution that can be deployed on multiple servers. Both solutions provide the same features and can be tailored to meet the needs of any organization.
Why Azure DevOps?
In 2012, a global financial services company, Knight Capital, faced a devastating loss of $440 million in just 45 minutes. Despite its two-decade journey to becoming a leading U.S. equity trader, the company went bankrupt within an hour. The cause? A software engineer responsible for code refactoring accidentally skipped pasting it on one of the servers. Consequently, when the system went live, that server executed outdated code, resulting in the unintentional purchase of 397 million shares in under an hour. Unfortunately, due to NYSE policies, the trade could not be reversed.
This incident highlights the dangers of neglecting diligent DevOps practices, which can lead to similar issues in the IT-driven enterprise world, albeit on a smaller scale. However, in today's digitally proactive landscape, such oversights are more likely to occur.
DevOps offers a solution by streamlining and accelerating the release process while instigating a crucial cultural shift in product and service development. These elements are essential for a successful digital transformation.
What is Azure DevOps Used for?
Azure DevOps offers a slew of features, which teams can use to accelerate the SDLC. Some of the prominent ones include:
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.
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).
Monitor, track, share trends and boost collaboration using customizable dashboards and workflows. 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.
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.
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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:
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 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.
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 also 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 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!