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What Is Azure DevOps Used For? Everything You Want To Know

5 Min. Read

Azure DevOps has been creating a buzz lately.

It’s a collection of numerous services successfully rebranding Microsoft’s VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services), the online version of Team Foundation Server.

Initially, a management tool for source code that teams could share for coding, the TFS (Team Foundation Server) became a super versatile platform for managing, testing, and releasing development projects.

What is Azure DevOps used for? below, you will learn more about the services and advantages of Azure DevOps, so let’s jump right in.

What is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps, also known as VSTS in the past, represents a platform with services that can help people assemble their products quickly.

It’s suitable for every software developer team on earth.

It helps people design projects using the Agile process, overlook code with Git, test their applications, and deploy code using the CI/CD framework.

The name “DevOps” symbolizes the mesh of development and operation processes for software development.

You can access Azure DevOps in two easy ways: online (services) and on-premises (server).

The Azure DevOps Services (Visual Studio Online in the past) were later rebranded as Visual Studio Team Services and belong to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Azure DevOps Services use a similar code as the Azure DevOps Server with small adjustments and ensure the most popular highlights.

The best part? Azure DevOps service doesn’t need any configuration. You can sign up from your Microsoft Azure DevOps account, set up a domain, start a project, and add new users.

What is Azure DevOps Used for: Azure DevOps Services

The Azure DevOps platform offers multiple services that make every team’s work easier. Can Azure DevOps help your company with your software development or app development?

Let’s look at the crucial Azure DevOps tools and find out.

Azure Boards

The Azure Boards help teams control their projects during the whole development process.

It’s a tool or service that lets teams keep track of things like backlogs, work status, tasks, user stories, and features and identify issues or flaws within the project.

The Azure Boards consist of three main work items: epics, issues, and tasks.

The best part? As the project progresses during common phases: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done,” the status of the tasks updates automatically.

Valuable features of this service include scalability, easily customizable visual tools, built-in tools for capturing information, and continuous integration with GitHub.

All of these features and options make creating and managing tasks for the team a breeze.

Azure Pipelines

The Azure Pipelines combine several automated processes that help developers collect, build, and apply code on different computing platforms with the CI/CD framework.

Azure Pipelines
Azure Pipelines

The Azure pipeline will remove the need for manual labor.

Simply put, the modifications you make in this part of the platform get automatically implemented by the pipeline into your project.

You can see the capabilities of this pipeline divided into five categories: monitoring, source control, package creation, build tools, and configuration management.

Moreover, this pipeline works with popular applications, such as JavaScript, Xcode, Python, Go, Java, Node.js, .Net, and C++.

Just connect the pipeline to a source control system.

It works with GitHub, Bitbucket, Azure Repos, Subversion, etc. It’s a helpful tool that will help complete projects seamlessly.

Azure Repos

The Azure Repos can help manage your code with many version control tools. It’s a repository of version control tools crucial for big and small software projects.

The version control systems represent software allowing teams to control changes in their code occasionally. You can use Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) for your version control as a repository type.

Moreover, you can have Azure Repos capture photos of files during the modification process for advanced file management. Also, the service will preserve these photos indefinitely, so you can quickly restore changes if necessary.

However, it’s smart to have version control to save your changes, keep track of any changes in the code throughout your teammates, and maintain accountability.

Version control can help developers, including one-team developers, stay organized as they handle issues and create new features.

Azure Test Plans

The Azure Test Plans cover making Azure test plans, manual tests, explanation tests, and test scenarios. Simply put, you can prepare and use manual and automated continuous testing plans for extra application security.

Moreover, you can attach test cases while working with the rest of the teams, such as the quality control, development, and business analysis teams.

Azure Test Plans
Azure Test Plans

Additionally, this service offers two crucial tools:

  • The Parameters, test plans, and configurations hub (generation and managing test items).
  • Test Suites (query-based or tasks for better understanding of the quality of the feature needs currently under development and regression tests).

Azure Artifacts

The Azure Artifacts helps teams make and share packages like npm, Maven, and NuGet with feeds that can be either private or public.

You can quickly attach upstream feeds into the defined package feeds with this tool and cache items that your applications depend on within the feeds.

With Azure Artifacts, you can keep applying dependencies to your application items, even if the main source feed isn’t accessible.

The Azure Artifacts can also store additional artifacts in universal packages.

In a nutshell, Azure Artifacts can help your source packages secure and limit people without authorization from accessing the source packages and deleting or modifying things so that you can have a safe working environment.

Azure DevTest Labs

The Azure DevTest Labs help groups produce, use, and control infrastructures as-a-service, platform-as-a-service environments, and virtual machines.

Common uses of Azure DevTest labs include designing test environments, building virtual learning laboratories and classrooms, and deploying virtual machines.

Azure Tool Integration

One of the biggest advantages of Azure DevOps is that it’s compatible with different development services and tools (Microsoft-managed and third-party).

Pre-built integrations include Chef, Ansible, Puppet, Terraform, etc.

Additionally, the service supports continuous integration through the Azure Cloud Shell, so you can enjoy further automation and versatility by linking with any service.

Azure Monitor

The Azure Monitor ensures the smooth performance of DevOps-enabled services and applications by offering important data insights.

In other words, this service helps detect and handle issues across applications and interfaces thanks to the Application Insights element.

Azure DevOps continuous monitoring with Azure Monitor
Azure DevOps continuous monitoring with Azure Monitor

It also compares and contrasts IT infrastructure issues with VM and container views. The Azure Monitor also uses the Log Analytics element to deep dive into monitoring data for advanced diagnostics and handling problems.

Other important uses of Azure Monitor include supporting operations with automatic actions and notifications, delivering visualizations with Azure workbooks and panels, and collecting data from controlled resources using Azure Monitor measures.

Azure DevOps Server

You can access Azure DevOps in two manners: online (services) and on-premises (server).

Microsoft renamed their VSTS to Azure DevOps services listed above and their VTF server to Azure DevOps server.

Azure DevOps services make a better choice for individual developers and teams of five people, while the server works better for larger groups.

Final Thoughts

In summary, learning and using Microsoft Azure is worth it. The demand for aspiring workers who learn Azure DevOps is growing because it’s a popular platform with a bright future.

Moreover, it’s excellent for standalone developers and big or small teams, thanks to the many helpful services and tools.

Simply put, Azure DevOps is the next big thing in the IT/DevSecOps industry to help DevOps and SecOps teams collaborate in building more secure apps.

> Learn how to deploy and Assign Azure Policy via Azure DevOps Pipelines.

> Learn about Azure Policy Compliance and Remediation via Azure DevOps.

> Learn how to Backup Azure DevOps Git Repositories.

Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect with 21+ years of IT experience. As a Swiss Certified Information Security Manager (ISM), CCSP, CISM, Microsoft MVP, and MCT, he excels in optimizing mission-critical enterprise systems. His extensive practical knowledge spans complex system design, network architecture, business continuity, and cloud security, establishing him as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in the field. Charbel frequently writes about Cloud, Cybersecurity, and IT Certifications.

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