Azure DevOps

What Is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps is built by Microsoft and works as a Software as a Service (Saas) platform. The goal of this platform is to provide an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for the development and deployment of the software. The best part of the Azure DevOps is that it lets you integrate various tools that are built for orchestrating a DevOps toolchain. Because of such incredible features, people in the DevOps community prefer Azure DevOps.

Azure DevOps is a blend of numerous services, where each service has a role to play that includes:

  • Azure Boards: Teams require flexible tools and Azure Boards is one of them, as it helps your team manage the work for your software projects. Azure Boards offers you a rich set of capabilities, including native support for Scrum and Kanban, customizable dashboards, and integrated reporting so that teams can handle projects hassle-free.
  • Azure Pipelines: It automatically builds and tests code projects and lets others collaborate. Azure Pipelines employs continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD), works with any language or project type, and constantly and consistently tests and builds your code and ships it to any target.
  • Azure Repos: To version control and manage your project code, Azure DevOps provides you a set of repositories. Using it, teams can work and coordinate with the code changes. It allows you to monitor code, solutions, builds, commits, pushes, PR’s (Pull requests), and branching information about projects.
  • Azure Artifacts: It’s a package management solution integrated into Azure DevOps. It allows teams, irrespective of their size, to create and share Maven, npm, and NuGet packages via public or private feeds to an organization. Using Azure Artifacts, you can include upstream feeds into your configured package feeds to allow you to cache packages for your applications that are dependent on your needs.
  • Azure Test Plans: Azure Test Plans, a newly launched service, with Azure DevOps, provides a browser-based test management solution for exploratory, planned manual, and user acceptance testing. Its browser extension is quite popular for exploratory testing and gathering feedback of the same from stakeholders.

Features of Azure DevOps

  • Dashboard Control: With Azure DevOps’s built-in dashboard feature, you can move to various aspects of the project like adding people, managing the dashboard, and configuring dashboard widgets.

  • Improved Source Control: Since Azure DevOps systems support two types of source control, which includes Git (distributed) or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), it lets you manage Azure Git tags, review, download, and edit files to look for any changes in the history.

  • Plan and Track: Some features of the Azure DevOps lets you plan and track the progress of your work. For example, you can plan your work using Agile methods such as Scrum, Scrumban, or Kanban. On the other hand, you can update relevant work items, manage product backlogs, or even plan sprints and Kanboards to visualize your workflow.

  • Continuous Integration and Deployment: CI and CD are the backbones of the DevOps and Azure DevOps do it so well that many developers like it. For instance, using Azure pipelines, developers can automate the designing process that includes defining the builds, creating test instructions, and managing simultaneous releases.

  • Manual and Exploratory Testing Support: Every development team needs a comprehensive solution for their product, hence, they always look for tools that provide an extensive approach that can stand minute to the major tasks effortlessly. For instance, the testing process may require a manual, exploratory, or continuous testing approach but it’s hard to accomplish at a single platform. However, with Azure DevOps, you get multiple test features in one place and you can customize workflow, trace end-to-end results, and see charts related to the test activity too.

Benefits of Azure DevOps

  • Automatic Updates: Azure DevOps provides you new versions and functionalities as Microsoft releases a new version every three weeks. And as the new features roll out, the user gets access automatically with no downtime. Besides this, it updates new services automatically.
  • Cost and Time Savings: While running TFS (Team Foundation Server) or Azure DevOps Server locally, you will be required to take care of the infrastructure, server maintenance, and operating system licenses. But with Azure DevOps Services, you don’t need to worry about anything as Microsoft takes care of all the things like server maintenance, updates, backups, or infrastructure security and offers you lots of savings in return.
  • Access from Anywhere on All Devices: Organizations these days are offering a work culture like working from home or working from multiple locations. This is the reason organizations need a secure environment where development and operation teams can collaborate effectively. However, if your organization still moves the old way like TFS, then switching to Azure DevOps Services can be a good decision, as its services can be accessed from anywhere using any device.
  • Development Services in the Microsoft Cloud: As you switch to Azure DevOps Services, it gives you access to many development services in Microsoft Cloud, such as Office 365, Dynamics, and Application insights. Once you explore such a wide range of tools, you can streamline your processes more efficiently.
  • Third-party Tool Integrations: If you worry that after opting for Azure DevOps you won’t be able to use some existing tools, either open-source or third-party, then worry not. With Azure DevOps, you can integrate various third-party tools, such as Chef, Terraform, Ansible, Puppet, and many more.

Azure DevOps Services Vs AWS DevOps

Basis of Comparison

Azure DevOps

AWS DevOps

Service Integration

It lets you integrate Azure VM, Azure App Services, and SQL databases. Plus, you can easily add third-party tools like Jenkins.

With a single click, you can integrate many AWS services like EC2, S3, and Beanstalk.

Package Management

Azure has its own package manager tool called Azure Artifacts to manage the packages like Nuget, Maven, etc.

To manage packages in AWS, you need to integrate external or third-party package managers like Artifactory.

Pricing and Best Features

Azure’s market share is relatively lesser than the AWS, hence it offers economical pricing. Also, it offers a wide range of extensions to its users, like Kanban boards and workflows.

AWS has a first-mover advantage, thus it charges more than any other Cloud platform available out there. But, it helps developers easily automate a complete code deployment.

Why Do People Choose Azure for DevOps?

DevOps is known for continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD). In simple words, it eases the processes seamlessly. But most of the DevOps tools and processes or even when it comes to taking the advantage of the Cloud resources, DevOps seems out of the sight for Windows users. Since Azure DevOps is the product of Microsoft, it provides a DevOps solution to Windows users.

To understand it better, let’s imagine that your organization’s environment relies on Microsoft Windows like computers (desktop and laptops), exchange email, office spread, documents and presentations, SQL server, and back-office servers. In this situation, moving to a traditional DevOps platform can be difficult, as most tools and Cloud platforms work well on Linux operating systems. However, with Azure DevOps, it’s easy, as it provides seamless integration with Cloud platforms and other automation tools (including third-party tools) even for Windows users.

Another reason why people prefer Azure DevOps over DevOps is that it saves money. Since Azure DevOps lets you migrate your existing environment over a Cloud platform using the same resources, organizations can save a lot of money.


DevOps is emerging as one of the industry’s dominant trends. It is a way to bring together software developers and operations professionals in a single team. However, jumping to a new solution while ignoring all your existing resources can be a tough task for many organizations. Hence, Azure DevOps services come into play and solve all the worries, and allows you to provide top-notch, yet low-cost DevOps solutions to your users.