Everything You Need to Know About Azure DevOps | OnActuate
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In today’s highly competitive business world, the speed which it takes to deliver new products, services, or offerings to market can make or break an organization—and no process can balloon scope and cause organizational brain strain than software development. As any software development organization knows, design, development, testing, and deployment can all contribute to scope creep and cost overruns, but the development process is so incredibly important that most organizations will just blindly throw resources at the problem rather than solving it at the root. 

Enter DevOps. Defined as ‘the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through the development process to production support’1, DevOps is a marriage of development and operations teams within an organization designed to help them deliver, iterate, and maintain products at a more rapid pace than traditionally siloed development and software operations teams. By combining these teams and utilizing tools and techniques designed to increase communication and collaboration, organizations can support their customers better and remain competitive by bringing products to market faster. 

One of the tools modern organizations are relying on is Microsoft’s Azure DevOps—a platform designed with the DevOps philosophy in mind, enabling DevOps teams to deploy to the cloud quickly, simply, and securely, and helping business of any size shorten development cycles and increase profitability. In this post, we’ll look at the features and functions of Azure DevOps and explain how you can put them to work for you. 

What is Azure DevOps? 

Building on 15 years of internal knowledge and experience helping software development teams succeed and scale, the Microsoft Azure DevOps platform brings together five unique development and operational tools under one umbrella, all fully integrated with the industry-leading Azure cloud foundation to help businesses manage the entire development and deployment lifecycle, including ideation, planning, development, deployment, and analysis. Azure DevOps is comprised of six separate features: 

Azure Boards 

Application success lies in the detailsto successfully execute on any development project, those details need to be meticulously planned and scoped. Azure Boards provides Kanban boards and sprint burndown charts for progress tracking, epics, features, and user stories for capacity planning, and custom reporting and dashboard widgets for post-mortems, and insight into team and project performance. 

Azure Repos 

Software repositories help development teams avoid costly mistakes and deploy faster by providing a single source of truth from which developers can pull resources. Azure Repos supports Azure Git and Microsoft’s Team Foundation Version Control, as well as third-party software repositories such as GitHub. Maintaining code quality is done via built-in reviewer signoff, and deployments can be automated via continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) methods which automatically trigger builds, tests, and deployments whenever a pull request is completed. 

Azure Pipelines 

Building, testing, and pushing code can be one of the most laborious and time-consuming steps in development—but by using CI/CD methods through Azure Pipelines, organizations are empowered to ship code faster than ever. By utilizing Azure Pipelines, developers can build code in any language, including Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, .NET, Android, and iOS, and deploy to any platform, including Azure, Amazon Web Services, or the Google Cloud Platform, providing unparalleled flexibility in how DevOps organizations deploy. 

Azure Test Plans 

Avoid downtime, code rollbacks, and disaster with Azure Test Plans, an all-in-one exploratory testing solution for code deploys. With Azure Test Plans, DevOps organizations can execute manual and automated application testing to code being deployed via Azure Pipelines—all from planned test scenarios in Azure Boards. Via the Azure DevOps platform, all test observations and failures are automatically recorded, ensuring your team has complete visibility into potential problems. 

Azure Artifacts 

Azure Artifacts allows DevOps teams to seamlessly integrate private package handling into your Azure Pipeline CI/CD deploys, manage their artifacts via Maven, npm, NuGet, and Python package feeds, and easily share code across teams and enterprises. 

Azure Analytics  

Lastly, Azure Analytics provides robust reporting capabilities for DevOps teams and management. Azure Analytics provides real-time business intelligence insight into project status, team velocity, testing results, CI/CD results, and more, allowing for fully customizable reports, giving team leads and executives the insights they need at a glance through reports and custom dashboards. 

Leverage Azure DevOps in Your Organization 

By using a fully integrated, flexible, and a secure end-to-end suite of tools to manage the entire development lifecycle, businesses are shaving months off of development time, increasing internal collaboration, and bringing their industry-changing ideas to life quicker than ever before. They are accomplishing unprecedented time to market while enjoying industry-leading enterprise-grade security and monitoring, and the flexibility to develop and deploy using the languages and tools they already know and love. We use Azure DevOps in house, and all well versed in helping organizations learn where it fits. Azure DevOps is unrivaled in its ability to help organizations develop and deploy faster, safer, and more securely— let’s talk about how we can help you implement this game-changing tool today. 

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