Which Azure DevOps Services are of interest to me?
Once you have installed Azure DevOps, it’s time to delve a little deeper into the services that are available. Your organization can use Boards, Pipelines, Repos, Test Plans, and Artifacts. These services have been designed to work perfectly together or to be used individually. The following outlines the nature of the various services and the value they may hold for your organization.
1. Azure Boards
Azure Boards allows your team to manage software projects with ease. A tool like this is indispensable for a proper overview and good collaboration. You can schedule and track activities with scrum and Kanban boards, adjustable dashboards, backlogs, and reports – and all at lightning speed thanks to drag and drop functionality. You can plan your sprints within a workflow that best suits your team, as well as distribute tasks, schedule meetings, and increase the transparency of progress from the idea through to release.
Aside from Azure DevOps, Azure Boards is the best tool for managing software projects thanks to the numerous integration options available. If you’re already using GitHub, you can choose to link GitHub repositories to Azure Boards.
In addition, Azure Boards is often used as a project management tool for the operations department. For instance, you can use it to manage tickets and customer inquiries and to manage content and documentation.
2. Azure Pipelines
Azure Pipelines is an indispensable tool for software development. It is a cloud service that enables automatic building, testing, and deployment of code. As Azure Pipelines uses CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery), you can test and send code continuously and consistently. All that you need is a version management system such as Azure Repos or GitHub.
Azure Pipelines works for virtually any programming language, platform, and cloud. As with Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines offers a robust link to GitHub, so whether your project is open source or hosted by Microsoft, you are assured a rapid, easy, and secure solution for your software development.
3. Azure Repos
Azure Repos is a tool recommended for code management and is based on the Git version management system. Git is a piece of software that keeps track of changes to the code over time. It takes "snapshots" of all of your files, so that you can recall them whenever you need to. Azure Repos gives you unlimited Git storage.
In addition, you can also guarantee the quality of your code with branch policies, requiring, for example, for all code to be assessed first by a certain number of reviewers. This shared responsibility ensures better cooperation and a joint pursuit of the very highest quality. So, if you’re working on a project with a number of different people and using CI/CD pipelines (or a similar utility), Azure Repos really is indispensable.
4. Azure Test Plans
Azure Test Plans is a test management solution that enables you to carry out manual and exploratory tests, such as tests based on user stories. These can be fetched directly from Azure Boards, so that tests and bugs are automatically linked to requirements. In addition, Test Plans collates feedback from stakeholders involved in the project.
If you work to the DevOps method, Azure Test Plans is the best tool for evaluating and improving the quality of your product.
5. Azure Artifacts
Azure Artifacts is a package management platform. It allows you to create, host, and share code packages with your team from both public and private sources. A significant advantage over similar tools is that Maven, NuGet, NPM, and Python packages can be saved together. Source packages are saved securely to your feed, allowing you to add them to your pipeline with ease.
Azure Artifacts is a valuable addition to your tool kit, giving your team greater overview and allowing them to work and collaborate more efficiently. In addition, you can share code packages with multiple teams, avoiding work duplicates and allowing you to switch even faster.