Azure DevOps

An Introductory Guide to Azure DevOps & Its Impact on Business Growth

DevOps generated a lot of buzz and garnered a lot of praise over the last few years. It’s

DevOps generated a lot of buzz and garnered a lot of praise over the last few years. It’s expected to gain even more momentum this year. With DevOps, organizations are successfully coming out of delayed delivery cycles and are now capable of shipping products quickly.

So what is DevOps exactly?

It’s neither a set of tools nor a technology. DevOps is an approach that triggers a transformation within an organization impacting even work ethics while improving productivity and operational efficiency. The idea is to implement various beneficial concepts like automation, continuous integration & deployment, single delivery pipelines and augmented security.

Azure DevOps

DevOps’ popularity and demand resulted in a whole new level of service quality with leading service providers like Microsoft Azure embracing DevOps to offer more effective service solutions to enterprises. Azure DevOps is Microsoft’s initiative that integrates various tools provided to clients by Azure for various stages in the development lifecycle thus empowering clients and making them capable of faster, higher quality product releases.

Here are a few reasons why organizations that are yet to adopt DevOps should go for Azure DevOps.

  • Streamlined development
  • Access to a variety of tools that aid development
  • Improved communication and team collaboration
  • Deploy and distribute apps from the cloud
  • Microsoft’s expertise with DevOps

Azure Features That Could Help with DevOps

  • Azure Repos – The organization can choose from a wide array of Git repos for their project. In addition to hosting and reliable code security, Azure offers support for pull requests for projects of all sizes.
  • Azure Pipelines – A highly useful feature that allows developers to build, test and deploy from any language to any platform and the cloud. With Azure Pipelines, the development team will also be able build and push images container registries faster and easily deploy them to individual hosts or Kubernetes.
  • Azure DevTest Labs – This is an app offered to help development teams conduct planned as well as exploratory testing for products across both desktop and web applications. Data from testing is collected for further analysis to detect defects that need to be fixed.
  • Azure Boards – Azure Boards is how the organization can track a project while multiple teams are working on it. The feature helps track a board with custom reporting, backlogs, Kanban boards etc. It’s also possible to trace each item comprehensively.
  • Azure Artifacts – With Azure Artifacts, npm, Maven and NuGet package feeds can be easily imported into the DevOps dashboard from both public as well as private sources. This in turn makes it much easier not only to create packages but also to share them with team members. The ‘artifacts’ can be easily integrated to continuous integration/continuous deployment pipelines with just a click.

Implementing Azure DevOps in an Organization

Smaller organizations will find it much easier to implement Azure DevOps with the support of Microsoft’s technical experts. Larger organizations, however, will find it quite challenging to implement DevOps efficiently.

The organization should build a team of qualified experts for implementation. The first actionable step is to analyze existing processes in order to identify those that can be automated. The next step is to gather feedback that will help the company implement DevOps. Azure DevOps offers tools that can point out the areas that need to be fixed for easier implementation. Meanwhile, the feedback from the organization’s employees can be used to identify the roadblocks to adopting DevOps. The third step is to implement robust communication channels to enable complete transparency of stakeholder interactions. Effective communication also helps avoid delays in the implementation.

Continuous Deployment

There have been many studies on DevOps since its inception. Many such studies have found that increasing continuous delivery will also result in a proportional increase in business revenue. This is one benefit of a DevOps ecosystem. Continuous deployment is a key aspect of DevOps implementation. To enable continuous deployment, Azure DevOps offers a number of tools. Choosing the right tools for the job should be based on the unique problem statement and the overall goal of application development.

Here are a few of the most widely adopted tools that could come in handy.

  • Docker
  • Jira
  • Jenkins
  • Chef
  • Ansible

Conclusion

Organizations of all sizes have started investing in DevOps to secure a more productive future. Microsoft Azure DevOps can also be useful if your organization plans to offer DevOps consultation and implementation to other companies. Azure DevOps gives results. It will be staying for a while. And it’s worth investing in.

If you want to jump on the DevOps bandwagon but lack the expertise, AOT can help. Give us a call for a quick conversation.