Azure DevOps Guide

101: Services, features, best practices,
tips and benefits of DevOps
Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
April 25
60 min
Table of Contents

Overview of Azure DevOps and its features

Are you looking for an efficient way to manage your software development projects? Let us introduce you to Azure DevOps. This comprehensive platform offers a wide range of features to streamline your workflows and boost collaboration among your team members. Its impressive set of features, including agile project management, version control, continuous integration and delivery, and a robust reporting dashboard, enable teams to collaborate and deliver high-quality software products seamlessly. Say goodbye to tedious manual work and hello to productive, smooth workflows with Azure DevOps – the ultimate solution for developers.


What is Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps is a comprehensive software development platform that allows teams to collaborate, streamline workflows, and efficiently deploy high-quality applications. This platform enables developers, product owners, and contributors to work seamlessly together within a common workspace, giving many integrated tools to plan, build, test, and deploy applications in a more efficient and streamlined manner.

Azure DevOps provides a range of benefits that enable teams to achieve higher levels of productivity and quality. For instance, it offers agile project management tools, source control mechanisms, continuous integration and deployment, testing frameworks, and analytics capabilities. These features help teams to stay in control of their code, automate processes, increase visibility, and receive valuable insights into their applications’ performance.

Azure DevOps offers a flexible and extensible framework that integrates with various third-party tools and services to create a cohesive and streamlined DevOps workflow. This platform also offers extensive security features and compliance measures to ensure data security and regulatory compliance.

Azure DevOps is a powerful and flexible platform that provides a comprehensive range of features and tools to help teams streamline their development pipelines, improve collaboration, and deliver high-quality applications more quickly and effectively. It is a valuable asset for any development team looking to leverage the latest technologies and best practices in software development.


Azure DevOps features

Azure DevOps is a powerful and comprehensive software development platform that offers a range of features to streamline and optimize development workflows. Some of the key features of Azure DevOps include:


1. Dashboard control:

Azure DevOps provides a customizable dashboard that allows users to easily manage and monitor their development projects. The dashboard provides real-time visibility into project progress, status updates, and key metrics, helping teams stay on track and identify issues before they become major problems.

2. Improved source control:

Azure DevOps includes a powerful source control system that enables teams to collaborate on code changes more efficiently. The system supports Git or TFVC (Team Foundation Version Control) and provides features like pull requests, code reviews, and branching and merging capabilities.

3. Plan and track your work:

With Azure DevOps, teams can create and manage work items, sprints, and releases, making it easy to plan and execute development projects. The platform also offers agile project management tools, such as Scrum, Scrumban, and Kanban methods, that make it easy to track progress and prioritize tasks in real-time.

4. Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD):

Azure DevOps enables teams to automate their build and deployment processes using a range of powerful tools, such as Azure Pipelines and Jenkins. These tools make it easy to deploy changes to production quickly and with confidence, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall productivity.

5. Support for manual and exploratory testing:

Azure DevOps supports a range of testing methodologies, including manual and exploratory testing. This enables teams to easily test their applications and identify bugs and issues before they are released to production.

6. Integrated collaboration services:

Azure DevOps integrates with a range of collaboration tools, including Microsoft Teams, Slack, and GitHub. This makes it easy for teams to communicate, share code, and collaborate effectively, regardless of location or time zone.

7. Azure cloud-hosted services:

Azure DevOps is a fully cloud-based platform, which means that all of its features and services are hosted on Microsoft Azure. This makes it easy for teams to scale their development projects quickly and easily, without needing to worry about hardware or infrastructure costs.


Azure DevOps services

Azure DevOps is a comprehensive suite of DevOps services provided by Microsoft, which includes Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, Azure Artifacts, and Azure Test Plans. Each of these services is designed to help teams efficiently plan, develop, test, and deploy software applications in a collaborative manner.


#1 Azure Boards:

Provides flexible, agile planning for software projects, enabling teams to track progress, create and prioritize work items, and customize workflows. With Azure Boards, teams can easily visualize their work, analyze data, and generate reports to help them make informed decisions about project management.

#2 Azure Pipelines:

It is a powerful and flexible tool for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), enabling teams to build, test, and deploy their applications on any platform, using any language or framework. With support for containers and Kubernetes, Azure Pipelines provides a highly scalable and automated environment for building and deploying modern applications.

#3 Azure Repos:

Provides secure, cloud-hosted Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repositories for managing source code. Teams can easily collaborate on code, using pull requests, branches, and code reviews to ensure high-quality code and seamless integration with other services in the Azure DevOps suite.

#4 Azure Artifacts:

It is an integrated package manager that supports a wide range of languages and platforms, including Maven, NPM, Python, and NuGet. With Azure Artifacts, teams can manage their packages, versions, and dependencies in a centralized manner, making it easier to manage and integrate code across multiple projects and teams.

#5 Azure Test Plans:

It is an integrated testing solution that provides manual and exploratory testing, as well as automated tests, for applications built with Azure DevOps. Teams can easily track test results, create test plans, and use robust reporting tools to improve quality and ensure timely delivery.


Overall, Azure DevOps services provide a highly scalable, flexible, and secure platform for DevOps teams to build, test, and deploy their applications quickly and efficiently. With its wide range of features and integrations, Azure DevOps is a powerful tool for any organization looking to improve its software development pipeline.

How Azure DevOps services differ from Azure DevOps server?


Steps for creating an Azure DevOps project

Want to streamline your project management process? Look no further than Azure DevOps. In just a few simple steps, you can create your very own project and start collaborating with your team like a pro. With Azure DevOps, you can effortlessly manage your code, track your progress, and integrate your tools.


Azure DevOps project in the cloud

Step 1:

To create a project in Azure DevOps, you first need to log in to the Azure Portal. Once logged in, search for Azure DevOps and click on Azure DevOps organizations.

Step 2:

Click on the “New project” link to start creating your new project in Azure DevOps. This will open up the “Create a project to get started” window where you can input the necessary project details:

  • Provide a meaningful name for your Azure DevOps project in the “Project name” field.
  • In the “Description” field, you can enter a brief explanation of what your project is about (optional).
  • Choose the “Visibility” option as either “Public” or “Private,” depending on your project’s requirements.

Remember! If you choose “Public”, anyone on the internet can view your project, but certain features such as Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) may not be supported. If you choose “Private”, only the people you give access to can view the project.

Step 3 (optional):

You can also expand the “Advanced” section to select your preferred version control system (Git or Team Foundation Version Control) and work item process (Basic, Agile, CMMI, or Scrum).

Step 4:

If it is everything, after inputting the necessary details, click on the “Create project” button to finalize the creation of your new project in Azure DevOps.


Azure DevOps project on-premises

Creating an on-premises project differs significantly from creating one in the cloud. It is an older way, but more transparent as in the attached graphic.

devops on-premises project creating


Setting up version control (Git or Team Foundation Version Control)

Looking to streamline your development process? Want to ensure your team is always working with the latest code? Consider adopting a version control system like Git or Team Foundation Version Control. With this powerful technology, you can easily track changes, collaborate with others, and stay organized.


What is version control?

Version control is a software tool that enables developers to manage and track code changes effectively. It monitors modifications made by developers to source code files, including adding, deleting, and modifying source code, and allows them to revert to previous versions if necessary. Version control systems have revolutionized software development, enabling developers to collaborate and work more efficiently.

Without version control, managing code projects can be a nightmare. Infractions can result in versions of the same code existing in different locations, making it challenging to determine which version is the latest and most up-to-date. This can lead to wasted time and effort trying to reconcile and consolidate conflicting versions manually.

Version control systems provide a single source of truth for code changes. They enable developers to track changes and work collaboratively on the same codebase while allowing them to refer back to previous versions. This minimizes the risk of errors and ensures that the codebase is always up-to-date, consistent, and accurate.

Version control is a powerful tool that streamlines the software development process, simplifies collaboration, and ensures code quality. It’s an essential component of modern software engineering and is widely used by developers worldwide.


What is Git?

Git is a widely-used distributed version control system that is designed for managing large and complex software development projects. It is based on a distributed architecture, which allows multiple developers to work on a single project at the same time. Each developer has a local copy of the repository, which they can commit changes without contacting the central server. This enables developers to work offline and collaborate effectively across geography and time zones.

One of the main benefits of Git is its ability to store a complete version history of the project, allowing developers to see and revert changes made. This makes it easy to track down the source of bugs and errors and to identify who made changes and when. Git also supports branching, a feature that allows developers to work on multiple versions of the codebase simultaneously. Branches can be merged or discarded as needed, allowing developers to pivot quickly between different variations of the codebase.

Another major advantage of Git is its speed and efficiency. Unlike traditional centralized version control systems, Git is designed to minimize the amount of data transferred between the client and server. This means that operations such as committing, merging, and comparing code are lightning-fast, even on large projects with many contributors.

Git is an essential tool for any modern software development team. Its distributed architecture, version history tracking, branching support, and fast performance make it the go-to solution for managing large and complex codebases. With Git, developers can work more productively, collaborate more effectively, and deliver high-quality software more quickly than ever before.


What is Team Foundation Version Control?

Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) is a robust centralized version control system designed to facilitate collaboration and improve code management in large-scale software development projects. It is widely used by software development teams to manage their source code and track changes made to it over time. TFVC enables team members to have only one version of each file on their local machines while maintaining historical data on the server.

One of the defining features of TFVC is its support for two different workflow models: server workspaces and local workspaces.

  • Server workspaces:
    In server workspaces, developers must publicly check out files before making changes, and most operations require a connection to the server. This system is especially useful for facilitating locking workflows and supporting large codebases with millions of files per branch and large binary files. Server workspaces are similar to other version control systems like Visual Source Safe, Perforce, and CVS.
  • Local workspaces:
    In contrast, local workspaces allow each team member to take a copy of the latest version of the codebase with them and work offline as needed. Developers check in their changes and resolve conflicts as necessary, making this approach more flexible and suitable for smaller teams or projects where internet connectivity may not always be available. Similar to Subversion, local workspaces are a popular choice for software development teams that require a more distributed workflow.

TFVC is a version control system that enables teams to work together more efficiently and effectively. It provides a centralized location for code management and version control while allowing for different workflows to suit the specific needs of each software development team. With its robust set of features, TFVC is a popular choice for source code management in a wide range of industries and for projects of all sizes.


Why use version control?

Version control offers numerous benefits to software development teams that help them to streamline their development process and increase productivity. Some of the benefits of using version control include:


1. Improved collaboration:

With version control, multiple team members can work on the same code base simultaneously without fear of conflicting changes. Version control systems provide an efficient and organized way of working together on code that eliminates communication breakdowns and errors that can occur when working on multiple versions of the same code. Teams can also share code changes and updates effortlessly and reduce the number of mistakes made from manual merging.

2. Better code quality:

Version control enables teams to review and control changes made to any code base. As a result, developers can catch errors early and avoid issues that could arise from unchecked code. Version control also helps developers to identify errors earlier in the development process, thereby reducing the time and cost of fixing bugs.

3. Easy backtracking:

Version control systems keep track of all the changes made to code, making it easy to revert to any previous version of the code. This feature helps teams to reduce risks associated with experimentation and new development by providing an easy-to-retrieve backup of the production version.

4. Increased productivity:

With version control, developers can focus on creating, testing, and debugging new code while the system handles managing and organizing the codebase changes. This saves time and resources that can be utilized for more productive tasks such as designing better software architectures or conducting in-depth code reviews.

5. Faster debugging:

Version control makes it easier for developers to trace performance issues by providing a well-documented history of code changes. This allows developers to identify the origin of bugs faster and to address them efficiently.

6. Reliable release management:

With version control, all code changes are tracked in real-time, making it easier to manage the release of new software versions. Automated deployment tools can be integrated with version control to release updates consistently and reliably. This helps to save time and reduce the chances of inconsistent deployments that could cause unnecessary delays.


Configuring continuous integration and delivery pipelines

As companies strive for faster and more efficient software development, the process of configuring continuous integration and delivery pipelines has become increasingly important. These pipelines streamline the process of building, testing, and deploying software, allowing organizations to rapidly iterate and release high-quality code. With the right tools and approach, teams can achieve unprecedented levels of agility and productivity.


What is continuous integration (CI)?

Continuous integration (CI) is a fundamental practice in modern software development. It is a process where developers continuously integrate their code changes into a main branch or repository. The main goal of CI is to detect integration problems early in the development cycle which could potentially cause significant delays in software delivery, thus reducing the risk of encountering “integration hell.”

CI involves automated builds and tests, which aid developers in detecting any errors or issues in the code, allowing them to address them quickly. This way, the code quality is improved, and the integration of features into the software system is seamless. Additionally, by having automated testing, developers can save time that would otherwise be spent manually testing the codebase.

Implementing CI practices also ensures that the software development team creates a better understanding of the codebase and its features, enabling them to identify areas that require improvement. CI helps to achieve business requirements and increase security by automatically deploying software changes to the production environment, giving the team a better grasp of how the software operates in real-world scenarios.

It is an essential agile methodology and DevOps practice that enables software development teams to reduce the risk of code integration problems and saves time by identifying and correcting conflicts early. It boosts code quality, improves security, and ensures seamless integration of features while building a better understanding of the codebase. By adopting CI practices, development teams can streamline their development process, ensuring that their software is delivered on time, within budget, and with high quality.


Continuous integration best practices

Continuous Integration (CI) is a widely adopted software development practice that entails automatically building, testing, and verifying source code changes before merging them into the main codebase. To achieve successful CI, there are a set of best practices that should be adhered to in order to ensure that the integration process is as seamless and efficient as possible.


1. Test-Driven Development (TDD)

This practice involves constantly developing and improving the test coverage. In simpler terms, each new feature that is integrated into the code base should have an accompanying set of tests that are designed to assert that the new code is behaving as expected. By adopting TDD, developers can minimize the risk of regression issues that could arise from the integration of new code and facilitate the identification of bugs early in the development process.

2. Use of pull requests and code review workflows

These workflows are designed to ensure that developers adhere to set standards when they write and integrate their code into the main code base. In particular, pull requests are an integral component of the code review workflow. They serve to notify other developers of the new set of code changes that are ready for integration. This code review mechanism provides an added layer of assurance that the code that is integrated into the main codebase meets the organization’s quality standards.

3. Optimizing the CI pipeline speed

Should be applied to ensure that the development process is seamless and efficient. Given that the CI pipeline is a central and frequently used process, it is imperative to measure the CI pipeline speed and optimize it as necessary. For instance, any small delay in the CI workflow will compound exponentially as the size of the code base, team size, and rate of feature releases increases. By optimizing the CI pipeline speed, developers can reduce unnecessary delays in the development process and ensure that product releases are delivered to production as quickly and seamlessly as possible.


What are delivery pipelines?

Delivery pipelines are a crucial component of modern software development as they automate the process of continuously deploying a project. A delivery pipeline consists of a sequence of stages that perform specific jobs such as retrieving input, running builds, tests, and finally, deploying the project.

With a delivery pipeline, developers can ensure that their code is automatically tested and deployed without any manual intervention, providing a seamless and reliable way for software products to be continually updated and improved. Importantly, delivery pipelines are often designed to be highly configurable, allowing developers to easily adjust the pipeline to meet their specific needs and requirements.

One of the primary benefits of delivery pipelines is their ability to increase the efficiency and speed of software development. By automating the testing and deployment processes, developers can spend more time focusing on improving their code rather than worrying about the mundane and repetitive tasks associated with deployment.

Delivery pipelines are also highly flexible and adaptable, making them an ideal solution for developers working on complex or large-scale projects. With the ability to quickly set up and configure new pipelines, developers can easily experiment with new approaches or pivot their strategies as needed.


Steps for configuring the delivery pipeline

Delivery pipelines are an essential tool for automating the continuous building, testing, and deployment of applications. To configure a delivery pipeline, follow these steps:


If you are setting up the delivery pipeline while creating a new toolchain, navigate to the Configurable Integrations section, and select “Delivery Pipeline”. Depending on the template you choose, different fields can be available. Review the default field values and modify them as you need.


In case you already have a toolchain and want to add the delivery pipeline to it, access the IBM Cloud console and select the DevOps option from the menu icon (hamburger icon). Next, click on the toolchain that you want to add the delivery pipeline to. Alternatively, go to the Continuous delivery part on your app’s overview page and click on “View toolchain”. Once you’re in the toolchain, click on “Overview”, then “Add tool”, and finally, Delivery Pipeline in the Tool Integrations section.


Give a name to the delivery pipeline you’re creating.


Choose the type of pipeline you want to create:

Classic: A graphical user interface that enables you to define stages and jobs that run on public shared infrastructure. This option also supports running individual stages on private workers.

Tekton: This option provides a dashboard for viewing the output of the Tekton pipeline that runs on a specified Kubernetes cluster. Additionally, it supports configuring pipeline definitions, repos, pipeline triggers, pipeline runtime locations, and simple secrets.


To configure a delivery pipeline that is intended to deploy a user interface, there are a few key steps you need to follow. First, ensure that your pipeline is set up as a Classic pipeline. From there, you should tick the checkbox that says “Show apps in the View app menu”. This action will allow all of the apps that your pipeline generates to appear on the View App list located on the Overview page of your toolchain.


Once you have selected this option, you can move on to adding the Delivery Pipeline to your toolchain. To do this, simply click on the “Create Integration” button, and the pipeline will be seamlessly integrated into your toolchain.


To configure your Delivery Pipeline, start by accessing your toolchain’s toolchain dashboard. From there, locate the Delivery Pipelines card and click on it to proceed with the pipeline configuration. If you are new to configuring a pipeline, it is highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the building and deploying pipeline basics first.

Note that! If you wish to have your pipeline automatically run every time a commit is pushed to your GitHub or Git repository, you will need to follow specific steps.

It is essential to configure GitHub/Git Repos and Issue Tracking for your toolchain before proceeding to define the stages of your pipeline. Your pipeline stages rely on the Git URLs (uniform resource locators) for your GitHub/Git repositories. Also, take note that each pipeline stage is associated with only one Git repo linked to your toolchain. If you need instructions on how to configure GitHub or Git Repos and Issue Tracking, refer to the GitHub section or the Git Repos and Issue Tracking section, respectively.

To use a webhook, ensure that it is appropriately set up. Going without a webhook only allows manual runs of the pipelines. For GitHub or GitHub Enterprise repos, you must have admin privileges to create a webhook, while using Git Repos and Issue Tracking repos requires Master or Owner privileges.


If you are utilizing a toolchain on IBM Cloud Public and would like Sauce Labs to handle your app’s testing, an extra configuration step is necessary. You must configure the Delivery Pipeline to add a Sauce Labs test job. To learn more about setting up the test job, refer to the Configuring a Sauce Labs test job in your pipeline section. By taking these steps, you’ll benefit from the automated execution of your pipeline every time a commit is pushed to your Git repo and, for IBM Cloud Public users, enjoy quick and straightforward testing with Sauce Labs.


What is Tekton?

Tekton is a comprehensive and highly versatile open-source framework that is optimized for Kubernetes-based systems. This innovative technology provides organizations with the ability to create advanced continuous integration and delivery systems that are highly customized to their unique needs, thereby facilitating seamless building, testing, and deployment across numerous cloud providers or on-premises platforms. Its efficiency and flexibility set it apart from other CI/CD platforms, catering to the most advanced demands of modern organizations.


What is Sauce Labs?

Sauce Labs is a comprehensive testing platform that empowers developers and businesses with the ability to verify their software at every stage of the development process. It is an all-encompassing solution that provides complete digital assurance from the moment a user visits a website or app, regardless of the device, browser, or operating system being used.

This advanced testing platform is specifically designed to deliver premium quality assurance services, functional testing, and performance testing. It allows development teams to leverage testing automation to eliminate tedious manual tasks and enhance testing efficiency.

Check our business automation services.

Sauce Labs is an unparalleled solution that boasts a robust set of features for testing modern web and mobile products. Its unparalleled cloud-based infrastructure can handle thousands of testing instances concurrently, making it the perfect choice for businesses that need to validate performance under heavy loads.


Managing work items with Azure Boards

With Azure Boards, teams can plan and track their work with ease. This Azure DevOps service takes care of all the necessary details such as work items, backlogs, boards, queries, and charts. All of these components work together to provide teams with the tools needed to visualize and manage their work in a smooth and efficient manner.

When creating a project in Azure Boards, the team’s chosen process plays a huge part in shaping the look and feel of the platform. This process is not just a cosmetic choice, but a fundamental building part of the work item tracking system. By customizing the process model, teams can personalize their workflow and optimize their project management. It’s not just about aesthetics – the process you choose has the power to transform the way your team works.


Choose your process

Are you tired of struggling to find the right process for your team’s workflow? Azure DevOps project processes offer a range of methodologies to support different team needs and preferences. Here are the system processes that are available when you create a new project:


Agile: The agile approach is ideal for teams that value flexibility and prioritization of user needs, using user stories and separate tracking of development and testing activities.

Basic: Teams seeking a simple and streamlined model may opt for the Basic process, which relies on issues, tasks, and epics for tracking work.

CMMI: For those following a more formal project approach, the CMMI process caters to process improvement and record-keeping requirements.

Scrum: The Scrum process provides dedicated tools for tracking Product Backlog items through a backlog and board interface.


Regardless of the process, Azure DevOps allows teams to easily collaborate and manage their work, providing a comprehensive platform for various software development needs. The platform also offers advanced data analytics, integration with various development tools, and security and compliance support to ensure optimal project management. Thus, teams can choose the right process that suits their project needs while enjoying efficient communication and collaboration within their teams.


Work item types

Work item types are an essential component of the Azure DevOps work management system. They represent what the teams can create, edit, and track in Azure DevOps. These work item types allow teams to differentiate between different types of tasks, requirements, bugs, test cases, and other concepts.

Each work item type is defined by a template, which determines the fields and rules that apply to that work item type. By default, Azure DevOps provides several built-in work item types, such as bug, issue, task, feature, and epic. However, depending on the process used when the project was created, the types of work items available to the team may vary.

Teams can also customize work item types to fit their specific needs. Work item types can be customized to include fields with rules and validations, which ensure data consistency and help prevent mistakes.

Over time, work item types can evolve and change as the team’s process and requirements change. However, changing the work item type template or the fields in the work item type can impact the team’s reporting and analytics. Therefore, it is essential to have a thoughtful approach when making these changes, and it is recommended that teams follow the best practices and guidelines provided by Azure DevOps.

Work item types are a critical aspect of the Azure DevOps system, providing teams with a flexible and customizable way to track the different types of work items involved in their project. By enabling teams to tailor their work item types, Azure DevOps supports teams in improving their workflows and gaining insights into their progress and metrics.

In the world of project management, the Agile process and Scrum process are like siblings. They share a lot of similarities, such as how they manage work items. Agile and Scrum have their own unique names for the work item types. Agile calls them User Stories and Issues, while Scrum has Product Backlog Items and Impediments.

The CMMI process may sound official and weighty, with its various work item types like Change Request, Review, and Risk, and the slightly outdated Requirement work item type. But in reality, it’s a little less common than you might think. On the other hand, the Basic process is much simpler and easier to manage – just a few work item types to keep things on track. In fact, it’s so user-friendly that many projects accidentally end up with it as the default process.

The workflow states for requirement category work items are a unique aspect of various processes. These states determine the progression of a work item from creation to closure. By utilizing state categories, Azure Boards are able to function consistently across any given project’s process, providing the agility necessary for successful project management.


Collaborating with Azure Repos

As a developer, organizing and working with your code can be quite complex and time-consuming. With the help of Azure Repos, you’re able to streamline your workflow and collaborate with your team effortlessly. Azure Repos, part of the Azure DevOps arsenal, offers a centralized repository to store your code and track any changes made. Simplify the complex process of managing your codebase with this powerful version control system.

A programmer’s digital workshop is incomplete without a repository, a central location where they store their code and its change history. Organized by project, repositories also have the added functionality of creating branches that ensure seamless collaboration between team members.

If you’re working on a special feature or fixing a glitch, having a dedicated space to work on them means no one is stepping on anyone’s toes. Once you’re happy with your work, it’s time to merge it back into the main branch, and that’s when the fun begins. You don’t have to do it alone; your team can review your work and approve your changes before merging everything together. All this is made possible with one, single repository.


Key features of Azure Repos

As a leading code management solution, Azure Repos equips you with an arsenal of tools to streamline your development process and work seamlessly with your colleagues. Top features include advanced code search capabilities, customizable workflows, automated builds and tests, and secure collaboration options. With Azure Repos, you can take your coding game to the next level and boost productivity for your entire team. What are the features Azure Repos offers?

Version control:

The one we already mentioned. Using Git as its VCS, you can now easily track changes to your code and revert back to previous versions when necessary. Get more control over your workflow by creating various branches to work on different features simultaneously and fix any bugs that may arise.


Azure Repos enables seamless collaboration among teams with a bunch of tools at your disposal. You can review codes, exchange thoughts through discussion threads and experience effortless integration with other Azure DevOps tools like Azure Boards and Azure Test Plans.


With top-notch security features in place, you can sleep well knowing that role-based access control, secure connections, and auditing have all been accounted for. Protect your hard work and keep it in trusted hands with Azure Repos. Learn about security software testing services.


Connect with Visual Studio, Eclipse, Jenkins, and more. Streamline your work and enhance your productivity by effortlessly merging it into your current project. Enjoy unparalleled compatibility with a diverse range of tools and platforms, unlocking countless possibilities for collaboration and teamwork.


Monitoring progress with Azure Dashboards

With the ability to add widgets and charts to your dashboard, gaining visibility into your team’s progress has never been easier. Highly configurable dashboards are fully customizable, giving you and your team the flexibility to monitor progress, track trends, and boost workflow processes. Tailored to each team’s unique needs, these dashboards allow for seamless information sharing and progress monitoring.


What is Azure Dashboards?

Azure Dashboards is a powerful and convenient tool offered by Microsoft Azure that enables users to monitor and manage their cloud resources from a single location. The dashboard is a comprehensive solution that integrates with Azure infrastructure and services to provide users with a unified view of their resources. It delivers an intuitive, single-pane interface that enables users to access all the necessary tools and services.

Azure Dashboards are designed to provide users with a central location to keep track of all their cloud resources. For example, if a user has multiple services configured on the Azure portal, the dashboard can help to keep track of them all. The dashboard is essentially an aggregation of shortcuts to resources in Azure that makes it simple for users to access, organize, and visualize their resources. The Azure Dashboard allows users to have direct access to all the resources they need efficiently and without any hassle.

Whether you are a developer, IT admin, or business leader, Azure Dashboards provide an easy-to-use and highly customizable tool for managing your cloud resources.

With the ability to create personalized dashboards, users can easily manage their resources, monitor their services’ health, and make data-driven decisions based on real-time data. Azure Dashboards provide unparalleled convenience and ease of use and are a must-have for any organization looking to optimize its cloud management.


How does exactly Azure Dashboards work?

It enables organizations to collect data from various sources and present them in a visual and easily understandable format. It functions as a centralized platform that facilitates tracking and analyzing of the organization’s performance metrics, operational metrics, financial metrics, and other key performance indicators in real-time.

Azure Dashboards make use of customizable widgets that allow users to create visual representations of the data. The tool offers a wide range of widgets such as charts, tables, graphs, gauges, and maps which enable users to view their data from various perspectives. The widgets are easily customizable, allowing users to modify them based on their preferences, adding or removing metrics, data sources, and customization options.

Azure Dashboards allow users to share dashboards with team members or stakeholders, either by providing a shareable link or embedding the dashboard in an application or website. The tool’s powerful visualization capabilities make it easy for teams to collaborate and share insights, which can help improve decision-making processes in the organization.


Advantages of Azure Dashboards

Azure Dashboards offer a multitude of advantages that make it an essential tool for organizations utilizing Azure for their infrastructure and application needs. Some of the key advantages of Azure Dashboards:


1. Deep integration:

Azure Dashboards offer deep integration into the Azure ecosystem. Users can pin visualizations from various Azure services, such as metrics analytics, log analytics, and Application Insights, to their dashboards. This allows for a comprehensive overview of the organization’s Azure resources and helps users quickly identify issues and take action.

2. Multiple data sources support:

Azure Dashboards can combine data from various sources, including output from Metrics Explorer, Log Analytics queries, and maps and availability in Application Insights. This allows for a holistic view of an organization’s data, making it easier to identify trends, patterns, and anomalies.

3. Personal or shared dashboards:

Azure Dashboards offer the flexibility of creating personal or shared dashboards. Personal dashboards are useful for individuals to monitor their resources, while shared dashboards enable multiple users to collaborate and gain insights into the same data.

4. Integrated with Azure Role-Based Authentication (RBAC):

Azure Dashboards are integrated with Azure RBAC, which ensures that only authorized users can access dashboards and their underlying data. Users can also control the level of access for each user, ensuring that sensitive data is only accessible to certain individuals.

5. Automatic refresh: Azure Dashboards have automatic refresh capabilities, with metrics refreshing at a minimum of five minutes, and logs refreshing every minute. This enables users to monitor their resources in near real-time, and quickly respond to any issues.

6. Parametrized metrics dashboards:

Azure Dashboards also offer parametrized metrics dashboards, enabling users to customize the dashboard’s time stamp and other parameters based on their requirements. This helps to ensure that users are monitoring the right data, at the right time.

7. Flexible layout options:

Azure Dashboards provide flexible layout options, allowing users to create dashboards that suit their specific needs. Users can choose from various visualizations, charts, and widgets to create a customized view of their data.

8. Full-screen mode:

Azure Dashboards provide a full-screen mode, enabling users to maximize the viewing area and focus on the most critical data. This feature is particularly useful for monitoring large-scale deployments and ensuring that critical information is not missed.


Azure Dashboards offer numerous advantages that make it an essential tool for organizations utilizing Azure. With deep integration, multiple data sources support, personal or shared dashboards, integrated RBAC, automatic refresh capability, parametrized metrics dashboards, flexible layout options, and full-screen mode, Azure Dashboards enable users to monitor their resources effectively, identify issues promptly, and take action quickly.


Automating testing and continuous delivery

Advancements in technology have allowed for a new and efficient approach to the software development process. Benefiting both developers and stakeholders, automating testing and continuous delivery streamlines the process from start to end. Embrace the benefits of increased efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction by automating your testing and delivery processes. Say goodbye to manual testing and hello to a faster, more efficient way of delivering software.


What is continuous delivery (CD)?

Continuous delivery is a software development approach that emphasizes the automation of the build, test, configuration, and deployment processes, from the initial code commit to the deployment of the build into the production environment. It is a methodology that enables software development teams to release new features and updates quickly and with accuracy while minimizing manual handoffs and ensuring timely remediation of incidents.

The main objective of continuous delivery is to ensure that the software being developed is continuously deployable to production environments, with minimal errors or downtime. This is achieved through the use of automated release pipelines, which support multiple testing and staging environments to enable rigorous testing of new code and components before deployment. As a result, the software development process is streamlined, with higher levels of consistency in code quality, and greater predictability in deployment processes.

Continuous delivery is a lean practice that optimizes process time, eliminates the idle time, and minimizes time to deploy and time to mitigate or remediate production incidents. Automation reduces the time taken for manual tasks, thus increasing the efficiency of the development process, while also reducing the risk of human error. As a result, continuous delivery delivers greater value to the end users by ensuring the applications are up-to-date with the latest features, and that fixes are deployed quickly and accurately.


Why continuous integration (CI) is connected to CD?

Continuous integration (CI) is like the opening act in a grand performance of the software development process. It sets the stage for the main event: continuous delivery (CD). With CD, each successive environment is primed and ready to go after undergoing a series of validation tests.

The CD process is completely automated, so developers can breathe easily knowing that their work is continuously validated and deployed. By using a fail-fast approach, tests are prioritized based on their likelihood of failure, making the process more efficient and less error-prone. All in all, CI and CD are essential tools for modern software teams looking to streamline their development process and improve their end product.


The importance of automated testing

Have you ever wondered how cloud service providers integrate with test automation tools? Well, Azure, AWS, GCP, Oracle Cloud services, and other cloud service providers have got it covered. They offer integrations to multiple open-source and enterprise test automation tools. But, the most popular framework that has integrations into all the major cloud platforms is Selenium. Additionally, there are test platforms such as BrowserStack, that offer test automation tools as Software-as-a-Service solutions.

Automated testing is a critical component of software development practices that ensures the quality and reliability of software products. The process of automated testing involves using specialized software tools to execute a set of predefined tests on a software application, thereby verifying its functionality and identifying any issues or defects. The critical importance of automated testing can be attributed to several factors, including increased efficiency, reduced costs, and enhanced software quality.

One of the most significant advantages of automated testing is increased efficiency. Compared to manual testing, automated testing can execute test cases much faster and with greater accuracy. This is because the testing process is entirely automated, and there is no need for human intervention, leading to faster bug detection and quicker feedback. Moreover, automated testing can be easily integrated into the software development process, saving developers a considerable amount of time and effort.

Another advantage of automated testing is cost savings. By automating the testing process, organizations can significantly reduce the costs associated with manual testing, such as hiring and training testers, as well as the expenses related to testing equipment and infrastructure. Additionally, automated testing can help detect issues early in the development cycle, which can prevent costly bug fixes and rework later on.


Automation testing with Selenium and Azure DevOps

Selenium is a powerful open-source testing tool that has gained immense popularity among web application developers worldwide. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools that enables developers to perform Selenium automation testing in a range of different scenarios. Selenium provides a range of functionalities, such as web application testing, website compatibility testing, mobile testing, and regression testing.

The most widely used tools in the Selenium suite are Selenium WebDriver, Selenium Grid, and Selenium IDE. Selenium WebDriver is the primary tool used for Selenium automation testing and is used for automating web applications across different browsers and platforms. Selenium Grid is used for distributing test cases across multiple machines, which helps to speed up the testing process. Selenium IDE is a record and playback tool that is used for creating and executing browser-based tests.

Selenium has revolutionized the way developers approach testing their web applications. By eliminating the need for manual testing and offering a comprehensive suite of tools, Selenium has saved developers countless hours of testing time while improving the accuracy of their testing processes. Ultimately, by using Selenium, developers can ensure that their applications are thoroughly tested and optimized for performance, which is crucial to delivering a high-quality user experience.


Deploying applications to the cloud using Azure services

In the highly competitive market of private cloud computing, Amazon Web Services has emerged as the clear leader, boasting an impressive 31% share worldwide. Microsoft Services follows closely behind with a 9% market share, while Google lags behind with only 4%. Notably, the majority of Fortune 500 companies have chosen Microsoft Cloud as their preferred platform, with approximately 80% having a presence on it.

The cloud strategy employed by Microsoft is centered around its Windows Azure Platform (WAP), which is designed to provide users with an easily accessible and user-friendly cloud platform. With this approach, businesses can seamlessly relocate their applications between on-premises and cloud services, ensuring that managed resources remain accessible to all.

Ultimately, the success of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Services in the private cloud computing market can be attributed to their ability to offer comprehensive and reliable cloud solutions, combined with robust technical support and cutting-edge infrastructure. As competition in this space continues to intensify, companies must remain agile and innovative to stay ahead of the curve and meet the evolving demands of businesses and consumers alike.


Deployment components

Deployment is essential to realizing the potential of any project. With carefully selected components, you can ensure your deployment runs smoothly and effectively, unlocking new capabilities and optimizing results.


Deployment Source

A deployment source refers to the location where the code for an application is stored. In the case of production applications, the deployment source is usually a repository hosted by version control software such as Azure Repos, GitHub, or BitBucket. The deployment source, for development and testing scenarios, can be a project that is situated on the developer’s local machine. Additionally, cloud-based storage solutions such as OneDrive and Dropbox can also act as deployment sources for App Services.

It’s worth noting that while using cloud-based storage solutions might appear to be a convenient way to get started with App Service, however, it’s generally not recommended for large-scale production-grade applications. Instead, opting for a more robust and stable deployment source, such as a repository hosted by version control software, can be a better choice for enterprise-level applications that are expected to handle complex and mission-critical tasks. By selecting a dependable and secure deployment source, development teams can ensure that their applications can be deployed and updated reliably and efficiently, without encountering issues that could potentially affect the app’s performance or user experience.


Build Pipeline

After you have made your decision on the deployment source for your application, the next essential step is to choose an appropriate build pipeline. The purpose of a build pipeline is to read through your source code from the chosen deployment source and perform a series of steps such as code compilation, HTML and JavaScript minification, test running, and component packaging. It accomplishes these tasks to get your application in a runnable state.

It is important to note that the specific actions taken by the build pipeline ultimately depend on your language stack. Therefore, the code compiling or testing that is being performed on one application might not be the same for another. This means that selecting the right build pipeline is instrumental in the success of your application.

Build pipelines can be carried out by either a build server, such as Azure Pipelines or by executing operations locally. Whichever you choose, the pipeline ensures that your application is in a ready-to-go state. Therefore, by selecting the correct build pipeline, you can guarantee that your application functions optimally, avoiding any potential conflicts before your application even gets deployed.


Deployment Mechanism

In order to successfully deploy your built application onto your web app, you will need to implement a deployment mechanism. This mechanism will place your application into the /home/site/wwwroot directory of your web app, which is a mounted storage location that is shared by all instances of your web app. This means that once your application has been placed into this directory, all instances of your web app will receive a notification to synchronize the new files.


There are several deployment mechanisms that are supported by App Service:

  • Kudu:
    It is a powerful and open-source developer productivity tool that runs as a separate process in Windows App Service and as a second container in Linux App Service. Kudu is responsible for handling continuous deployments and it also provides HTTP endpoints for deployment, such as ZipDeploy.
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and WebDeploy:
    With this deployment mechanism, you are able to upload files to your web app using either your site credentials or user credentials. However, it is important to note that these mechanisms do not go through Kudu.

In addition to the aforementioned deployment mechanisms, there are also a variety of deployment tools that you can use, such as Azure Pipelines, Jenkins, and editor plugins. These tools utilize one of the available deployment mechanisms to facilitate the deployment process.

It is essential to have a deployment mechanism in place to ensure the successful deployment of your application onto your web app. With the wide range of mechanisms supported by App Service, you have the flexibility to choose the method that works best for your specific needs.


What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is a highly popular, open-source automation server that has become the go-to solution for software developers worldwide. The tool helps automate the entire software delivery process from build, test, and deployment through pipelines, making it significantly faster, more efficient, and easier to manage than traditional development methods. Written in the Java programming language, Jenkins provides an exceptionally easy way to set up a CI/CD environment for developers working with different languages and repositories.

Jenkins offers a comprehensive suite of features that automate routine and time-consuming development tasks, dramatically reducing the workload for developers. With Jenkins, there is no need to create scripts for individual steps as it provides a more robust and streamlined approach to integrating the entire range of build, test, and deployment tools. As a result, Jenkins allows developers to devote more time and resources to design and innovation, leading to faster product delivery, higher quality, and better outcomes for their organization.

The tool is highly customizable and enables developers to integrate with virtually any other tool, allowing them to tailor their development process to their specific needs and requirements. With its vast repository of plugins and extensions, Jenkins offers a powerful and flexible mechanism that enables developers to automate the entire software development pipeline seamlessly.

Jenkins has emerged as the most complete CI/CD automation tool that simplifies and streamlines the entire software delivery pipeline for developers worldwide, allowing them to improve the quality of software, reduce production downtime, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.


Why use Azure for application deployment?

Microsoft Azure is a preferred choice for the deployment of web and mobile applications due to several compelling reasons. One of the most significant advantages of Azure is its user-friendly interface that makes application deployment a breeze. This feature is particularly enticing for novice developers who prefer simplicity.

One of the primary reasons why Microsoft Azure stands out is because of its ability to provide continuous availability to applications deployed on the platform. In other words, even during system faults or crashes, users can still access the applications without interruption. This is a significant advantage because it ensures that users can always rely on the applications they need to use.

Another advantage of using Microsoft Azure is its vast selection of server types. With a wide range of server types, users can easily optimize their deployment for specific applications and use cases. This versatility allows for a more customized experience that meets the needs and requirements of individual users.

Microsoft Azure is also well-regarded for its scalability. The platform has the potential to seamlessly scale web applications or mobile applications from a few users to millions of users, making it an excellent choice for businesses that require efficient scaling capabilities.

Cloud storage is another great feature of Microsoft Azure. Cloud storage is essential because it provides performance-efficient storage of scaled applications. As a result, users can efficiently store and access their applications, even as they continue to scale with time.

Lastly, the cybersecurity features offered by Azure are impressive. Microsoft invests over a billion dollars annually to protect its cloud offerings and mitigate the risk of cyber threats. Azure has an incredible ability to protect itself from about seven trillion cyber threats daily. These features make Microsoft Azure a preferred platform for businesses looking for a reliable and secure cloud deployment solution.


Azure and security

When it comes to securing data, Microsoft Azure does an exceptional job with excellent security measures that mitigate data breaches. However, it is essential to implement best practices based on the possible scenarios that may cause data to be generated and the corresponding controls available for that state.

With comprehensive coverage of over 50 compliance offerings, Azure is unequivocally committed to ensuring data privacy in line with ISO 27018 or ISO 27001 international standards for cloud privacy. This is a certification that sets Azure apart from other cloud service providers, as it guarantees that Azure’s cloud infrastructure aligns with requirements for protecting personally identifiable information (PII).

How to choose the best software vendor for your company?

Notably, customers can leverage Azure’s compliance offerings to protect their data, including pre-built security and compliance controls that can be customized to suit unique business needs. This ensures that organizations access the same level of security and control afforded to large companies with the luxury of bespoke cybersecurity teams. In essence, using Azure to secure data is a safe bet for organizations of all sizes who wish to safeguard sensitive data against unauthorized access or breaches.


Improving software quality, efficiency, and reducing costs

Azure DevOps provides an optimized combination of software quality, efficiency, and cost savings for your business. With one platform that enables automation across development pipelines, you can streamline processes and boost productivity.

How much does Azure DevOps cost?

Azure DevOps pricing is based on a flexible model that allows you to choose the best plan for your organization’s needs. The cost depends on the number of users, the level of access required, and the usage of additional services like build and deployment pipelines. Here’s an overview of the pricing:


Azure DevOps Services:

  • Free tier: Azure DevOps Services offer a free tier that includes unlimited private Git repositories, up to 5 users with Basic access, and 2,000 Azure Pipelines minutes per month for CI/CD. This tier also includes 1 parallel job and 1 Microsoft-hosted job with 30 hours of runtime per month.
  • Basic access: For more than 5 users, Basic access costs $6 per user per month. This plan provides access to Azure Boards, Repos, Artifacts, and Test Plans.
  • Basic + Test Plans access: If you need access to Test Plans in addition to the Basic features, the cost is $52 per user per month.
  • Azure Pipelines: Additional pipeline capacity can be purchased separately. For Microsoft-hosted pipelines, the cost is $40 per parallel job per month. For self-hosted pipelines, the cost is $15 per parallel job per month.
  • Azure Artifacts: The first 2 GB of storage is free. After that, the cost is $0.25 per GB per month.

Azure DevOps Server (on-premises):

  • Azure DevOps Server is available as a separate product for on-premises deployment. Pricing is based on the number of users and the level of access required. A one-time purchase of Client Access Licenses (CALs) is needed for each user or device accessing the server. The cost depends on the edition (Express, Basic, or Enterprise) and the number of users or devices.

Please note that pricing may change over time, and additional costs may apply for data transfer, storage, or other services. For the most up-to-date pricing information, visit the Azure DevOps pricing page.

How to improve software quality with Azure DevOps?

DevOps providers have been revolutionizing the software development industry by leveraging top-of-the-line automation tools and cloud-based infrastructure. These providers enable companies to accelerate their time-to-market, enhance the quality of their software, and achieve greater agility in their software development efforts.

The future of DevOps is being shaped by a significant trend – the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. With AI and ML tools, businesses can automate monotonous tasks, extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data, and generate predictive analytics to help organizations streamline their software development processes and augment the overall quality of their products.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can aid DevOps in numerous ways. One of the key benefits of using these tools is that they can help businesses identify patterns in data, which enables developers to make data-driven decisions. By making accurate predictions based on insights extracted from machine learning algorithms, organizations can optimize their software development efforts and improve the final product’s quality.

Moreover, these tools make it possible for companies to achieve better results with less manual intervention, which increases efficiency and agility. AI and ML can automate routine and time-consuming tasks, such as manual testing or monitoring, freeing up valuable resources and slashing turnaround times.


Greater efficiency with DevOps

Automation has become an essential component in achieving maximum efficiency within cloud-native DevOps environments. Implementing automation technology to handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as testing and deployment, not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error. Moreover, automation ensures faster and more consistent delivery of new features and bug fixes to production.

To achieve comprehensive automation, it is recommended to invest in an automation strategy that covers the entire software development life cycle – from coding and testing to deployment and monitoring. Popular tools such as Jenkins, TravisCI, and CircleCI are recommended for automating your CI/CD pipeline, while Ansible or Terraform can automate infrastructure and operations tasks.

Automation technology affords numerous benefits, including enhanced productivity, reduced lead time, and improved product quality. In terms of productivity, automating repetitive and time-consuming processes ensures that team members can focus on more significant activities, thereby maximizing output. Additionally, by speeding up processes, lead times are reduced, resulting in quicker release of new features, bug fixes, and updates to production. Furthermore, automation technology guarantees product quality and stability through consistent and error-free processes.


Reducing costs with Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is a powerful cloud-based platform that offers a comprehensive set of services, tools, and features to help organizations streamline their development, deployment, and operations workflows while minimizing costs. By leveraging Azure DevOps, businesses can automate key tasks, eliminate wasteful practices, and optimize their development and deployment pipelines. Through Azure DevOps, businesses can reduce costs in several ways:


#1 Migration to the cloud is the first to choose

One of the key steps for companies to stay ahead of the competition in the digital age is to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud. This move not only saves development and maintenance costs but also allows organizations to channel their staff’s expertise on more productive elements that will help reduce their expenses via efficient automation strategies.

Switching to cloud-based infrastructure is a straightforward process that many businesses tend to overlook. However, the benefits it brings can be truly transformative in terms of scalability, flexibility, and agility. With cloud-based services, applications that require serverless computing or artificial intelligence can be implemented with ease. This is because reputable cloud service providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure offer seamless infrastructure management features that allow businesses to focus on their core competencies.

Companies can migrate to cloud-based infrastructure and make the most of its features. Multi-cloud approaches are easier to implement, and infrastructure can be centralized, simplifying the development process. Companies can streamline their workflows and reduce their operational costs with cloud-based solutions, freeing up more resources for innovation strategies. Considering these factors, migrating to the cloud and capitalizing on its benefits seems to be a no-brainer for companies aspiring to remain viable in the digital age.


#2 A good plan is the key

Every application has its own unique requirements, and as such, needs its own specific infrastructure. It has been noted that when companies decide to move their infrastructure to the cloud or migrate between cloud providers, they often lack the necessary experience needed to carefully plan and evaluate the details of the transition. This can result in hefty costs in the long-run, as organizations fail to purchase the correct resources and services or over-purchase unnecessarily.

As Hicron Software House we offer our valued customers expert consulting services based on years of experience working within the field of DevOps technology and automation. Our comprehensive knowledge and expertise allow us to develop the most efficient and effective technology solutions personalized to meet the specific demands of each application. We work with our clients to plan and execute a strategy for the seamless and successful implementation of the infrastructure to the cloud, ensuring the most optimal use of resources and minimal costs. Trust us to provide the guidance and support needed to make your business operations streamlined and cost-efficient.


#3 Fully use your resources

In today’s digital age, it’s crucial for businesses to make the most of their resources. This is particularly applicable to eCommerce websites, but is also relevant to any application, as efficient resource usage is crucial for any online platform to function effectively. One of the most common scenarios in which resource optimization is vital is during high-demand events such as Black Friday, when a sudden influx of visitors can cause pages to load slowly or even crash, resulting in significant losses for the business. However, such scenarios can occur at any time throughout the year.

Fortunately, there are solutions available that allow businesses to balance their financial resources without compromising on speed or quality. DevOps and cloud computing companies offer services such as auto-scaling and load balancing, which enable businesses to pay for the precise amount of resources they require, negating over-expenditure and reducing downtime.


#4 Bet on containers

Incorporating containers into your operations can result in significant cost savings. Unlike traditional virtual machines (VMs), containers use minimal resources, making them faster to execute and operate at a lower cost. Additionally, working with containers is simpler because they do not require an operating system (OS) or a hypervisor. One key advantage of using containers is their scalability, which means lower operating costs.


#5 Use serverless computing

Serverless computing has emerged as a leading technology in the field of DevOps thanks to its exceptional cost-saving potential. This innovative technology enables companies to experience a whole new level of budget savings by paying only for the resources utilized by their applications. With serverless computing, businesses can avoid unnecessary expenses as there is no cost associated with inactive apps, much like how utility bills work.

By leveraging serverless computing, businesses can scale their applications swiftly, manage them effortlessly, and optimize computing resources more effectively. The service provides an economical option for running cloud applications with zero upfront costs or ongoing maintenance expenses. This delivers improved agility and a greater focus on meeting business goals. With the advantages it offers, it’s no surprise that serverless computing is quickly gaining traction and adoption across various industries.


Benefits of using Azure DevOps for software development teams

Software development teams face many challenges when it comes to delivering high-quality software applications to end-users. Fortunately, Microsoft Azure DevOps can help alleviate these challenges by offering a range of benefits that can streamline the software development process.


#1 Agility

One of the core advantages of Azure DevOps is improved agility. DevOps practices encourage greater collaboration between teams, which ultimately results in faster software development processes. This enables teams to release new features and updates to applications more rapidly.


#2 Rapid application deployment

Another major benefit of using Azure DevOps is rapid application deployment. Automation is a crucial element in ensuring speedy application deployments, and Azure DevOps provides teams with the tools they need to automate the planning, configuring, testing and release of software applications.


#3 Improved workplace collaboration

By providing teams with a platform to share files, work on code together, and monitor changes across multiple applications, Azure DevOps helps to promote better communication and stronger working relationships.


#4 Quick problem-solving

DevOps practices are known for enabling quick problem-solving, and this is another area where Azure DevOps excels. Teams can use Azure DevOps to swiftly identify and resolve problems that arise during software development and deployment.


#5 Risk automation

By automating risk reduction measures, teams can reduce the likelihood of errors during software development and deployment. Additionally, the use of a single source of truth (SSOT) to manage software artifacts helps to ensure consistency and accuracy across all applications.


#6 High availability

Is a top priority for software development teams, and Azure DevOps offers the necessary assurances to keep services running smoothly. Teams can count on Azure DevOps for a reliable and stable platform to support their software development processes.


#7 Testing and quality assurance

These two are central to delivering high-quality software applications, and Azure DevOps offers a range of tools and services to support this effort. Teams can automate testing, track results, and ensure that code changes do not negatively impact existing functionality.


#8 Project management

Azure DevOps provides a centralized platform for project management, making it easier for teams to track and prioritize work items. By providing teams with a single platform for all of their project management needs, Azure DevOps promotes greater efficiency and productivity.

Azure DevOps is an incredibly powerful tool for software development teams. By providing a range of benefits, from improved agility to centralized project management, teams can leverage Azure DevOps to streamline their software development processes and deliver better-quality applications to end users.


Integration with other Azure services and tools

Azure is a powerful platform that offers seamless integration with a vast array of open-source and third-party tools and services across the entire DevOps workflow. Developers can now spend less time integrating various tools and solutions and more time creating high-quality software, thus delivering quality products faster than ever before. Azure has been designed to provide support for a plethora of DevOps tools, along with third-party solutions to cater to the most common business needs and scenarios.

One of the most significant advantages that Azure provides is its support for popular open-source tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Puppet, Terraform, Cassandra, and many others. This has enabled developers to accelerate their migration into Azure and utilize its potent features for their ongoing and future projects.

Azure Pipelines is a reliable and flexible solution for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. They allow developers to deploy their applications directly onto the Azure platform from their preferred third-party solutions such as Jenkins. Furthermore, Azure offers the Azure Resource Manager, which is an excellent choice for infrastructure as code. With this tool, developers can easily provision and manage Azure infrastructure from their favorite third-party software like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and Terraform.

Azure offers a highly integrated and cohesive ecosystem that facilitates seamless integration across the entire DevOps workflow. The platform’s support for open source and third-party tools, coupled with the ability to use Azure Pipelines and Azure Resource Manager, offers developers a comprehensive, customizable, and flexible environment that supports fast and efficient software delivery.


Best practices for using Azure DevOps effectively

Azure DevOps is a powerful platform that offers a wide range of tools to help organizations achieve their goals in software development projects. However, to maximize its potential, it is important to follow best practices that ensure smooth collaboration, efficient workflows, and effective outcomes. Here are some of the best practices for using Azure DevOps:


1. Set up the project teams:

Teamwork is a vital aspect of software development, and Azure Boards makes it easy to define and organize teams for each project. The platform supports default teams, as well as feature-specific teams, enabling seamless collaboration while allowing different teams to operate independently. It is crucial to define teams early in the project to ensure efficient coordination and avoid conflicts.

2. Set up sprints:

Sprints are the building blocks of software development projects, and Azure DevOps provides powerful tools for managing them. By specifying iteration paths, project teams can define the sprint cadence, usually one to four weeks. This feature enables team members to stay on track toward the project’s deadline and ensures everyone is aware of their tasks and responsibilities.

3. Support searches and filtering with tags:

Tags are invaluable for organizing and querying work items in Azure Boards. Team members can assign ad hoc tags to work items, enabling users to filter boards and backlogs based on tags. However, it is essential to provide general guidance on tag usage to ensure consistency across the project and minimize confusion.

4. Use automated testing and deployment:

Automated testing and deployment reduce the risk of errors and increase the quality of the software deliverables. Azure DevOps offers robust automation tools, including build pipelines, release pipelines, and continuous integration, providing a seamless and efficient way to test and deploy software. Setting up automated testing and deployment early in the project ensures a smooth development process, enabling the team to focus on core development tasks.

5. Monitor and optimize performance:

Performance metrics and monitoring are critical for identifying bottlenecks and optimizing workflows. Azure DevOps provides detailed analytics across multiple dimensions, including team performance, work items, and code coverage. By regularly monitoring performance, teams can quickly identify areas that need improvement and take corrective measures.


Following these best practices in using Azure DevOps can help project teams maximize productivity and achieve successful outcomes. By setting up project teams, defining sprints, using tags, leveraging automation, and monitoring performance, teams can streamline workflows, collaborate effectively, and deliver high-quality software.


Troubleshooting and resolving common issues

Finding solutions to the challenges of DevOps facing your business can be a daunting task but with proper troubleshooting, you can overcome any difficulty and take advantage of every opportunity.


General and common issues and solutions

If you encounter any problems related to integrations, you can easily access integration logs that provide valuable insights into the issue at hand. To access these logs, simply navigate to the UserVoice Admin Console and go to the Settings section. From there, select the Integrations option, and you will find the Integration Logs section located at the bottom of the page.

The integration logs are a tool that allows you to view detailed information about the integration process, including any errors or warnings that occurred during the integration. By analyzing these logs, you can gain a deeper understanding of any issues that may be preventing your integration from working properly. This information can be used to troubleshoot the problem and resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.

The UserVoice Admin Console provides a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to access and analyze these logs. You can sort the logs by date, account, or integration type, and filter the results by various criteria. This allows you to quickly locate the relevant logs and view the details you need to resolve any integration issues. Here are some general issues you may encounter:


Problem: In order to effectively troubleshoot any issues related to the integration between UserVoice and Azure DevOps, it is important to have a solid understanding of the causes and solutions to common problems. One such issue is the occurrence of a “Connector configuration not found” problem. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the authentication for the Jira user expiring or the user no longer exists.

Solution: To solve this problem, it is necessary to remove and reconfigure the integration with a current Jira user, preferably a third-party integrations user reserved for this purpose.


Problem: Another frequent issue is the error message “Azure DevOps returned an error when creating a new work item”.

Solution: To identify the root cause of this problem, it is recommended that you check the integration logs located in UserVoice settings. This will help determine the specific error encountered, such as a required field not being populated by UserVoice. In such cases, it may be necessary to either create the work item in ADO before linking it with UserVoice or to make the field in question optional.


Problem: It is possible that all new work items may be mistakenly attributed to the user that configured the integration.

Solution: It is important to note that this is an expected behavior and cannot be changed. All actions will be performed under this user’s profile. To avoid this issue, it is advised to use a profile that is solely reserved for third-party integrations.


Problem: Another possible error message is “No authorized Azure DevOps account found”.

Solution: In order to resolve this issue, it is necessary to close any previous ADO sessions and to reconfigure the integration within UserVoice. It is important to ensure that the authenticated user has all required permissions, such as a Visual Studio subscription and the role of project Admin. Additionally, the user cannot have a Stakeholder license.


Problem: Linked work items may sometimes return a “404” error message. This can be caused by changes in the ADO URL or configuration.

Solution: If this is the case, it is necessary to update UserVoice. It is also important to ensure that any required fields are properly populated or to link only to existing items.


Problem: Lastly, an “Internal error/400” may occur due to a variety of factors, such as lack of necessary access or an expired access token.

Solution: To resolve this issue, it is necessary to remove the integration from UserVoice and to re-link it with the necessary permissions. Previous links to items will not be lost in this process.


Common access and permission issues and troubleshooting

Project members may find they are unable to access certain projects, services, or features due to various reasons. To help troubleshoot these issues quickly and effectively, here is a list of the most frequent causes of denied access.


Issue: The user is unable to access a particular service or feature, as their access level is not supported. This can be due to subscription limitations or inadequate access privileges.

Troubleshooting action: To pinpoint the root cause, review the user’s access level and determine subscription status. Verify if their subscription is up-to-date and if the user is authorized to access the specific feature.


Issue: The user is barred from a feature, either because they belong to a security group that does not support its access or have explicitly been denied permissions.

Troubleshooting action: To diagnose the underlying issue, examine the user’s permissions closely. Trace the specific permission required to access the feature or check the user’s membership within the security group.


Issue: Although the user’s access permissions have been granted recently, the client has not refreshed to recognize the updated changes yet.

Troubleshooting action: To resolve this, have the user refresh their client or re-evaluate their permissions.


Issue: The user is attempting to take advantage of a feature reserved for a team administrator of a particular team, but they lack the required role authorization.

Troubleshooting action: To add them to the role, follow the steps to add or remove a team administrator.


Issue: The user has not enabled a preview feature and is therefore unable to access the specific feature.

Troubleshooting action: The user should open the Preview feature and check the on/off status of the specific feature. For more information, check the steps to manage preview features.


Issue: The project member has been added to a restricted scope security group, such as the Project-Scoped Users group.

Troubleshooting action: To identify if this is the cause, review the user’s security group memberships, as well as the permissions associated with these groups.


Conclusion and next steps

Azure DevOps offers a comprehensive platform for efficiently managing software development projects. It provides an all-in-one package that makes it easy to manage source code, build and test applications, and deploy them to the production environment. By leveraging Azure DevOps, organizations can enjoy streamlined workflows, increased collaboration, and faster time to market.

Azure DevOps offers many benefits for organizations, including easy integration with other popular development tools, and cloud-based scalability. Implementing Azure DevOps can undoubtedly provide a competitive advantage, both in terms of the time it saves and the quality of code that it enables developers to produce.

Additionally, those already using Azure DevOps can continuously improve their software development practices by exploring new features and best practices offered by the platform. Azure DevOps regularly updates its feature set, ensuring that developers have access to the latest technologies that can improve their workflows and outcomes.

Overall, adopting Azure DevOps is a smart choice for organizations seeking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their software development practices. By embracing the platform’s capabilities, teams can accelerate development cycles and deliver better software to end-users more quickly.

By working with experts familiar with Azure and DevOps best practices, you can get a lot for your business. As Hicron Software House, we implement such projects. Get in touch to learn more!

Angelika Agapow
Angelika Agapow
Content Marketing Specialist
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What our partners say about us

After carefully evaluating suppliers, we decided to try a new approach and start working with a near-shore software house. Cooperation with Hicron Software House was something different, and it turned out to be a great success that brought added value to our company.

With HICRON’s creative ideas and fresh perspective, we reached a new level of our core platform and achieved our business goals.

Many thanks for what you did so far; we are looking forward to more in future!

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Jan-Henrik Schulze
Head of Industrial Lines Development at HDI Group

Hicron is a partner who has provided excellent software development services. Their talented software engineers have a strong focus on collaboration and quality. They have helped us in achieving our goals across our cloud platforms at a good pace, without compromising on the quality of our services. Our partnership is professional and solution-focused!

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Phil Scott
Director of Software Delivery at NBS

The IT system supporting the work of retail outlets is the foundation of our business. The ability to optimize and adapt it to the needs of all entities in the PSA Group is of strategic importance and we consider it a step into the future. This project is a huge challenge: not only for us in terms of organization, but also for our partners – including Hicron – in terms of adapting the system to the needs and business models of PSA. Cooperation with Hicron consultants, taking into account their competences in the field of programming and processes specific to the automotive sector, gave us many reasons to be satisfied.


PSA Group - Wikipedia
Peter Windhöfel
IT Director At PSA Group Germany

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