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If your company is developing software in cycles of more than three months with multiple stakeholders, then you should consider DevOps.

DevOps describes a development process that encompasses Agile operations and Agile development. Agile is characterized by quick development cycles, putting the software out there, learning what’s working (and what’s not), then making changes as required. Users will forgive the occasional bug if they recognize that the software or app is constantly evolving and getting better.

Agile as a whole includes tools, network, security, user experience, user interfaces, machines and much more. These components and people working together as one unit toward a successful project make DevOps.

Microsoft recently announced a major upgrade to its DevOps tools, formerly known as Visual Studio Team Services. VSTS is a tool that assists with DevOps. You can plan, collaborate and track your applications from idea to completion and then into maintenance and evolution. VSTS provides you with the flexibility and responsiveness you need to stay on top of changing priorities, deadlines and requirements.

VSTS is now Azure DevOps, a set of cloud-hosted DevOps services that work in any language and on any platform. Azure DevOps has everything you would need to turn an idea to an application. You can plan your projects with Agile tools, manage your test plans from the web, version your code using Git and deploy your solutions through a cross platform continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) system. Azure DevOps allows full traceability and visibility across your development activities.

The main components include: 

Azure Boards

Discuss work across your teams by leveraging faster proven Agile tools to plan, track and collaborate. Powerful work tracking with Kanban boards, backlogs, team dashboards, custom reporting and more.

Azure Pipelines

Build, test and deploy with CI/CD that works with any language, platform and cloud. Connect to any Git repository and deploy continuously. 

Azure Repos

Nope, not just check-in of code. Collaborate to build better code with pull requests and advanced file management.  

Azure Test Plans

Test and ship—all in one planned and exploratory solution.

Azure Artifacts

Maven, npm, NuGet package feeds from the public and private sources. Create, host and share packages with your team and add artifacts to your CI/CD pipelines.

Azure DevOps is a comprehensive solution that any IT development team doing serious work should consider. And if your company is using Visual Studio Team Services, it’s time to plan to migrate over. VSTS is going to be around for quite some time. However, the evolution is already here.

The licenses for VSTM and Azure DevOps are currently interoperable, so you should begin to leverage Azure DevOps if you are already using VSTS. Start by enabling the “New Navigation” if you are already using Visual Studio Team Services.

Carl Johanson

About the author

Carl Johanson

Practice Director, QA & Testing

Carl has been creating custom, forward-focused and effective QA solutions for Pyramid Consulting since 2012. Implementing the latest tech and thought leadership delights Carl just as it does clients. In his personal life, Carl focuses on doing things right and doing the right things—an important distinction—as efficiently as possible. If you need Carl urgently, check out your local drumming scene or the closest beach, otherwise you can find him at home with his beautiful and ever-growing family.

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