DEV Community


Posted on

Azure DevOps Tutorial : Why Should You Use DevOps On Azure?

DevOps is the need of the hour and many organisations are wanting to incorporate this approach to make their businesses function better. Azure is one of the leading cloud service providers and supports a powerful set of DevOps services. This article on Azure DevOps helps you unravel implementation of DevOps using Azure.

What is Azure?

A company that provides different services to cater Cloud Computing needs, is known as a cloud service provider. Amongst the various cloud service providers or vendors is Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure is a platform for Cloud Computing which is created by developers and IT professionals at Microsoft. It lets you build, deploy and manage applications through their globally owned network of data centers.

These are some of the core service domains that Microsoft Azure impacts. Those are:


What is DevOps?

Going by the definition,

DevOps is the process of integrating Developer and Operation teams in order to improve collaborations and productivity. This is done by automating workflows and productivity for continuous measurement of application performance.

This definition might seem ambiguous to beginners because there are a lot of unexplained terms there, let us try and understand those first.

Faster delivery of software deployment has become the need of the hour. Because the software market these days is volatile and you need to stay updated and ensure you deliver the best and the latest software and this can be achieved by continuous delivery and integration. This is where roles of software developers and system administrators become very important.

A software developer is the one who develops the software. They have to ensure a software has following parameters taken care of:

New features
Security Upgrades
Bug Fixes
A developer however has to take ‘time to market’ under consideration and the time constraint forces him to re-adjust his activities like:

Pending code
Old code
New products
New features
And this is what happens when the product is put into the production environment, it may exhibit some unforeseen errors. This is because the code written in the development environment which can be different from the production environment.

Now let us see the same scenario from the operators perspective:

This team looks after the maintenance to ensure appropriate up time of the software to the production environment. With the growing software development needs, administrators or operators are forced to take care of many servers in parallel.

Now, the tools that were used to manage the earlier amount of servers may not be sufficient to manage the growing number of servers. The operations team makes minor changes to the code so that it can fit into the production environment equally well as it did in the developer environment. Thus these deployments need to be scheduled properly to avoid delays.

When the code is deployed the responsibility of an operator increases even further, they are required to manage code changes and errors if any. At times it may seem like developers have forced their responsibilities to the operations side. This is where the problem lies and if these teams could work together a lot problems would be solved like they:

could break down silos
share responsibilities
start thinking alike
work as a team

This is what DevOps does, it bring in these two teams under one roof. Now I believe the definition we saw at the beginning of the section, makes a lot more sense.

Now let us see what makes Azure a good fit to use DevOps and what makes Azure DevOps a good choice?

Why go for Azure DevOps?

We all know Azure is a leading cloud service provider and is definitely the need of the hour. Following features by Azure ensure DevOps is implemented in the best possible way:

Catalyze cloud development

You can now worry less about creating pipelines and focus on software development. Whether it is about dealing with pipelines, creating new ones or managing the existing ones, Azure provides end to end solution for the same and thus speeds up the process of software development.

Better Reliability and Continuous Integration

Now you don’t have to worry about managing security and infrastructures and you can focus more on developing innovative solutions. With Azure and CI/CD it supports, you can harness and use infrastructure as code which boasts of tools like Azure Resource manager or Terraform—that help you create repeatable deployments which also meet compliance standards.

Freedom Of Customization

With Azure providing end to end solutions for your software development you have the freedom of using the tools of your choice as Azure readily incorporates with most of the market tools out there thus making customization and experimentation easier.

Above reasons make Azure a highly compatible and preferable option for DevOps. Let us now understand what are the components that make Azure DevOps a good combination.

Components of Azure DevOps

Following are the Azure DevOps Components:

Test Plans

Let us understand them one by one:

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines

So what is an Azure Pipeline? Well in simple words it is a pipeline supported by Azure platform where you can build, test and deploy applications continuously.

Azure Boards

Azure Boards

If you have multiple teams working on a project, those teams need to communicate better. Azure Boards ensure better work tracking. Lets you deal with backlogs and also ensure creation great custom reports.

Azure Artifacts

Azure Boards

Azure enables you to create, host, and also share packages among your team. Artifacts in Azure ensure your pipelines have fully integrated package management. This can achieved with a mere click. You can also create Maven, npm, and NuGet packages. Here the team size does not matter.

Azure Repos

Azure Boards

Think of it as a home or a storage for repositories. It provides you with unlimited cloud-hosted private Git repositories. You can pull, push and commit your changes to these repositories.

Azure Test Plans

Azure Boards

It provides you with a complete toolkit to perform end to end, manual and exploratory testing ensuring your software functions just fine.

Top comments (3)

omiossec profile image
Olivier Miossec

Great, I love to work with Azure DevOps Pipeline. The most, it work with GitHub repos and open source project get more build minutes

lfosgett profile image
Lauren Fosgett

Great overview! I recently joined a team that utilizes Azure DevOps and I'm still wrapping my mind around all the features it offers.

madeby7pace profile image
Devs @ 7pace

Solid intro for teams who are new. Might want to add that if you can't solve a problem in DevOps, there's probably an extension that will solve it for you.