DevOps combines software development teams (Dev) and Information Technology or IT operations (Ops). This has quickly become one of the leading methodologies behind information technology. One main goal is to provide software releases with fewer errors as rapidly as possible.
To reduce the app development cycle, developers often turn to DevOps. However, in case it is unclear, DevOps is a specific approach to developing software-related products.
Azure DevOps, on a related note, is a series of integrated software. The software is designed to streamline and improve the application development process. Read on to find out exactly what DevOps is, what it does, and how your business can benefit from it.
What is DevOps?
Microsoft Azure DevOps, is SaaS or software as a service platform. The main goal is to provide users access to an end-to-end chain of software development and deployment tools. This is a tool or set of tools that are primarily used by software and application developers.
DevOps is designed for users to plan, develop, deliver, and operate various apps and software. Azure DevOps is not a one-trick pony, but in fact, consists of multiple integrated services. These individual services form an application development powerhouse that is becoming increasingly popular.
The Main Components of Azure DevOps
As mentioned above, DevOps is not just one program but rather a series of tools that work together. There are five main components of Azure DevOps to be aware of. They consist of the following:
A platform, language, and cloud-agnostic CI/CD platform. It comes with support for Kubernetes or containers.
This tool provides simple visualization, planning, and work item tracking. It also comes with various reporting tools.
These artifacts provide integrated package management for developers. They support npm, Python, Maven, and NuGet package feeds. These can be both from private and public sources.
This is a private, cloud-based Git repository. It includes advanced file management, pull requests, and many other features.
Azure Test Plans
This is a fully comprehensive and integrated testing solution.
Azure DevOps and The Four Stages of Application Lifecycles
In terms of app and software development, there are four main stages to consider. These stages depend on each other for the success of the final product.
One of the main goals of DevOps is to ensure that each phase is properly managed while also taking the others into account.
The four main stages here include planning, developing, delivering, and operating, and DevOps is designed to assist software developers in all four of these stages. So let’s discuss how DevOps can help companies regarding these four stages of app development.
In this first phase, teams define, ideate, and thoroughly describe the app’s features being developed. One component is to track progress at both micro and macro levels, from single to portfolio-wide tasks. DevOps allows teams to track bugs, create backlogs, manage agile software development, and more. DevOps teams can also use dashboards to visualize progress in easy to identify ways.
The second phase is the development phase which incorporates all coding aspects. This includes writing, testing, and reviewing all code and integrating them into the final product. Git, a form of version control, can be used by all team members to code and work simultaneously. DevOps can also assist in the rapid innovation of code without sacrificing the quality and stability of the app. Azure DevOps comes with a range of tools designed specifically for this development phase.
Azure DevOps also assists with the delivery or deployment. This system is very beneficial in terms of both the testing and deployment of software. Without getting too technical, the main goal is to allow developers to get products functioning and into the consumer’s hands ASAP.
The final phase is the operating phase. Azure DevOps is designed to monitor, analyze, and provide alerts about all deployed software, and it comes with various analytical and monitoring tools. For instance, Azure Blueprints ensures that everything falls within compliance regulations. Another example is Azure Monitor that helps accumulate and analyze vital data.
The Benefits of Azure DevOps
Microsoft Azure DevOps has various advantages and benefits compared to similar platforms.
Constant New Features
Users of DevOps get access to a new suite of features every three weeks. These new features are presented to users so they can quickly familiarize themselves with them.
Azure DevOps features 24/7 support and features an SLA of 99.9% uptime.
No Upgrades to Get in the Way
It’s not that DevOps has no upgrades. However, due to the CI/CD model used, users don’t have to worry about systems slowing down due to ongoing upgrades. As a result, patching and toolchain upgrades are conducted without adverse user effects.
An All-Platform Platform
DevOps is one of the most versatile systems as it can run on the three major operating systems (Windows, macOS, and Linux). It also works in any language, including iOS, .Net, Android, Node.js, Java, Python, C/C++, Ruby, PHP, and both GCP and AWS.
A Flexible Suite of Tools
With DevOps, you don’t have to purchase the full suite of tools. Instead, you can choose to use only those you require, which allows you to save money.
Compatible With Other Microsoft Products
DevOps works seamlessly with other products designed by Microsoft. This includes SharePoint, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Dynamics CRM, SQL Server, and more.
Advantages Over Other Lifecycle Management Tools
Let’s look at some of the competitive advantages that Azure DevOps has over the leading competitors.
- Jenkins, a leading competitor, may be easy to use, but it is so simple that it loses usefulness.
- JIRA is another leading lifecycle management tool. However, its permissions, reporting, and project admin features just don’t stack up compared to DevOps.
- GitLab is also another option to consider, yet it doesn’t stack up to Azure DevOps in many regards. DevOps has better testing, reporting, and integration.
So, Why is DevOps Important?
Whether we are talking about DevOps as a subject or Azure DevOps specifically, the fact remains the same. As a software development approach, it allows for a streamlined process that makes the development of new products much faster and easier.
It also helps simplify the maintenance of software deployments that have already been made. In addition, DevOps helps reduce recovery time when outages and incidents do occur. In terms of Azure DevOps specifically, it appears to be the best system for all of these purposes.
The bottom line is that when teams embrace the DevOps approach, they can work faster, smarter, and better. The result is that customers get better products with fewer errors and greater overall functionality. As a result, Azure DevOps is the best software lifecycle management tool of its kind.