Like every other organization in the IT industry, Softobiz was also struggling with creating a streamlined workflow to reduce the time-to-market and make the business function better. We were using the DevOps approach and were benefitting from it up to some extent. However, in order to bring the best out of DevOps, it was important for us to use it in combination with other technologies. This introduced us to Azure DevOps which is the practice of using DevOps with the cloud service provider Azure.
This blog will take you through our experience with Azure DevOps and how the practice has helped us become 10 times more productive in the last few years. Let’s begin:
What is Azure DevOps?
Azure DevOps was introduced by Microsoft to help clients release high-quality products in less time. The process involves integrating different tools from the Azure Cloud service provider with the DevOps process to improve the product development life cycle.
Azure DevOps is the evolution of VSTS (visual studio team services) and a result of years of using their own tools and developing a process for building and delivering products in a better way.
Components of Azure DevOps
A continuous delivery pipeline automates the tasks required to deliver for software, from development to deployment, to production monitoring. The pipeline also manages to have clear communication between various teams to manage the tasks. Azure DevOps provides easy methods to set up such pipelines. These pipelines provide a cloud-based environment for development, deployment, and testing. Moreover, azure pipelines can be used to deliver software for any mainstream platform-even clouds like AWS. These pipelines work with any language. Flexibility is the key component of DevOps and these pipelines help deliver it.
We need better communication for teams working on multiple projects and azure boards provide for better tracking of this kind of work. It also lets you deal with backlogs and ensures to create better custom reports.
3. Azure Repos
Azure Repos lets you build Git repositories hosted in the cloud. You can pull, push, commit your changes in these repositories. Also by hosting your code in Azure Repos, you can ensure that everyone in your team can access, track and contribute to it- with the proper level of access to it.
You can also use GitHub, but Azure Repos are more dynamic as it enables to integrate the repositories with webhooks and APIs. Thus, these features of azure Repos hep integrate repositories into large, scalable CI/CD pipeline.
3. Azure Dev test plans
Azure Dev test plans help you achieve goals by automating work required to set up testing environments for software. Instead of investing time in testing provisioning test environments by hand, you can just use DevTest labs, which supports Windows and Linux environments, to integrate thorough testing into the rest of your CI/CD pipeline.
4. Azure artifacts
Using Azure artifacts, you can create, host and share packages among your team. This component ensures your pipeline has fully integrated package management.
Azure DevOps supports both public and private cloud configurations. You can run them on any platform. For your software-driven organization, Azure DevOps ensures a robust platform on which you can deploy your solutions on a pipeline for continuous integration and deployment.
Azure DevOps Architecture
This is how Azure DevOps works:
Step 1: Developer changes the application source code.
Step 2: The application code containing the web.config file is uploaded to the source code repository in Azure Repos.
Step 3: Continuous integration triggers the application to build and unit tests using Azure Test Plans.
Step 4: Continuous deployment within Azure Pipelines triggers an automated deployment of application artifacts with environment-specific configuration values.
Step 5: The artifacts are then deployed to the Azure App Service. Further, Azure Application Insights collects and analyzes health, performance, and usage data.
Step 6: Developers monitor and manage health, performance, and usage information.
Step 7: The backlog information is used to prioritize new features and bug fixes using Azure Boards.
Softobiz Hands-on Experience with Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps offers everything we need to plan, develop, and deploy a project such as GitRepository, CodeRepo, and Dashboard in a single program. Hence, it has become possible for us to easily manage all the aspects of a project like planning, designing, coding, and deployment. We can assign tasks to team members, track the progress of assigned tasks, run automated tests on these tasks for bugs, and then deploy the sprint if everything is right. In simple words, Azure DevOps lets us control the whole product development process from a single solution.
As a result, we can:
- Release projects faster
- Fix issues in real-time
- Accelerate time to market
- Enhance business productivity
Azure DevOps is a strong agile tool that focuses on planning and tracking combined together with developer and DevOps tool for developing and deploying code to your server. It supports nice GUI and efficient integration. We at Softobiz use Azure DevOps CI/CD pipeline to ensure solutions from product development to product delivery.