Just yesterday it was announced that the next iteration of Microsoft’s DevOps offering, Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), has arrived. Yep, with the very descriptive name of Azure DevOps, this new service is aimed at making it very easy to set up CI/CD pipelines to get your code into Azure as fast as possible.

Microsoft is calling this ‘the next evolution’ of VSTS, and it is pretty much that. They’ve taken what was previously a very big and bulky platform with every possible capability in the DevOps toolchain and separated out its functionality into 5 main services. No more endlessly trawling through context menus. It looks a lot nicer too.

These 5 services are:

  • Azure Pipelines: where most of the magic happens, this service helps you set up CI/CD pipelines for any kind of deployment, whether it’s from GitHub, your own Git server – and to many different destinations, like an Azure’s App Service, VM, Kubernetes, even AWS & GCP services. And it comes with parallel execution so your jobs will process quickly.
  • Azure Boards: a nice built-in Kanban board system for tracking your development tasks across teams, including backlogs and advanced reporting.
  • Azure Artifacts: allows you to easily create/host packages to share with your team, including npm, NuGet and Maven
  • Azure Repos: your own private or public code repos – if you want an alternative to GitHub
  • Azure Test Plans: execute tests across web and desktop with various clients, and build lots of pretty dashboard to show the rich data outputs

Sounds pretty neat huh? My favourite bit is the fact that most of its free. You can set up an Azure Pipeline directly in GitHub using the extension, which will give you up to 10 parallel jobs and unlimited executions for building and releasing your code to various sources. I think I’ll be using this a lot for some of my code.

Check out more information about Pipelines here and Azure DevOps in general here. Make sure to check out my previous post for a guided lab on how to use what was VSTS, and is now Azure DevOps, to automate code deployments, and I’m sure I’ll have more to follow soon!

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