10 Things You Should Know about Microsoft Azure DevOps Server

Azure DevOps Server helps facilitate cross-functional software development and deployment.

Tim Ford, Owner

April 15, 2019

3 Min Read
10 Things You Should Know about Microsoft Azure DevOps Server

Azure DevOps Server has officially been released. The successor to Team Foundation Server, Azure DevOps Server is a comprehensive suite of software development tools that integrates with existing integrated development environments (IDEs) to help facilitate cross-functional software development and deployment. This latest platforn is aimed at customers who need to host and run Azure DevOps while delivering a consistent codebase.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the new platform.

1. There are three options available for Azure DevOps deployment: on premises, self-hosted in the cloud, or through a hosted service in Azure. And you can implement all of the Azure DevOps services in any of the three deployment options: Azure Boards, Test Plans, Artifacts, Pipelines and Repos all are compatible with the new “run anywhere” aspect of Azure DevOps Server 2019. Thanks to the consistency with the existing Azure codebase, you can also take advantage of the Extensions Marketplace, with hundreds of community and enterprise-developed extensions for Azure DevOps.

2. Expanded support for Azure SQL Database, in addition to the existing support for Microsoft SQL Server, may be one of the most important features of the new platform. This allows enterprises to host their Azure SQL DevOps deployments in the cloud in Azure, or in their own “earthed” data centers in Microsoft SQL Server.

3. The new management interface is available to those who upgrade from earlier versions of Team Foundation Server. This new interface allows for start-to-finish analysis of deployments, so you can easily determine where deployments succeed--and where they don’t.

4. You can mix-and-match agents across on-prem and in any cloud on Windows, Linux or Mac, and deploy to IaaS and PaaS in Azure, as well as on premises. There are also added hubs for new work items covering recently assigned work or work that has been recently updated.

5. A new Backlogs hub splits the existing (and overly encumbered) Backlogs hub into three new hubs: Backlogs hub, just backlogs; a Boards hub for all Kanban Boards for a give project; and a new Sprints hub for planning and executing work tasks. There are also improvements to the existing Queries hub. Sprint planning is expedited and improved through a new sprint planning experience. A complete set of enhancements and updates found in this release of Azure DevOps Server can be found in the official release notes.

6. If you can run Team Foundation Server 2018, then you’re well on your way to upgrade to Azure DevOps Server 2019. According to Jamie Cool, director of program management, Azure DevOps, there are no changes in support for all existing operating systems and SQL Server in this evolutionary release. States Cool: “A direct upgrade to Azure DevOps Studio is supported from any version of TFS, which includes Team Foundation Server 2012 and newer. If your TFS deployment is on TFS 2010 or earlier, you will need to perform some interim steps before upgrading to Azure DevOps Server 2019.” For complete installation details, refer to the installation page on the Azure DevOps Server website.

7. Microsoft offers a free Express version of Azure DevOps Server for individual developers and teams of five or fewer. Azure DevOps Server Express can be downloaded and installed to your personal desktop or laptop without the need for a dedicated server. Once your team grows beyond five members, you can easily upgrade to the full version of Azure DevOps Server and port all your history, files and worklows. To download and get started with Azure DevOps Server Express, click here.

8. In April Microsoft announced that analytics features would be included in Azure DevOps Services at no additional cost.: Burndown and Burnup; Cycle Time and Lead Time; Cumulative Flow Diagram; Velocity; Test Results Trend; and Top Failing Test Report.

9. Microsoft has put out a bounty on Azure DevOps bugs. Microsoft has invited eligible researchers to identify and report security vulnerabilities in targeted Azure DevOps services and products.

10. Azure DevOps Server enables the integration of GitHub Enterprise commits and pull requests with work items in Azure Boards.



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About the Author(s)

Tim Ford

Owner, SQL Cruise


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