The continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) of software is a major focus in both development and operations. Many organizations have adopted a DevOps approach to supporting continuous delivery and have adopted a variety of tools to support their approach. In this article, we will discuss the top features of Azure Devops management that make it uniquely suited for CI/CD and what you can do with Azure Devops that would be beneficial in your organization’s CI/CD journey.
Faster Feedback And Better Decisions With Actionable Analytics
An important aspect of a DevOps approach to CI/CD is the emphasis on continuous feedback and collaboration. The success of a CI/CD project depends on the ability to monitor and evaluate its progress regularly. To that end, many DevOps platforms come with rich analytics tools that can help you make better and faster decisions by providing you with robust and flexible dashboards that track the progress of your projects and enable you to identify bottlenecks and problems as they arise. The data gathered by these analytics tools can help you pinpoint specific problems and opportunities and allow you to prioritize your work accordingly. These analytics tools are also critical for gaining insight into past performance and project trends so that you can continuously improve your workflows and processes.
Organize And Manage Code Releases In A Simple And Visible Manner
Many organizations have a distributed team structure where developers, testers, and other specialists collaborate on projects using their own unique skillsets and responsibilities. As part of a CI/CD process, organizations must be able to track the changes made by different people across different platforms so that they can be attributed correctly and released in a timely manner. This process is often challenging when changes are made in a decentralized manner where visibility into who made what changes can be difficult to establish. One of the strengths of Azure Devops is that it provides an audit trail for each part of the process including code commits, builds, and deployments. You can associate each change with a person or group so that you can assign ownership of changes and workflows can be attributed correctly at all times. Many DevOps platforms also provide access to change logs and project history that allow you to easily establish the context of each change and ensure that the complete story of the project is always maintained and available for review.
Extend Your CI/CD Platform With Plugins
A CI/CD platform is only as useful as the extent to which it can be extended to meet your needs. To that end, many CI/CD platforms allow you to expand their functionality with plugins. These plugins can be created by third parties or by the developer themselves and can be installed directly within the application to extend its functionality or to provide additional features. Some examples of plugins for Azure Devops are:
- Release Pipeline Management
- Product Testing
- Continuous Delivery
- Version Control
- Code Analysis
- Bug Tracking
- Code Review
- Code Coverage
These plugins can be used separately or in conjunction with each other so that you can find the best fit for your organization’s needs. Some examples of useful plugins for Microsoft Azure are:
- Release Management
- Package Deployment
- App Service
- Pipeline Management
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate Management
- Data Protection
- Performance Monitoring
- Application Insights
- Health Check
- Custom Activities
- Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Scaling And High Performance With Elastically Scaled Compute
Since Azure Devops is an open-source project, it can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. The elasticity, or the degree of flexibility, of a service, in terms of the number of instances or applications that can be run on it, is measured by the service’s elasticity, which ranges from low to high. A service with a very low elasticity is considered to be dedicated whereas a service with a very high elasticity is considered to be flexible. When used within a dedicated elastic pool, Azure Devops instances are not subject to resource reservation and performant to the limits of their capacity so that every project can be supported regardless of the size of the team or the complexity of the work. When used within a flexible elastic pool, Azure Devops instances are subject to resource reservation with performance that is close to but not necessarily equal to, that of a dedicated instance.