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Azure DevOps, all a click away

It's been a long time since the DevOps philosophy is between us. Platform Azure is Microsoft's strong response to this vocation, integrating a set of services that help us to soften the entry barriers to adopt this way of working.

Let's imagine that a new software project requires us to have a certain environment. Typically, we just will not have that one in particular (What a coincidence!) And also, given the delivery expectations, we need it for now. The list of requests begins to overwhelm us: machines for the developers, database server, the code repo, setting the duty cycle, deployments, etc.

The good news? In Azure I see it as easy as entering your portal, select the characteristics of the machines, operating systems, development tools, click and in a few minutes we have it all. I'll tell you!

A couple more details before we focus on Azure DevOps. From the Azure portal, we have interesting facilities such as Azure Active Directory to create or delete users, assign them roles, access to machines and applications. With Azure Backup we create backup copies of local workloads and machines, as well as virtual ones. To mitigate falls, we have the service available Azure Site Recovery that keeps applications and workloads running during physical and virtual machine outages, replicating them to a secondary location, switching, and returning when failure recovers. He does it all by himself.

And since they are services that we have in the Microsoft cloud, we can access them from any point on the map that has internet coverage and integrate people and teams that are in different geographical points. And what do we have to integrate the way we build, test, and deploy software?


Azure DevOps in 5 minutes

For this integration we will have a great help in Azure DevOps. Here Microsoft has put together a set of tools and services that make it easier for us to work through all phases of a project. They make up a really versatile set, so let's go with the ones I like the most.

One of these phases is, or rather should be, la documentation. Azure Overview allows us to create a wiki in which we will share all the documentation on the project approach, its prerequisites, documents on the planning of the sprints, etc. Extra ball: the grace of this wiki is that it is exportable to Git and so we can easily move it from one place to another.


We can manage the project and activity via web service Azure Boards which provides us with project management features, incorporating Kanban boards, backlogs, development team dashboards, and customizable reports.

We can assign jobs to sprints, and if we connect Azure Boards to GitHub repositories, every time a commit or pull is done, the most recent status will be reflected on each work item.


As to repository, Azure Rest It gives us the possibility to save the source code files, the history of changes and the branches, among its main options. It supports two types of version control, Git, GitHub (distributed) and Team Foundation Version Control (centralized). They are the cornerstone on which Azure DevOps is built (the old VSTS - Visual Studio Team Services).


Something that is very interesting to me is the process automation compilation, construction and deployment, reliably and efficiently of code on production platforms.


Azure Pipelines is a service that allows us to establish continuous integration and deployment (CI – CD) to generate, compilar, test and deploy projects on any platform or cloud. Hosted MacOS, Linux, and Windows build agents are offered. Come on, we can get source code from repositories, deploy a web application or service in a container in AWS or in Azure or on a Kubernetes. Maximum flexibility.

The developments are tested, but the software reliability many times it suffers in time. Azure Test Plans manages manual, planned, exploratory test plans and everything related to quality assurance testing, both web and desktop applications. It is the way to avoid surprises when it comes to putting our developments into production.

At this point, you've earned it.
If it bites you to have more detail about
test automation and
business flows in Azure environments
it's your lucky minute:
To quickly validate if automating IN YOUR ENVIRONMENT is possible,
we offer you the possibility of testing with a Pilot
on any application accessible via the web.

Let's continue that there is little left. Share, reuse. Speaking of code, these terms save us many hours of work, duplicate code, testing what has already been tested. We can use Azure Artifacts to publicly or privately share «Maven, Nuget, PyPi feeds» among others, integrate them into our Pipeline, control the versions and their dependencies. Without excuses.


But how much does Azure DevOps cost?

We have seen that Azure is a solution that allows us to manage our infrastructure, integrate the way we manufacture software and adapt it to our needs in a few minutes. It guarantees us, let us remember that everything is in the cloud, high availability with the support of Microsoft, although not everything is free. There is a free account that allows us to temporarily use paid products, in addition to those products that are free.

That is to say, in Azure we pay per use. We can have a machine turned off for, for example, a month at no cost during that time. What if, there is a cost manager, Azure CostManagement, to monitor and control expenses. With Azure Advisor, It helps us to optimize and improve the efficiency of our environment, reporting on inactive or used resources below their capacity, giving us the possibility of adopting the necessary measures to reduce costs. To find out what we are going to pay for the use of Azure products, we can consult your price calculator.


Where should you start?

My baptism with Azure was thanks to an interesting course in Panel Sistemas hand in hand with Juan Quijano (Thank you!). After a couple of weeks, the feeling I have is that everything can be done with a click of the mouse quickly and easily. We create everything we need, as we need it and when we need it. You can handle it because you don't need to have extensive knowledge of hardware or software installation and maintenance. Azure takes care of everything.

Remember that being a set of services located in the cloud, it allows us to dispense with a physical place in which to host our infrastructure. I can work anywhere in Spain and have my infrastructure in any of the fifty-four Azure regions. We will have all the necessary tools, in the same portal, for the development and control of equipment, both hardware and humans and, of course, our projects.

There is a lot of information on the internet. There are countless blogs and tutorials where we can delve into the Azure world. In particular, I invite you to savor this tutorial for deployment on Kubernetes.

Cheer up!!!


Juan Ignacio Simon Rodriguez

Juan Ignacio Simon Rodriguez

Nacho is a Consulting and Development Engineer at Panel Sistemas. You can contact him via e-mail at this direction, or visit your profile at Analysis.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Angel Nicolao

    Of course, Microsoft's proposal seems very, very complete ... without a doubt it has earned the treatment as #SuperAzure. Great this new superhero!

    Thank you Juan Ignacio for sharing your experience!



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