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Optimizing app development with Azure DevOps that helps in smarter planning, seamless collaboration and speedy deployments

Posted by Rajiv Dattani on 9/14/21 12:50 PM

DevOps AdobeStock_342009331

 

Introduction 

Ever since the advent of technology and the creation of electronic devices like mobiles and computers, app development has been at the forefront. By designing and building different applications for these devices, app development is taking the current era to greater heights.  

Today, DevOps (Development + Operations) is in the driver’s seat in app development. DevOps is an approach that helps you collaborate with your software development team, business operations team, and other stakeholders. In app development, DevOps ensures continuous and faster deliveries of more reliable applications.  

Statistics show that 63% of companies that use DevOps for app development are able to release software more frequently, and an equal number of companies have also experienced an improvement in quality.

Over the next few sections, you will learn all about Azure DevOps and how it can optimize app development.  

Azure DevOps: How is it Different? 

Azure DevOps is a Microsoft product that offers modern development services to help app developers in smart planning, seamless collaboration, and speedy deployment of applications.  

With Azure, you can integrate DevOps into different stages of the app development cycle. These stages are, 

  • Planning 
  • Development 
  • Delivery  
  • Operations 

This way, you can deliver more reliable applications quickly and provide better value to all your customers.  

The features that set Azure DevOps aside from the rest include, 

  • The different services offered by Azure DevOps make it easier for developers to develop applications on Azure. 
  • Azure DevOps simplifies the process of third-party integrations. 
  • It streamlines all the stages of the app development cycle. 

Planning and Tracking Development with Azure Boards 

While designing an application is a critical stage, the pre and post phases are equally vital. Proper planning is always essential, no matter the type of process. Once you design the application, tracking its development and progress allows you to measure its success and analyse different ways to improve it.  

For a streamlined flow in the planning and tracking stages, Azure Boards can be beneficial. Azure Boards is a service offered by Azure DevOps, in which you can plan and track your app development and discuss and share your work with other teams.  

 With Azure Boards, you can 

  • Manage each stage in the app’s development 
  • Make informed decisions using actionable insights received from the board’s analytics tools and dashboard.
  • Make the most of Kanban boards, backlogs, dashboards, and scrum boards.
  • Customize the dashboards to standards that best suit your requirements.
  • Work with scrum boards to run sprints and stand-ups. 
  • Integrate with other tools like GitHub, Microsoft Teams, etc.  

Implementing CI/CD with Azure Pipelines 

As mentioned earlier, continuous delivery is an essential part of the DevOps process. Another service offered by Azure DevOps is Azure Pipelines.  

Azure Pipelines combines Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) and helps you build and test codes for your application. You can then deploy or release the application on any platform, like Windows or macOS, or on the cloud, like Azure or AWS.  

Azure Pipelines automates the building of your codes and the deployment of your projects so that you can quickly release high-quality bug-free applications to your customers. Like Azure Boards, you can also integrate Pipelines with other tools.  

A few programming languages that you can build and test in Pipelines include C, C++, Python, Java, .NET, Android, iOS, Node.js, etc.  

Using Exploratory Testing Toolkits with Azure Test Plans 

Exploratory testing is like spontaneous tests done on the codes. In this approach, test design and test execution run in parallel.  

With Azure Test Plans, you can test your codes either with planned test cases or exploratory testing. You can then use the results of these tests to optimize your codes and enhance their efficiency.  

But what if you want to release your application on different platforms? Azure Test Plans has got this aspect covered. Test Plans allows you to test your codes on both desktop and mobile applications.  

The data-driven approach of Azure Test Plans gives you access to rich data that you can leverage to improve your app. You can also track the progress of your tests from start to finish with the end-to-end traceability feature.  

Sharing Completed Work Packages with Development Teams via Azure Artifacts  

Sharing your work packages after you have completed the building and testing phases of your code is another vital part of the app development cycle. These packages contain the files and directories that your application requires.  

Managing and sharing these packages with your development teams can be a tiring process. To make this process hassle-free, Azure has yet another service called Azure Artifacts.  

Azure Artifacts helps you create, host, and share your packages with your development team, organization, and even public registries.  

There are many types of package feeds. Some of them that Azure Artifacts supports are, 

  • NuGet 
  • npm 
  • Maven 
  • Python 
  • Universal Packages 

With Azure Artifacts, you can 

  • Manage and organize your packages 
  • Keep your packages safe and secure  
  • Integrate Artifacts with Azure Pipelines to improve accessibility  

Benefits of Choosing Azure DevOps 

  1. Reliable and Secure

Since Azure DevOps is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, it is completely reliable with 24x7 support. Being backed by enterprise-grade SLA, Azure DevOps provides a safe, secure, and reliable DevOps platform for app development.  

  1. Removes Upgradation Headaches

If you are working on a CI/CD model, you might face constant headaches wherein you have to stop the entire app development process for upgrading purposes. As Azure DevOps is a SaaS model, you can leave your upgrading worries at the doorstep.  

  1. Versatility and Adaptability

As seen earlier, the codes that you build on Azure DevOps can run efficiently on platforms and the cloud. You can also integrate it with many third-party tools and create or access over 1000 extensions.  

  1. Enjoy New Features

Azure DevOps releases new features every three weeks. This way, you can enjoy new features that will help in improving the performance of your applications.  

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Working Performance

You can benefit from enhanced efficiency and high-end working performance by building more reliable codes at faster rates with CI/CD tools on Azure DevOps.  

Conclusion 

Microsoft ensures that Azure DevOps looks into each step of the app development cycle. The versatility, adaptability, and flexibility, along with features that help you plan, track, share, and deliver applications seamlessly, make Azure DevOps a top contender in app development.  

If you require any assistance to migrate from your current DevOps platform to Azure DevOps, TrnDigital is here for you. Contact us or request a consultation today!

Topics: Microsoft Azure, Azure DevOps

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