Microsoft Azure DevOps Review

Compatible with our entire ecosystem

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft Azure DevOps for application lifecycle management, including source control-related things, pipelines, and also for work item management. In short, the whole ecosystem.

Within our organization, there are roughly one thousand core developers using this solution. We also have stakeholders, product vendors, Scrum masters, testers, and manual testers. 

What is most valuable?

Mainly the source code solutions and the pipelines. Work item management and the manual test I/O. Test automation, end-to-end testing, and the manual test experience. It's got something that you won't find in other products. The work item management is good enough for small to medium-sized teams, and for large projects with plenty of teams collaborating with each other.

We can achieve the boundaries of the system. Potentially, we could do it with other tools like Jira. Still, with Microsoft Azure DevOps, we can manage everything.

What needs improvement?

Currently, if you would like to use the full-set of customization features, for example, the process templates, the HL process, or the Scrum process, if you start from scratch right now, you'll have these options. But if you've been working for several years in an established ecosystem, then you're based on an old-fashioned way of working and you won't be able to use the recent customization features.

There are options to get around this, especially if you move to the cloud or if you copy things and migrate them, but that's a huge amount of work. It's best if you start from scratch in a new project — in a new environment. With an ecosystem that has been up and running for some time, you won't have the full-flexibility that you would have with a new ecosystem.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for roughly 10 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable. I don't have anything negative to report. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure DevOps is very scalable. It uses techniques from Microsoft itself, so if you have the knowledge of how to deal with that, you can scale it up and out as you wish.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. We have had a few cases where we needed support and they contacted us immediately. There was a willingness to find a solution and determine if there was a bug or if it was an oversight. We have a good relationship with Mircosoft support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Most of our developers have an MSDN license which is linked to the Visual Studio development environment. 

We also have a corporate license for other products like Windows Server — it's all included in one package. An additional license is not required for the on-premise solution. If you go to the cloud, it's a different story. Most of the things that we need and use are incorporated in the corporate solution — there are no additional costs.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. 

It could be a little bit more flexible in terms of work item management. Apart from that, I can't really think of many features that are missing. It supports all kinds of ecosystems; there are a lot of possibilities when it comes to interacting with other ecosystems. 

Try to follow the market standards. There's a whole huge community that supports it. The market is evolving very fast. Microsoft is acquiring other companies. They recently bought GitHub. It's hard to say which solution will survive — DevOps or GitHub. That may be an issue in the future. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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