Plan, Develop, & Deploy Applications using Azure DevOps

I am not affiliated with Microsoft, with any of their offerings, or employees. This post is my perspective.

Developing an application is more than just code. It involves organizational process, division of labor, and the careful implementation of requirements. To manage this, some teams use multiple suites of tools, frameworks, rules, methodologies, the list goes on…

Azure DevOps gives you a suite of tools, they call “dev services”. Let’s go through them:

  1. Dashboards – View metrics about your developed applications
  2. Boards / Items / Backlog / Sprints – A place for you and your team to plan and assign work
  3. Repos – Store your application code repositories (Git driven)
  4. Pipelines – Automated build and deployments from your repositories to cloud platforms / infrastructure
  5. Test Plans – Paid test manager extension…
  6. Artifacts – Fully integrated package management (private libraries of software)

Assign work items to others on your team, track State (Started) and Reason (Work started), Assign priority, effort/actual hours, assign a Work Branch from a Repo, and Relate it to other issues. Using BitBucket daily for work, I found it to be a relatively painless switch to the overall UI.

I cannot seem to find a way to view all issues. You also cannot update issues in a large table grid view. You can batch update, which requires you to enter a separate view (BitBucket is no better!).

Users can take their issue branches and make pull requests, offering teams with the ability to peer review code before merging to the baseline (master branch). One can manage version of the software via Tags.

To deploy your applications, you can use a suite of ready made templates. There are a wealth of choices. Docker, Node, Yaml, .Net, Android, and so many more. You can even create your own pipeline by following these instructions.

Let’s hope their feature request system is improved and receives backing from Microsoft. Because, I think this could be an awesome extension to Azure.

Featured image:

Laravel: The Latest in (Refined) Web Application Frameworks

Learning PHP from front to back to develop a web application has proven daunting for many of us who like to focus on front end design. I cannot express to you how much of a headache I get when I think about all of the components I would need to understand better in order to develop a basic blogging or CMS engine. Luckily, thanks to the hard work of many talented web application developers, there are now many open source frameworks available for use.

Layers upon layers being built upon existing languages, with repurposed code being organized and made available for the masses – it’s a prime example of Laravel.

There is a very talented web developer named Maksim Surguy who has written an excellent introductory article for the new framework. I would highly recommend taking a look at his write up as it offers a good balance of technical knowledge and entry level explanation.