Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), Microsoft’s application lifecycle management system, is to undergo a major shake-up and rebranding. Instead of a single Visual Studio-branded service, it’s being split into five separate Azure-branded services, under the banner Azure DevOps.
The five components:
- Azure Pipelines, a continuous integration, testing, and deployment system that can connect to any Git repository
- Azure Boards, a work tracking system with Kanban boards, dashboards, reporting
- Azure Artifacts, a hosting facility for Maven, npm, and NuGet packages
- Azure Repos, a cloud-hosted private Git repository service
- Azure Test Plans, for managing tests and capturing data about defects.
VSTS has been broken up in this way to further Microsoft’s ambition of making its developer tooling useful to any development process and workflow, regardless of language or platform. The division into individual components should make it easier for developers to adopt portions of the Azure DevOps platform, without requiring them to go “all in” on VSTS. The reduced scope of each component means that it’s cheaper than the VSTS pricing, making incremental adoption more palatable. For example, a Pipelines process could build and test a Node.js service from a GitHub repository and then deploy to a container on Amazon’s AWS cloud, without requiring use of any of the other Azure DevOps components.
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