What is Azure DevOps?
Azure DevOps is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution from Microsoft used by Developers to provide an end-to-end toolset for developing and deploying Azure resources, in an automated way using templates, meaning that the process is much quicker and can be used time and time again without much reconfiguration.
It also speeds up the deployment time when setting up multiple resources in your Azure subscription.
Azure DevOps uses a repository of files called templates, and a number of artifacts, which relate to each resource needed to be created and configured. This repository also includes the parameters file where all configuration details can be held in one complete place and scripted to run sequentially.
These files are stored in the cloud.
Example 1: You need to create 50+ Azure AD groups for assigning members to, which when done manually is very time consuming and can take anything up to 1 hour to complete. Using DevOps and scripting the relevant parameters correctly this can be implemented in less than 5 minutes.
Example 2: A client needing to deploy a number of resources in their Azure subscription, doing this manually is very time consuming and needs to be done in a structured approach. Using DevOps and writing a handful of templates and providing the necessary parameters means that in less than 20 minutes you can deploy this via the DevOps pipeline.
DevOps can also be used to create and execute Test Plans to make sure all aspects of your implementation work as planned.
DevOps has a great User Interface (UI) to use, so even beginners can pick up easily how to use it.
It is not just limited to Json templates, it can also use Python, Java, PHP, etc., to name a few.
Integration with non-Microsoft technology is difficult, but this will improve over time and be better.
Complex pipelines can’t be written, so more complex workflows are not possible at this time, again this will be worked on in future versions.