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Roadmap Updated for Azure DevOps (Formerly VSTS)

Microsoft has provided a peek at upcoming features for Azure DevOps, the evolution of Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), which is being brought to the cloud in the wake of the company's acquisition of GitHub.

Like its predecessor, Azure DevOps provides collaboration, continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) and likewise features, which now come via an extensions marketplace and five other services:

  • Azure Pipelines, a CI/CD service for continuously building, testing and deploying projects to any platform or cloud.
  • Azure Boards, for tracking work with Kanban boards, backlogs, team dashboards, and custom reporting.
  • Azure Artifacts, providing package feed for Apache Maven, npm and NuGet package from public and private sources.
  • Azure Repos, which are private Git repos, providing functionality such as collaborative pull requests and advanced file management.
  • Azure Test Plans, an "all-in-one planned and exploratory testing solution."

This week Microsoft announced an update to the Azure DevOps Roadmap, outlining new features for all of the above.

Examples highlighted by Microsoft's Alex Nichols (planned for late this year or early next year) include:

  • Azure Boards: Work Item support for Markdown editing, meaning "All long text fields, such as Description and Repo Steps, plus the Discussion will support Markdown editing." More on this here.
  • Azure Repos: GVFS for Mac – Public Preview, for the Git Virtual File System, a Microsoft Git extension created to simplify the management of enterprise-scale Git repositories. While it originally targeted Windows, Nichols noted Microsoft Office shares a lot of code with macOS and iOS products, so "Based on our work with the Office team, we plan to bring GVFS for Mac back out to the community as well in public preview." More on this here.
  • Azure Pipelines: YAML editor in the web, YAML editing in Visual Studio Code, and public preview for release pipelines. Standing for YAML Ain't Markup Language, YAML is a human-readable data serialization language/standard for all programming languages, often used for configuration files but also other scenarios where data is being transmitted or stored. Nichols said: "We want to make it even easier to work with YAML build definitions by providing an enhanced editing experience in both the web and Visual Studio Code soon. We're also looking forward to bringing YAML to release pipelines in public preview so that your deployments can evolve with your code too." More on this here.
  • Azure Artifacts: Upstream sources for feeds across organizations with the same Azure Active Directory. Microsoft says: "Upstream sources enable you to use a single feed to store both the packages you produce and the packages you consume from 'remote feeds': both public feeds (e.g. npmjs.com and nuget.org) and authenticated feeds (i.e. other Azure DevOps Services feeds in your organization or enterprise)." Nichols said: "As we've done for work item linking, we'll also enable upstream sources across organizations, so you can share code with the people who need it, no matter which team they are on." More on this here.
  • Administration: Auditing. Nichols said the next feature the team is investing in to boost the enterprise readiness of Azure DevOps is consistent, centralized auditing, beginning with security and project changes. More on this here.

All of the above and many more features are detailed in the Azure DevOps Features Timeline, published Oct. 25.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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