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First Release Candidate for Azure DevOps Server 2019 Now Available

Microsoft shipped the first release candidate of Azure DevOps Server 2019, the self-hosted, on-premises version of the company's DevOps solution that used to be known as Team Foundation Server (TFS).

Amid its cloud conversion, the company has rebranded its hosted set of collaborative software development tools called Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) as Azure DevOps Services, while the former on-premises counterpart, TFS, is now Azure DevOps Server.

The self-hosted solution lets organizations use all Azure DevOps components or just some of them, which include Azure Boards, Pipelines, Repos, Test Plan and Artifacts, along with an Extensions Marketplace.

Running Azure DevOps on-premises may suit organizations that require a guaranteed isolated instance or want to operate in regions where hosted versions are unavailable.

The self-hosted Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1 features the new Azure DevOps UI and navigation introduced in June.

The UI revamp is inspired by the Fluent design language being used in products throughout the company. "The goals of the new design language are to be clear, to gracefully support high information density, and -- of course - be fast," Microsoft said when it unveiled the change. "The result will be an emphasis on the content of your work while providing a consistent and predictable experience across all aspects of VSTS."

Also new is the ability to use Azure SQL along with SQL Server. "This enables enterprises to self-host Azure DevOps in their own datacenter using an on-premises SQL Server," said Jamie Cool, director of program management, Azure DevOps, in a blog post. "Customers now also have the option to self-host Azure DevOps in the cloud and take advantage of all the fantastic Azure SQL capabilities and performance. With this release, Azure DevOps now provides best in class hybrid-cloud development collaboration capabilities allowing customers to install on-premises, self-host in the cloud, or use the globally available Microsoft hosted service to take advantage of automatic updates and automatic scaling."

Many other enhancements are also included, ranging from a new Work Items and Queries hubs to an Analytics marketplace extension for reporting. That functionality and much more is detailed in the release notes.

Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1 includes a go-live license so developers can put it to production use right now, but Cool emphasized the company is also seeking input on shaping the product further.

"We are keen to get your feedback regarding Azure DevOps running in a self-hosted configuration, either on-premises or in the cloud," Cool said. "We'd also love to get feedback from people upgrading their TFS instances to Azure DevOps Server," he added, pointing out that developers can ask questions or provide feedback at the Azure DevOps developer community site.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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