Cross-service integration and collaboration overview

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018

One of the major strengths of Azure DevOps is the integration it supports across its core services. Azure DevOps supports multiple integration points across each of the major services—Azure Boards, Azure Repos, Azure Pipelines, and Azure Test Plans.

Review this article to understand how to use various features to support collaboration and traceability for all your devops tasks.

Collaboration across Azure DevOps

Collaborating within and across teams is supported with many of the features summarized in the following table.

Feature

Description


@mentions (add to discussions and comments)

You can @mention a team member or an entire team within a work item form discussion or the comment section of a commit, pull request, or changeset. For details, see Use @mentions in work items and pull requests.


#ID (link to a work item)

To support end-to-end traceability, you can link to work items from commits, pull requests, and changesets. For details, see Link to work items from other objects.


Teams

Each team gets access to a suite of Agile tools and team assets. These tools let teams work autonomously and collaborate with other teams across the enterprise. Each team can configure and customize each tool to support how they work. For quick navigation, they can favorite repositories, pipelines, and test plans. To learn more, see:


Set up alerts

Configure or opt out of personal, team, project, or organization-level alerts. Subscribe to email alerts when changes occur to work items, code reviews, pull requests, source control files, builds and more. To learn more, see:


Share summaries by email


Azure Boards - Azure Repos

The following table summarizes the integration points between Azure Boards and Azure Repos. Through various link types, you can track code changes—commits and pull requests for Git, and changesets and versioned items for Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC)—that support development of user stories and features. The link types used to construct these links include Branch , Commit, Pull Request, and Tag for Git repositories, and Changeset, and Versioned Item for TFVC repositories. To learn more, see Link to work items from other objects, View list of linked objects.

Conceptual image of link types that link work items to Azure Repos objects.

Feature

Description


Drive Git development from work item(s)

You can initiate a Git branch or link to Git commits or pull requests and drive your Git development cycle for a work item from within the work item form.
Screenshot of Development control for Git repositories.
For details, see Drive Git development from a work item.


Automatically link and transition work items with Git commits

You can enable or disable the following options for a single Git repository:

  • Automatically create links for work items mentioned in a commit comment
  • Allow mentions in commit comments to close work items
  • Remember user preferences for completing work items with pull requests.

    For details, see Configure branch policies to support integration.

Check for linked work items in a Git branch

Encourage traceability by checking for linked work items on pull requests. For details, see Configure branch policies to support integration.


Auto complete work items with pull requests

When you link a work item to a pull request (PR), you have the option to automatically complete those work items when you successfully complete the PR. The system defaults to your selection for future PRs. For details, see Auto complete of work items with pull requests.


View list of code objects a single work item is linked to

You can link work items to code changes, builds, and releases—providing an audit trail of how a feature has been developed


Azure Boards - Azure Pipelines

The following table summarizes the integration points between Azure Boards and Azure Pipelines. Several features provide support for end-to-end traceability as user stories and features move through the development cycle. As with Azure Repos, you can link work items to pipeline objects with the following link types: Build, Integrated in build, and Integrated in release.

Conceptual image of link types that link work items to Azure Pipelines objects.

Feature

Description


Manually link work items to builds.

Link work items to builds in the same or other project within the organization or collection.

Link work items to builds in the same project within the organization or collection.

Set integration option to automatically create Integrated in build links to work items linked to a branch, commit, or pull request associated with a pipeline.

Required to populate the Development control with Integrated in build links. The work items or commits that are part of a release are computed from the versions of artifacts. For example, each build in Azure Pipelines is associated with a set of work items and commits. For details, see Configure pipelines to support integration. Screenshot of Development control showing several links.


Set option and branch to automatically create Integrated in build and Integrated in release stage links to work items linked to a branch, commit, or pull request associated with a Classic or YAML pipeline.

Required to populate the work item form Development control with Integrated in build links and the Deployment control with Integrated in release stage links when running a Classic or YAML pipeline. For details, see Configure pipelines to support integration.


Set integration option to automatically create Integrated in release stage links to work items linked to a branch, commit, or pull request associated with a release.

Required to populate Deployment control in work item form with Integrated in release stage links. For details, see Release pipelines, How do I integrate and report release status?.


View list of work items linked to a Classic release pipeline

Lists all work items linked to a build or release.


View and open list of work items linked to a Classic or YAML pipeline.

Lists all work items linked to a release since the previous selected release. Can sort the list by each column.


View list of build or release objects a single work item is linked to

You can link work items to builds and releases—providing an audit trail of how a feature has been built and deployed. To learn more, see Link to work items from other objects, View list of linked objects.


Query for external links.

You can query for work items that contain external links. For details, see Query by link or attachment count


View and quickly navigate to release stages a work item is linked to.

The work item form Deployment control lists set of stages work item is associated with. You can expand a stage to view status of select runs and quickly open each stage or run. For details, see Link and view work items to builds and deployments.
Screenshot of Deployment control showing several links.


Create a work item on failure, optionally set values for a work item field (Classic)

Automatically create a work item and set fields when a build fails. For details, see Build options.


Create a work item on failure (Classic or YAML), optionally set values for a work item field (Classic)

Automatically create a work item and set fields when a build fails. For details, see Build options for Classic pipelines, and Customize pipelines, Create work item on failure.


Query Work Items task. Ensure the number of matching work items returned from a query is within a threshold.

Use this task to ensure the number of matching items returned by a work item query is within the configured thresholds. For details, see Query Work Items task, Control deployments with gates and approvals.


Azure Repos - Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines provides support for building code stored in Azure Repos, either a Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repository. Other repositories that Azure Pipelines supports are listed in Supported source repositories.

The following table summarizes the integration features between Azure Repos and Azure Pipelines.

Feature

Description


Report deployment status

Indicates the status of a deployment on the Files, Commits, and Branches pages for Git repositories. This feature improves the traceability from code commit to deployment. You can configure the release environments to report deployment status. For details, see Release pipelines, How do I integrate and report release status?..


Release status badge

Post the status of your most recent pipeline build in your repository. To learn how, see Create your first pipeline, Add a status badge to your repository.


Code coverage

Publish and review code coverage results that indicate the proportion of your project's code that is actually being tested. To learn more, see Publish Code Coverage Results task and Review code coverage results.


Azure Boards - Azure Repos - Azure Test Plans

Several collaboration scenarios are supported through Azure Boards work item types. As with other work item types, you can use managed queries and the Azure DevOps search function to find and list work items.

Note

Several of these work item types—such as Feedback Request, Code Review Request, Shared Steps, and Shared Parameters— are designed to be created through a specific tool or form. They aren't meant to be created manually. Therefore, they are added to the Hidden Types category. Work item types that are added to the Hidden Types category don't appear in the menus used to add work items.

Also, for the Inherited process model, you can only customize the following work item types: Test Plan, Test Suite, Test Case.

Scenario

Work item type

Description


Request code review

Code Review Request

Tracks information entered into the TFVC New Code Review form. To learn more, see Get your code reviewed with Visual Studio.


Provide code review

Code Review Response

Tracks review comments provided by code reviewers in response to a code review request. To learn more, see Respond to the code review request.


Request feedback

Feedback Request

Tracks information entered into a request feedback form. There are two forms that you can use to initiate a feedback request.


Provide feedback

Feedback Review

Enables stakeholders to provide feedback based on request for feedback or by volunteering feedback using the Microsoft Test & Feedback marketplace extension. To learn more, see the following articles:


Manual testing

Test Plan

Groups one or more test suites and individual test cases together. Test plans include static test suites, requirement-based suites, and query-based suites. To get started, see Create test plans and test suites.


Manual testing

Test Suite

Groups one or more test cases into separate testing scenarios within a single test plan. Grouping test cases makes it easier to see which scenarios are complete. To learn more, see Create test plans and test suites.


Manual testing

Test Case

Defines steps used to validate individual parts of your code to ensure your code works correctly, has no errors, and meets business and customer requirements. You can add individual test cases to a test plan without creating a test suite. More than one test suite or test plan can refer to a test case. You can effectively reuse test cases without having to copy or clone them for each suite or plan. To learn more, see Create manual test cases.


Manual testing

Shared Steps

Enables sharing steps across several test cases. For details, see Share steps between test cases.


Manual testing

Shared Parameters

Enables repeating the same test cases with different data. For more information, see Repeat a test with different data.


Test work item types

Work item types that support the test experience are linked together using the link types shown in the following image. These include Tested By/Tests, Test Cases/Shared Steps, and Reference By/References.

Test management work item types

From the web portal, you can view which test cases are defined for a test suite, and which test suites are defined for a test plan. However, these objects aren't connected to each other through specific link types.

Bug tracking

When tracking bugs using the Bug work item type, note the following supported integrations.

Scenario

Description


Create a bug from a testing tool

You can add a bug from Test Runner or the Test & Feedback extension. To learn more, see Define, capture, triage, and manage bugs.


Create inline tests linked to bugs or user stories

When your team tracks bugs as requirements, you can use the Kanban board to add tests to verify bug fixes or user stories. To learn more, see Add, run, and update inline tests.


Track build information with bugs

The Bug work item form contains System Info, Found in Build, and Integrated in Build that support tracking code defects found and resolved within pipeline builds. To learn more, see Query based on build and test integration fields.


Azure Pipelines - Azure Test Plans

Azure Test Plans is fully integrated with Azure Pipelines to support testing within continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD). Test plans and test cases can be associated with build or release pipelines. Pipeline tasks can be added to pipeline definitions to capture and publish test results. Test results can be reviewed via built in progress reports and pipeline test reports. The following table summarizes the integration points between Azure Pipelines and Azure Test Plans.

Feature

Description


Test plans setting

With test plan settings, you configure the Test Run settings to associate build or release pipelines and Test Outcome settings. To learn more, see Run automated tests from test plans


Pipeline test-enable tasks

Specify test-enable tasks within a pipeline definition. Azure Pipelines provides several tasks, including those listed below, that support a comprehensive test reporting and analytics experience.


Run automated tests in build pipelines

Associate test plans with a build pipeline so that they run with each build. To learn more, see Run automated tests from test plans.


Associate automated tests with test cases


Set retention policy for automated test results associated with builds

You can set the test retention policy for automated buidls from the Pipelines>Retention page. See Set test retention policies


Requirements traceability

The Requirements quality widget supports tracking quality continuously from a build or release pipeline. The widget shows the mapping between a requirement and latest test results executed against that requirement. It provides insights into requirements traceability. to learn more, see Requirements traceability.


Test results trend

The Test results trend configurable widget displays the trend of test results for the selected build or release pipeline. The widget helps you visualize the test trends over a period of time, thereby surfacing patterns about test failures, test duration etc. To learn more, see Configure the Test Results Trend (Advanced) widget


Deployment status

The Deployment status configurable widget shows a combined view of the deployment status and test pass rate across multiple environments for a recent set of builds. You configure the widget by specifying a build pipeline, branch, and linked release pipelines. To view the test summary across multiple environments in a release, the widget provides a matrix view of each environment and corresponding test pass rate. See Associate automated tests with test cases


View test results in builds and releases

Both build and release summaries provide details of test execution. Review these summaries to assess pipeline quality, review traceability, and troubleshoot failures. Choose Test summary to view the details in the Tests tab. To learn more, see Review test results, Tests tab.


Test analytics for builds

Each build summary includes an Analytics tab that hosts the Test analytics report. To learn more, see Test Analytics


Dashboards, reporting, and Analytics

Dashboards provide an easy way to monitor progress and status. Using widgets, teams can add configurable widgets to support their goals. To learn more, see About dashboards, charts, reports, & widgets.

The Analytics service is the reporting platform for Azure DevOps, replacing the previous platform based on SQL Server Reporting Services. Built for reporting, Analytics is optimized for fast read-access and server-based aggregations. The Analytics service provides:

  • Analytics widgets that you can add to your dashboards
  • In-context Analytics reports available from select Azure DevOps pages
  • Rollup bars and counts for Azure Boards backlogs
  • Custom reports you can create using Power BI
  • Custom reports you can create using OData queries
  • Support to develop and add your custom Analytics widgets you can add to dashboards

To learn more, see What is the Analytics service?

Dashboards and reporting

Dashboards provide an easy way to monitor progress and status. Using widgets, teams can add configurable widgets to support their goals. To learn more, see About dashboards, charts, reports, & widgets.

SQL Server reports provide additional monitoring capabilities. To learn more, see Reporting Services reports.

Built-in widgets you can add to your dashboard are listed below. They are organized under the service they support. You may find additional widgets from the Azure DevOps Marketplace.

Widgets are annotated as follows:

  • Analytics: Widget derives data from Analytics data
  • Build: Widget derives data for a selected build pipeline
  • Project: indicates you can select the project and team when configuring the widget
  • Release: Widget derives data for a selected release pipeline
  • Team: Widget is scoped to a single team
  • Teams: Widget is scoped to one or more teams
  • User: Widget is scoped to the logged in user account
  • Build: Widget derives data for a selected build pipeline
  • Release: Widget derives data for a selected release pipeline
  • Team: Widget is scoped to a single team
  • User: Widget is scoped to the logged in user account

Pipelines


Test Plans


Information and links

Build & Release


Test



Data available from Analytics

Analytics provides the reporting platform for Azure DevOps. Analytics is generally available for Azure DevOps Service and Azure DevOps Server 2020. It is in preview for Azure DevOps Server 2019.

You can access the following data from Analytics.


Service

Data availability

Azure DevOps Services
Azure DevOps Server 2020

Azure DevOps Server 2019


Boards

✔️
✔️
✔️
✔️

✔️

✔️
✔️


Repos

None


Pipelines

✔️
✔️
✔️

✔️


Test Plans

✔️


Artifacts

None