Billing FAQs

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

In this article, find answers to frequently asked questions about billing for your organization.

Make sure to review Azure DevOps pricing and for detailed pricing estimates, see the Azure pricing calculator.

User billing

For more information about user assignment-based billing, see our blog post.

Q: What is user assignment-based billing?

Assignment-based billing is enabled

A: User assignment-based billing means you only pay for the users you assign an access level, and when you remove them, charges stop. There is no longer an extra step of increase/decreasing the paid count.

Under assignment-based billing, all organizations start out with new users added from Projects getting Stakeholder access, so you aren’t charged for new users who only need free Stakeholder access. If you want all new users to get Basic, change the default access level for your organization to Basic.

Group rules are a great way to automate access level assignment for your organization and under assignment-based billing, you’ll find that assignment errors are no longer very common.

Q: How can new users get Basic instead of Stakeholder when added to a Project?

A: When a user (who doesn’t yet exist in the organization) is added to a project, previously they would get a Basic access level if one had been purchased but wasn’t yet assigned to a user. Under assignment-based billing, you pay only for the users you assign, so there aren’t any that are “unassigned”.

If you want all new users added to a project to get Basic, change the default access level (Organization Settings > Billing) to Basic.

Default access

For more granular control over what access level is assigned to new users, you may also consider setting up group rules. Group rules always take precedence over default access level, so the default access level only applies when there are zero group rules that apply to a user. Group rules assign access to users who weren’t directly assigned an access level, so in order to have them run on your existing users, you will need to remove direct assignments.

Q: Am I charged for users even if they never sign in?

A: Yes, if you add a user and assign them a Basic or Basic + Test Plans access level, you start paying for them at the time of assignment. If you create a group rule that applies to potential new users (people you haven’t added manually), you won’t start paying until they sign in and are assigned an access level.

Q: How can I stop paying for users who aren't actively using Azure DevOps?

A: If you have users who aren’t actively using Azure DevOps, you can stop paying for them by removing them or assigning them a free Stakeholder access level. You can sort by Last Access to find users who haven’t accessed the organization recently, and for users who have never signed in, you can find out how recently they were added by exporting the list of users and checking the Date Created column.

Last access

Q: How can I pay only once per user across multiple organizations?

A: Multi-org billing/licensing is available in private preview. For more details on joining the preview and the timeline for general availability, see the Azure DevOps Roadmap item.

Q: What's the difference between daily pro-rated charges instead of monthly committed purchases?

A: As part of the change to user assignment-based billing, we have also switched from monthly to daily billing. That means that if you give a user paid access for a few weeks or even a few days, you pay only for the time they were assigned the paid access, rather than a full month. As we switch your organization from monthly to daily billing, your next Azure bill will likely be lower than it has been previously. The next month will be back to normal, once a full month of daily charges has accumulated.

Q: How did paid extensions change in the Azure DevOps Marketplace in July 2019?

A: Microsoft ended support for purchasing 3rd party paid Azure DevOps extensions through your Azure bill on July 1st, 2019. Going forward, we're encouraging our publishers to offer paid access to their services directly.

Q: Do I need to pay to add "Package Management" users in Team Foundation Server 2017 and 2018?

A: As of June 1st, 2019, on-premises Azure Artifacts (for example, Package Management) is now included with the Basic license. For Azure DevOps Server 2019, purchase a Basic license and assign it to the user. For TFS 2017 and 2018, no additional purchase is required, but you still need to assign users the Package Management extension license to use the feature.

General billing

Q: Can I buy Azure DevOps by using a purchase order?

A: No. Azure DevOps must be purchased through an Azure subscription. (Think of it as your Azure billing account.)

Q: Can I use Azure DevOps for free?

A: Yes. You can use Azure DevOps up to the free tier limits in you organization listed as follows:

  • Five Azure DevOps users (Basic)
  • Free tier of Microsoft-hosted CI/CD (one concurrent job, up to 30 hours per month)
  • 2GB of Azure Artifacts storage
  • One self-hosted CI/CD concurrent job
  • 20,000 virtual user minutes of cloud-based load testing

Q: What types of Azure subscriptions can be used to buy Azure DevOps?

A: Almost all Azure subscriptions can be used. We support Azure subscriptions connected to your Enterprise Agreement (EA), Azure subscriptions set up by Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs), Azure subscriptions set up through Microsoft Open License resellers, and Pay-As-You-Go Azure subscriptions. You can even buy using Azure subscriptions that Visual Studio subscribers set up as a subscriber benefit. (But no, you can't use your monthly credit to pay for more Visual Studio subscriptions.)

The only notable exclusion is that you can't use the Azure free trial, Government, or National clouds.

Q: Can I use the monthly Azure credits from my Visual Studio subscription to buy Azure DevOps?

A: No, you can't use the monthly Azure credits from Visual Studio subscriptions to pay for Azure DevOps. Before you make purchases by using this type of Azure subscription, you must remove your spending limit.

Spending limit

Note

Remove your spending limit indefinitely. This prevents disabling your Azure subscription when your recurring monthly charges are billed the next month. Otherwise, all resources billed to this subscription are suspended, including virtual machines and all other workloads.

Remove spending limit indefinitely

Q: Am I required to buy other Azure services?

A: Not at all. If you only want to buy Azure DevOps via Azure, you can do that.

Q: Can tags be applied to organizations from the Azure portal?

A: No, but this feature is in our backlog to add in the future.

Enterprise Agreement customers

Q: Can I use an Enterprise Agreement to buy Azure DevOps?

A: Yes, you can. You need to be an owner or contributor for an Azure subscription that was created for your EA.

Q: How can I tell whether I have the necessary privileges to buy services through my organization's Enterprise Agreement?

A: The easiest approach to determine if you have the right privileges is to select the Buy button for a service. You need to select an Azure subscription (which is a billing account) from a presented list of Azure subscriptions that are currently linked to your sign-in. Because the name of the Azure subscription defaults to the type of billing account (for example, "Pay-As-You-Go" or "Enterprise Agreement"), it's often clear if the Azure subscription is part of your Enterprise Agreement.

Another approach is to try to visit the Azure Enterprise Portal. If you can reach it successfully, then you already have either the enterprise admin or the organization Owner role. Only organization Owners can set up new Azure billing in an Enterprise Agreement.

If you can't access the Azure Enterprise Portal, inquire within your organization to find out who your Enterprise Admin is, and ask that person to add you as an organization Owner within the Azure Enterprise Portal. If you can't find this person, you can submit a support ticket and request the contact information. You need your organization's name and your Enterprise Agreement enrollment number for the support ticket.

Q: Can I use the Azure Monetary Commitment funds from my Enterprise Agreement to buy Azure DevOps?

A: Yes, you can use these prepaid funds for all Azure DevOps services that Microsoft offers. Make sure to choose an Azure subscription that was created for your EA when you set up billing for your organization.

The only exclusion is for extensions offered by partners. These charges appear on your next "overage" invoice. Typically this happens monthly, but due to historical rules for some EA customers, an overage invoice might not be issued for several months. Please consult a licensing specialist for your EA if you need to know what amount of additional purchases (purchases that aren't eligible for Azure Monetary Commitment funds) trigger an overage invoice.

How charges are processed

Q: How are user charges (Azure DevOps User/Basic, Basic + Test Plans, and Azure Artifacts) and CI/CD concurrent job charges (for both Microsoft-hosted and self-hosted CI/CD) processed?

A: Azure DevOps charges are metered on a daily basis to the Azure subscription you selected when you set up billing. Charges accumulate and are included on the next Azure bill you receive.

Q: How do reductions or cancellations work?

A: Reductions and cancellations are effective immediately.

Changes in Azure subscription status

Q: What happens if I cancel my Azure subscription or my credit card expires?

A: When the Azure subscription used for billing on your organization is not in active status - for example, because you cancel it or the credit card used for billing expires - your organization reverts to the free tier of service.

Note

You must keep your Azure subscription in good standing to avoid interruptions in paid services.

Q: Where can I check my bill or update billing details on my Azure subscription?

A: If you're the owner or contributor for the Azure subscription used for billing your organization, you can view your billing details in the Billing tab of your Organization settings in Azure DevOps.

Other questions

Q: Why do I no longer see Team Projects in the Azure portal?

A: Starting September 28th, 2018 you can no longer create Team Projects or view them in the Azure portal. You can continue to access any Team Projects you have created via the Azure portal through your organization URL (https://dev.azure.com/{yourorganization}) and you can always create new organizations and projects from visualstudio.com. Going forward, the best way for Azure users to get started using Azure DevOps is to create a project.

Q: Why is my organization already linked to an Azure subscription?

A: This happens if someone already set up billing for your organization. Each organization can use only one Azure subscription for billing. Charges can't be split across multiple Azure subscriptions.

Q: Can I use the same Azure subscription for billing across multiple organizations?

A: Yes, you can use the same Azure subscription for billing across multiple organizations. But you can't link a single organization to multiple Azure subscriptions.

Q: Can I buy Azure DevOps from my software reseller?

A: Yes you can, if your reseller participates in the Cloud Solution Provider program. Just ask them.

Buy Azure DevOps now