Billing FAQs

Azure DevOps Services | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2015

In this article, find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about billing for your organization in Azure DevOps.

Tip

To estimate costs for Azure DevOps, see the Pricing calculator or the Azure DevOps pricing page.

User assignment-based 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: With user assignment-based billing, you only pay for the users you assign an access level. When you remove the users, charges stop. There's no longer an extra step of increase/decreasing the paid count.

In assignment-based billing, all organizations begin with new users added from projects with Stakeholder access. We don't charge 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 common.

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

A: When a user is new to the organization and is added to a project, previously they would get Basic access level. If you purchased Basic, but it wasn't yet assigned to a user. With 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 the access level that's assigned to new users, consider setting up group rules. Group rules take precedence over default access level. The default access level only applies when a user has zero group rules applied. Group rules assign access to users who aren't directly assigned an access level. To have these group rules apply to your existing users, you need to remove direct assignments.

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

A: If you add a user with Basic or Basic + Test Plans access level, you pay at the time of assignment. When you create a group rule that applies to potential new users, that you haven't added manually, you don't start paying until they sign in and receive an access level.

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

A: If you have inactive users, stop paying for them by removing them or assigning them a free Stakeholder access level. Sort by Last Access to find users who haven't accessed the organization recently. For users who've never signed in, find out how recently they've been 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-organization billing/licensing is available. For more information, see multi-organization billing.

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've also switched from monthly to daily billing. When you give a user paid access for a few weeks, or even a few days, you pay only for the time they've been 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 third party paid Azure DevOps extensions through your Azure bill on July 1, 2019. 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: Since June 1, 2019, on-premises Azure Artifacts, for example, Package Management, is 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.

Multi-organization billing

Multi-organization billing allows you to pay once per user, for organizations under the same Azure billing subscription.

Q: Does multi-organization billing make sense for all customers?

A: No. Each organization gets five free Basic users. Those users apply to the billing subscription, not the organization. When most users access only one organization, then five free users are most cost effective. If many users access multiple organizations, then multi-organization billing is likely the best option.

Q: Do I have to turn on multi-organization billing for each of my organizations?

A: No. Multi-organization billing applies to the Azure subscription. It needs to only be set once and can be set from any organization that uses that Azure subscription for billing.

Q: How can I turn on multi-organization billing?

A: To turn on multi-organization billing, see how to pay for a user once across multiple organizations.

Q: Can I use different Azure subscriptions for billing, but still pay only once per user?

A: No. Multi-organization billing groups the per user charges at an Azure subscription level, so only organizations that share a common Azure subscription will be billed together.

Q: Can I still see multiple line items for each of my organizations on my detailed Azure bill?

A: Yes. First, all organizations under the same billing Azure subscription are ordered. The ordering is consistent month to month, but it isn't configurable. Second, the five free Basic users apply to the first organization in the list, and any remaining value is carried over to subsequent organizations. Third, users are billed in the first organization they can access and not again in any subsequent organizations. Finally, based on these rules, if there are any charges for an organization, then there'll be a separate line item for that organization on the detailed Azure bill.

Q: Can I tell what access level a user has assigned in a different organization?

A: No. User assignments are applied in each organization independently. An administrator in one organization can't tell whether a user they're adding already has an access level that's assigned in another organization.

Q: What if a user is assigned Basic in one organization and Basic + Test Plans in another?

A: They're billed for both Basic and Basic + Test Plans, which is a current limitation of multi-organization billing. We recommend assigning users with group rules and setting up the same group rules in each organization to ensure consistent access level assignment.

Q: How can I get a list of all the users I'm paying for under multi-organization billing?

A: Export a list of users from Organization settings > Users for each organization. Then, remove duplicates based on email address.

Q: Why are additional free user grants removed when multi-organization billing is enabled?

A: The most common reason customers have received extra free user license grants in the past is because Azure DevOps didn't support multi-organization billing. For that reason, when you enable multi-organization billing, additional free grants are removed. If you have a free grant that applied to one or more of your organizations for a different reason, for example the Microsoft Enterprise DevOps Accelerator Offer, contact our support team to request the grant be applied to your Azure subscription instead.

General billing

Q: How do I pay for Azure DevOps support?

Keep in mind that if you're already using Azure, chances are you already have an Azure support plan, so you can create a support request. Also, you don't need to pay for billing support. You can report a service outage from our service status page.

A: If you need technical support with Azure DevOps and don't have an Azure support plan already, complete the following steps:

  1. Create an Azure subscription.
  • Consider your purchase options and decide whether you'll set up payment direct with Azure, through a partner, or through a Microsoft representative.
  • The simplest option is to pay for Azure directly. It's free to create an Azure subscription, you'll only pay for what you use.
  1. Pick a support plan.
  • As part of signing up for an Azure subscription, you can pick a support plan.
  • All support plans let you create unlimited support requests for a fixed monthly price.
  • All paid plans, including the Developer plan, offer technical support for Azure DevOps.
  1. Submit a support ticket.

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

Understanding your bill

Azure DevOps charges appear with other Azure charges on your Azure bill. This section helps you with understanding how to drill into your Azure DevOps specific charges.

Complete the following step to view by cost analysis.

  1. Go to Azure portal > Subscriptions, and then select Cost analysis.

    In Azure portal, select Subscriptions, and then Cost analysis

Q: How do I see only my Azure DevOps charges?

A: Follow these steps to see only your charges for Azure DevOps.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Subscriptions > Cost analysis.

  2. Filter on Service name = Azure DevOps.

    Filter by service name

Q: How much am I currently spending on Azure DevOps?

A: Azure DevOps charges daily, so the best way to see what you're currently paying for Azure DevOps is to view by daily costs.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Subscriptions > Cost analysis.

  2. View by Daily costs.

    View by Daily costs

Q: What services do I pay for in Azure DevOps?

A: Azure DevOps includes Azure Repos, Azure Boards, Azure Pipelines, Azure Artifacts, and Azure Test Plans. For more information, see Azure DevOps pricing for more details. To see these services on your bill, follow these steps.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Subscriptions > Cost analysis.

  2. Group by Meter subcategory.

    Group by Meter subcategory

Q: How can I split Azure DevOps charges by organization?

A: If you have more than one Azure DevOps organization that's billed to the same Azure subscription, you may want to separate the charges for each organization.

To make this split easier, we automatically add the tag "_organizationname_" and the name of your Azure DevOps organization associated with the charges. We started emitting this tag in Feb 2020, so you won't see it before that date. See the following two ways you can use this tag to drill in to charges for a given organization.

  1. In the Azure portal, select Subscriptions > Cost analysis.

    In Azure portal, select Subscriptions, and then Cost analysis

  • Filter based on tag, and see only charges for a given organization or

    Filter based on tag

  • Group by tag, and see charges stacked by organization

    Group by tag, see stacked charges

Azure portal integration

Your Azure DevOps organization appears as a resource in the Azure portal, but it's created and managed outside of the portal. There are some limitations to this integration and workarounds, as follows.

Q: Can I move between subscriptions?

A: No, you can't move the organization resource that appears in the Azure portal between Azure subscriptions via the Azure portal. But you can move it between subscriptions by changing the subscription your organization uses for billing.

Q: Can I move between resource groups?

A: No, the organization resource is created in its own resource group with a predefined naming convention. If you need to know what Azure DevOps organization is in the resource group, try creating an organization name tag and making it a column in the Resource Groups view.

  1. Create a tag called Organization name.
  2. Tag each Resource group with the name of the organization that it contains.
  3. Select Manager view > Edit columns.
  4. Change the selection from Properties to Tags.
  5. Select the Organization name column.
  6. Move it to Selected columns, and then select Apply.

Q: Why is the location of my organization resource incorrect?

A: If you've changed your organizations location after you set up billing, the region listed in the Azure portal is the original location and not the new location. To know where your organization is located check the region listed in Azure DevOps. To change the location listed in the Azure portal to match the actual new location of your organization, first remove billing, and then set up billing again.

Q: Why is the name of my organization resource incorrect?

A: If you've renamed your organization after setting up billing, then the name of the organization resource is the original name. To change the name of the organization resource to the new name, first remove billing, and then set up billing again.

Q: Does Azure DevOps support billing tags?

A: Yes, you can apply billing tags to the organization resource in the Azure portal and they're included in billing charges associated with your organization.

  1. Go to https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseAll.
  2. Select the organization resource.
  3. Select Assign tags.

Q: What happens if I delete my organization resource?

A: Deleting the organization resource from the Azure portal removes billing for your organization and your organization returns to its free limits. To delete your Azure DevOps organization and all the data it contains, you must delete it from within Azure DevOps administration.

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: Charges are metered daily 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 isn't 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.

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. Select an Azure subscription, which is a billing account, from a presented list of Azure subscriptions that are currently linked to your sign-in credentials. Since the name of your 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, find out who your Enterprise Admin is, and ask them to add you as an organization Owner within the Azure Enterprise portal. If you can't find this person, 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 services that Azure DevOps 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, charges occur monthly, but because of historical rules for some EA customers, an overage invoice might not be issued for several months. Consult a licensing specialist for your EA if you need to know what amount of additional purchases aren't eligible for Azure Monetary Commitment funds, trigger an overage invoice.

Other questions

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

A: Starting September 28, 2018 you can no longer create Team Projects or view them in the Azure portal. You can continue to access any Team Projects you create 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. 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: 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