About projects and scaling your organization

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A project provides a repository for source code and a place for users to plan, track progress, and collaborate on building software solutions. A project represents a fundamental container where data is stored when added to Azure DevOps.

When you create your project, a team of the same name is automatically created. This is sufficient for small teams. However, for enterprise-level organizations, it may be necessary to scale up, to create additional teams and projects. These additions can be created within the single account or collection.

Single project and team defined within an
organization or collection

Multiple projects and teams defined within an
organization or collection

Conceptual image, Single collection-project-team.

Conceptual image, Scaled collection-project-team.

The collection-project-team structure provides teams a high level of autonomy to configure their tools in ways that work for them. It also supports administrative tasks to occur at the appropriate level. As your organization grows, your tools can grow to support a culture of team autonomy and organizational alignment.

How do you manage work across the enterprise?

How do you scale your DevOps and Agile tools to support your growing enterprise?

When you connect to Azure DevOps, you connect to an organization or project collection. Within that container, one or more projects may be defined. At least one project must be created to use the system.

You can scale your on-premises Azure DevOps deployment in the following ways:

  • To increase performance, you can add server instances
  • To support different business units, you can add project collections and projects
  • Within a project, you can add teams
  • Add repositories and branches
  • To support continuous integration and deployment, you can add agents, agent pools, and deployment pools
  • To manage a large number of users, you can manage access through Active Directory

Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server are enterprise-ready platforms. These platforms support teams of any size, from tens to thousands. Azure DevOps Services, our cloud service, provides a scalable, reliable, and globally available hosted service. It's backed by a 99.9% SLA, monitored by our 24x7 operations team, and available in local data centers around the world.

How to view projects

You can view the projects defined for your organization by opening the Projects page.

When to add another project

In general, we recommend that you use a single project to support your organization or enterprise. A single project minimizes the maintenance of administrative tasks and supports the most optimized / full-flexibility cross-link object experience.

Even if you have many teams working on hundreds of different applications and software projects, you can most easily manage them within a single project. A project serves to isolate data stored within it. You can't easily move data from one project to another. When you move data from one project to another, you typically lose the history associated with that data.

For more information about when to add another project, see How many projects do you need?.

Reasons to add another project

You may want to add another project in following instances:

  • To prohibit or manage access to the information contained within a project
  • To support custom work tracking processes for specific business units within your organization
  • To support entirely separate business units that have their own administrative policies and administrators
  • To support testing customization activities or adding extensions before rolling out changes to the working project

Structure your project

When you add a project, look at using the following elements to structure it to support your business needs:

Customizing and configuring projects

You can configure and customize most services and applications to support your business needs or the way your teams work. Within each project, you can do the following tasks. For a comprehensive view of what resources can be configured, see About team, project, and organizational-level settings.

When to add a team, scaling Agile tools across the enterprise

As your organization grows, add teams to provide them the Agile tools that each team can configure to meet their workflow. To learn more, see the following articles.

To review stories and short videos on how Microsoft transitioned from waterfall to Agile, see Scaling Agile Across the Enterprise.

Clients that support connection to a project

In addition to connecting through a web browser, you can connect to a project from the following clients:

See also, Compatibility with Azure DevOps Server versions.

Q & A

Q: Can I move or transfer a project to another organization or collection?

A: Not without losing data. You can't move a project from one collection/organization to another collection/organization without losing data. You can manually copy resources and leave some behind, or use a third-party tool, such as OpsHub Visual Studio Migration Utility, that copies data using the REST APIs.

Q: What programmatic tools support projects?

A. See Projects REST API.