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Creating your first Azure DevOps Project

Before you can setup an Azure DevOps Projects, you need to create a Azure DevOps account and organization. This setup is very easy and basic configuration can be done in a matter of minutes. For this blogpost, I will skip the organization setup and I will dive into Azure DevOps Project Setup straight away.

When creating an Azure DevOps Project, there are a few considerations to make, do you want your project to be publicly available? Which Azure DevOps features do you want to use? How would you like to handle code management?

I will guide you through this process and make sure that you know how to choose the right configuration for you project.

To create a new Azure DevOps Project, you first need to sign-in into Azure DevOps (https://dev.azure.com/)

As soon as you have signed in and you have created your organization, or been assigned to an organization, you should be able to create a new project.

During the project setup, a couple of decisions need to be made, first of all you will need to choose a meaningful Project name and choose the visibility option for your project. By default you can only choose “Private” Visibility for your project.

Azure DevOps Basic Project Setup

Project Visibility

If you want to create an Open Source project (Public Project), you first will need to enable the Public Visibility feature.

To enable this feature you will need to navigate to the Organization settings,

Azure DevOps Organization Settings

Navigate to the Securtity section of the settings, choose Policies and finally enable “Allow public projects”.

As soon as this feature is enabled you can create a “Public” Project in Azure DevOps.


Advanced Options

Depending on which features you would like to use in Azure DevOps, it might be a good idea to take a look at the Advanced settings as well.

Version Control

There are 2 ways to setup version control in Azure DevOps, by Default GIT version control is selected, which means that you will have a distributed source control system, where every developer will work on a local copy of your repository. As long as the developer is working locally, nobody will be able to detect the changes unless the local copy is pushed to the remote repository. (I will explain more about working with GIT in a future blogpost)

The alternative to use is TFVC (=Team Foundation Version Control) which basically is a centralized source control system. With TFVC you can check-out files to make sure that you’re the only one who is making changes. As long as you’re making changes in a certain file the file is locked for everyone else.

Currently more and more users are switching to a GIT based version control system. if you’re in doubt which version control system to use, following article might help:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/repos/tfvc/comparison-git-tfvc?view=azure-devops

Work Item Process

You should only be concerned about the Work item process setting if you plan to use “Azure DevOps Boards”. If not, I would suggest that you just stick to the default, which is the “Basic” Work item process. Later on you can change the Work item process as well.

When you are planning to use Azure DevOps Boards, you need to consider how you would like to handle your work items, currently, when writing this article, there are 4 options: Agile, Basic, CMMI & Scrum.

Depending on the way that you are planning to manage your project you can choose the default setup of your Azure DevOps Board. If you are not sure, I would choose Basic for the simplicity.

In case you would like to fully understand the differences between these Work item processes, you can use following link to go to the official Microsoft Documentation:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/boards/work-items/guidance/choose-process?view=azure-devops&tabs=basic-process

For now, we will choose the Basic process flow and create our first project. As a result you should see something like this:

Azure DevOps Project Default View

Project Settings

By default all Azure DevOps Services are enabled for your project, in case you are only using Repos for example, it might be a good idea to disable all other services as a result, all disabled services will disappear from the navigation pane.

To disable Azure DevOps Services, you need to navigate to “Project Settings”, “General”. For this article, I will disable: Pipelines, Test Plans & Artifacts:

DevOps Services Overview

As a result, my navigation page will not show the disabled Azure DevOps features anymore as soon as I refresh my browser, later on, if you want to use these services you only need to enable them again in the project settings.

You are now ready to get started with Azure DevOps Boards & Azure DevOps Repos.

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