Azure DevOps and its extensive feature-set helps teams plan smarter, collaborate better, and ship faster. With several integrated features such as Azure Pipelines or Azure Repos, it gives you the flexibility to use just what you need to complement your existing workflows.
However, as your usage of Azure DevOps grows, you might find that monitoring and observing key CI/CD metrics across these services gets increasingly challenging.
If that sounds like you, perhaps what you're missing is a DevOps Dashboard – one that aggregates and connects data from your pipelines and releases, across all of your projects and teams.
Here are a few things you'd be able to achieve:
- Visualize pipeline metrics such as build duration across multiple DevOps teams or projects
- Visualize data from Azure DevOps alongside data locked away in other tools, such as Kubernetes clusters
- Correlate data from Azure DevOps (e.g., recent releases) with incident data from other tools such as PagerDuty or ServiceNow
- Share pipeline or release data with someone who doesn’t have direct access to Azure DevOps
- Publish Azure DevOps data to a wallboard or single pane of glass
- Set up complex monitoring and send alerts to Slack, Teams, or ServiceNow
- Automate the creation or modification of Dashboards (e.g., with every new release)
Whether your team would benefit from one of these use cases, or all of them, check out this write-up to see how easy it is to plug into your Azure DevOps environment using the SquaredUp observability portal. Surface any of your Azure DevOps data, in one place, for easy alerting and sharing.
Getting Started with SquaredUp
Creating an account and getting started with SquaredUp is simple. Just head over to squaredup.io/get-started to sign up for a free account.
Once you’ve created and verified your account, you’ll be able to quickly plug into your Azure DevOps environment and start dashboarding! Let’s walk through this process.
Step 1: Connect to Azure DevOps
SquaredUp has more than 50 out-of-the-box plugins (with more on the way) that enable you to connect to a range of cloud platforms, dev tools, databases, service management tools, and more. Feel free to check out our other blog posts to learn more after this Azure DevOps walkthrough.
Upon creating our SquaredUp account, we’ll see a range of pre-built Dashboards visualizing some static sample data. These can be helpful to get familiarized with SquaredUp, but we'll leave you to explore them in your own time. For now, let’s jump right in and set up our Azure DevOps plugin.
From the pre-configured Demo Workspace, we click into the “Settings” menu, found in the lower left corner of the UI:
We'll automatically be taken to the Plugins configuration page, where the Example Plugin is displayed with sample data, alongside the option to add a new Plugin.
Click on the “Add Plugin” button. We can either search for Azure DevOps in the search bar up top, or scroll to the “CI/CD Tools” category, as seen below:
Upon selecting and confirming Azure DevOps, we'll be able to see more details about the out-of-box plugin configuration.
Here’s the list of data that SquaredUp can instantly stream from Azure DevOps:
- Agent Usage
- Build Durations
- Build Failures
- Build Failures by Stage Name
- Build Runs
- Job Queues
It’s worth noting that SquaredUp doesn’t store this data (i.e., won’t create yet another database). SquaredUp plugins are lightweight connections that leave the data where it is and stream it on demand via API (e.g., when viewing it on a Dashboard).
For Azure DevOps, all we need to do is choose a Display Name and provide a personal access token, and SquaredUp will take care of the rest.
It is worth noting that upon connecting to Azure DevOps, SquaredUp will automatically create a new Workspace for the plugin.
In SquaredUp, Workspaces are where different teams can organize their data and knowledge across the tools they use, so feel free to leverage on this organizational feature as you expand your monitoring.
Step 2: Choose the data you want to visualize
Let's jump right into our new Workspace and build our Dashboard.
In the left nav bar, click the ‘+’ sign next to the “Dashboards” tab.
Once we’ve set up the plugin, we can configure tiles on the Dashboard for any data we want to see by choosing the following:
(1) The scope (e.g., a specific pipeline within your Azure DevOps environment)
(2) A data stream (e.g., a metric such as build duration)
(3) How we want that data displayed (e.g., a line graph)
Let's take a quick look at building our first tile using the Dashboard Designer:
From here, we can continue adding and adjusting tiles until we have created our ideal Azure DevOps Dashboard, which might look something like this:
Of course, each team and organization will want to dashboard different data in different ways. We hope the example above offers some inspiration and insight into the many ways you can visualize different data streams from Azure DevOps.
Getting more out of your Azure DevOps Dashboard
Getting a Dashboard up and running is a great start, but it’s just that...a start.
SquaredUp enables you to get so much more mileage out of its native integration with Azure DevOps. Here are just a few things you can try:
- To put these insights to use, you might want to set up monitoring and configure alerting (e.g., for Slack, Teams, or ServiceNow).
- When you monitor individual tiles within a Dashboard, you can then roll up status to the Dashboard and Workspace levels, enabling your team to easily report KPIs across different teams in your organization.
- Additionally, you could scope this Workspace to include additional, related tools—AWS CloudWatch, GitHub, New Relic, Zendesk, etc.—to better connect, aggregate, and monitor crucial data across your dev tools, all in one place.
All the best, and happy dashboarding!
SquaredUp has 50+ pre-built plugins for instant access to data.