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On 19th November, Microsoft announced the first release candidate (RC) of Azure DevOps Server 2019. Azure DevOps Server 2019 includes the new, fast, and clean Azure DevOps user interface and delivers the codebase of Microsoft Azure DevOps while being optimized for customers who prefer to self-host.

Features of Azure DevOps Server 2019

  1. In addition to existing SQL Server support, Azure DevOps Server also includes support for Azure SQL. This means customers can self-host Azure DevOps in their own datacenter using an on-premises SQL Server. They can take advantage of  Azure SQL capabilities and performance like backup features and scaling options, while reducing the administrative overhead of running the service and  self-hosting Azure DevOps in the cloud.
  2. Customers can use the globally available Microsoft hosted service to take advantage of automatic updates and automatic scaling of Azure DevOps Server.
  3. Azure DevOps Server 2019 includes a new release management interface. Customers can easily understand how their deployment is taking place – it gives them a better visibility of which bits are deployed to which environments and why.
  4. Customers can also mix and match agents self-hosted on-premises and in any cloud on Windows, Mac, or Linux while easily deploying to IaaS or PaaS in Azure as well as on-premises infrastructure.
  5. A new navigation and improved user experience in Azure DevOps
  6. A new feature introduced is ‘my work flyout’. This feature was developed after feedback obtained that when a customer is in one part of the product and wants some information from another part, they didn’t want to lose their context of the current task. With this new feature, customers can access this flyout from anywhere in the product, which will give them a quick glance at crucial information link work items, pull requests, and all favorites.
  7. Teams that use pull requests (PRs) and branch policies, there may be occasions when members need to override and bypass those policies. For teams to verify that those policy overrides are being used in the right situations, a new notification filter is added to allow users and teams to receive email alerts any time a policy is bypassed.
  8. Tests tab now gives a rich, in-context test information for Pipelines. It provides an in-progress test view, full page debugging experience, in context test history, reporting aborted test execution, and run level summary.

The UI has undergone significant testing and the team suggests that for self-hosting customers the new navigation model may require updates to internal documentation and training.

A direct upgrade to Azure DevOps Server is supported fromTeamm Foundation Server 2012 and newer. Previous versions of Team Foundation Server will stay on the old user interface. Check the Azure DevOps Server requirements and compatibility page to understand dependencies required for a self-hosted installation. Head over to Microsoft’s blog for more information on this news. You can download Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1 and check out the release notes for all the features and information for this release.

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