Azure DevOps vs Jira: Compare DevOps tools


When it comes to project management tools for DevOps, both Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps are two of the most popular options. We’ll take a look at Azure DevOps and Jira and examine the tools’ similarities and differences to help you decide which software may be right for you.

azure devops vs jira
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What is Azure DevOps?

Microsoft Azure DevOps is software that uses modern agile methodologies and definitions to help track, plan and collaborate. There are five separate services included with Azure DevOps, and each can be used separately or combined with any other service, which makes scaling Azure DevOps for your specific need an easier task.

Microsoft Azure DevOps started out its life as Visual Studio Team Service. For those familiar with VSTS, many of the featured services are now available as standalone services in Azure DevOps but under different service names. For example, the Work feature in VSTS is now Azure Boards using the kanban framework. If you’ve worked with VSTS in the past, you’ll be able to transition quickly and easily to Azure DevOps.

Azure uses modern agile methodologies and definitions to help track, plan and collaborate. There are five separate services included with Azure DevOps, and each can be used separately or combined with any other service, which makes scaling Azure DevOps for your specific need an easier task than some other solutions.

SEE: How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

What is Jira?

Jira is software that streamlines project tracking, development and collaboration. Like Azure DevOps, Jira started out as something else. Jira was originally created as a simplified bug tracking tool, but it is now a full project management solution with deep customization and scalability. It’s that deep customization and scalability that makes Jira stand out from other solutions, including Azure DevOps.

Jira’s tools and services support all agile methodologies, and each service can be customized individually, not just used separately.

Azure DevOps vs. Jira: Feature comparison

FeatureAzure DevOpsJira
Mobile app supportYesNo
Customizable dashboard overviewYesYes
Built-in roadmappingNoYes
Advanced search optionsNoYes
Enterprise-readyYesYes
Advanced traceability optionsYesNo

Head-to-head comparison: Jira vs. Azure DevOps

Cloud service

Both Jira and Azure DevOps have cloud and server versions. Jira runs on Amazon’s AWS, and Azure DevOps runs on the Microsoft Azure services. Server versions are only needed for those customers with higher security requirements or otherwise need full control of the data for specific collaboration needs or other purposes.

Customizable dashboards

Both DevOps services allow users to customize the dashboards to show what information is most relevant to their specific projects. In Jira, different tools are referred to as gadgets. Azure DevOps has a similar set of tools, which they refer to as widgets. These modules both work very similarly and can be added easily, as their names suggest, to show what information is most important when users first log in. Both DevOps tools also allow custom filtering of each gadget or widget used.

Product roadmapping

Jira has had built-in roadmaps for some time, and these tools are very well optimized and fleshed out. Azure Devops recently added this feature, but it is not quite as integrated, as it requires separate apps known as Feature Timeline and Epic Timeline, both are available as a plugin to DevOps via the Microsoft Marketplace.

If product roadmapping is one of your top priorities, Jira clearly takes the lead over Azure DevOps. This functionality in Jira is more integrated and easier to use than the Azure DevOps option.

Jira vs. Azure DevOps: Which is the better DevOps tool?

Jira clearly takes the lead in customization and scalability. Being able to add services on the fly within projects, combined with other options, really makes Jira the more flexible of the two. Of course, with these extra options and customization possibilities comes a more complex learning curve. If you just want to get something up and running quickly, Azure DevOps is the better tool. But for those who know exactly what they need, Jira will give you the tools necessary.

Azure DevOps does take the lead in traceability. Azure DevOps’ traceability options go from the very start to the end of a deployment and shows connections between work items.

Both of these project management systems are very closely matched, with the only real difference comes down to built-in roadmapping, traceability and advanced search functions. If one of these aforementioned functions is a top priority for you, then it should be easy to choose simply based on that need. Outside of those core functions, these two systems should satisfy the majority of teams looking for a project management solution.

This article was written by James Forteze.



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