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DEMO: Work Items and Branching in Azure DevOps

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This course explores how to implement version control on Azure repos. It begins with an overview of what source control is and the different types of source control available. It then looks at the key elements of branching, different branching strategies, and how they impact the development process. You'll move on to learn about pull requests and merging as repository functions, and the different merging scenarios available to you. Finally, you'll be guided through using third-party systems in conjunction with Azure DevOps. This course contains several guided demonstrations from inside the Azure portal to give you real-world exposure to the concepts covered throughout the course.

If you have any feedback relating to this course, please feel free to reach out to us at support@cloudacademy.com with any questions or comments.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what version control and Git-based repositories are
  • Learn about branching and the branching strategies
  • Learn about pull requests and merging in Azure DevOps
  • Set permissions on repositories and on TVFC in Azure DevOps
  • Use Azure DevOps in conjunction with build pipelines set up on other platforms

Intended Audience

This is an intermediate level course suited to developers, engineers, and project managers.


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of the software development lifecycle. Knowing what's involved in deploying software to a production environment would also be helpful. If you want to follow along with the demonstrations in this course, you'll need to have an Azure DevOps account.


Let's see how Azure DevOps can help to integrate workflow with branching. I'm gonna go from my Repo to Work Items under the Board's menu and create a new feature work item. I'll give it a descriptive name and assign it to myself. Next, I'll link it to another work item as a child. This involves adding a link to related work. The link relationship is apparent and the item is the user story list, service, and DBs. Now I'll save the work item. And what I should've done was linked the work item to a branch. Let's go back and do that. Under Add Link in the Development on the right, click on Create a Branch link and link an Azure Repo. Give the branch a meaningful name and select which branch you want to branch off. Click Create Branch, and you'll be taken to the branch in the Repo. As I've mentioned, code reviews as part of pull requests are an important aspect of the merge process. Azure DevOps lets you enforce some conditions of code approval through branch policies. Research has shown that the minimum number of approvers should be at least two, and of course, that should be excluding the pull requester. We can prevent the requester from approving their own changes and stipulate that all reviewers must approve the change and all comments be resolved. We can also specify that a pull request must be associated with at least one work item to aid project management and traceability. Limit merge types, lets us specify which type of branch merging we will allow with pull requests. I want to make sure there's absolutely no loss of historical fidelity, and all merge actions are clearly identifiable. So, I will not allow squash or rebase and fast-forward mergers. After saving the policy, we can see the branch's small badge icon next to it indicating a policy has been set.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Hallam is a software architect with over 20 years experience across a wide range of industries. He began his software career as a  Delphi/Interbase disciple but changed his allegiance to Microsoft with its deep and broad ecosystem. While Hallam has designed and crafted custom software utilizing web, mobile and desktop technologies, good quality reliable data is the key to a successful solution. The challenge of quickly turning data into useful information for digestion by humans and machines has led Hallam to specialize in database design and process automation. Showing customers how leverage new technology to change and improve their business processes is one of the key drivers keeping Hallam coming back to the keyboard.