Comparison of Azure DevOps Services with Azure DevOps Server:
Comparison of  Azure DevOps Services with Azure DevOps Server:
When contrasting Azure DevOps Server and Azure DevOps Services, it is important to keep in mind that Azure DevOps Server is essentially Azure DevOps on-premises whereas Azure DevOps Services is a cloud solution. Given that both solutions provide comparable functionality, that is the primary distinction between the two.

Azure Devops Server

Comparison of  Azure DevOps Services with Azure DevOps Server:


Azure DevOps Services, a cloud service, offers a hosted solution that is scalable, trustworthy, and accessible from anywhere in the world. It is supported by a 99.9% SLA, is available in regional data centres all over the world, and is constantly watched by our operations staff.


Azure DevOps Server, the on-premises product, has a SQL Server back end. When a customer needs their data to remain on their network, they typically choose the on-premises version. Alternatively, when they need access to SQL Server reporting services that incorporate information and resources from Azure DevOps Server.


Despite the fact that both products offer the same fundamental services, Azure DevOps Services has the following further advantages over Azure DevOps Server:

Streamlined server administration:


  • Access to the newest and best features right away

  • Improved communication with distant sites

  • An alteration from servers and similar capital expenses compared to operating expenses (subscriptions).

  • Consider the important differences below to decide which offering—cloud or on-premises—best suits your needs.

Differences between Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server on a fundamental level


Consider the following factors while deciding on a platform or if you want to switch from on-premises to the cloud:


  • Data on range and scale

  • Authentication

  • People and groups

  • Control user access

  • Protection of data and security

  • Variations in some feature regions


There are several features that differ even though Azure DevOps Services is the hosted version of Azure DevOps Server. Azure DevOps Services does not provide all Azure DevOps Server functionalities. For instance, interaction with SQL Server Analysis Services is not supported by Azure DevOps Services to facilitate reporting.

Two of the additional Areas' levels of support vary:

  • Process individualization

  • Reporting

Are you considering switching from Azure DevOps Server? To learn about your alternatives, read Migration Options.


Data on range and scale


You might need to scale up your Azure DevOps instance as your organisation expands.


In order to scale, Azure DevOps Services uses organisations and projects.


Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server are slightly different. Organisations and projects are the only two alternatives available at the moment for scoping and scaling data. 


Wherever you would establish collections in Azure DevOps Server, we advise creating organisations in Azure DevOps Services. There are the following cases:

Users for Azure DevOps Services can be purchased for each company; however, paid users can only access the organisation where the payment was made. Visual Studio subscriptions can be a desirable choice if you have users who require access to numerous companies. There is no cost to add additional Visual Studio subscribers to any number of organisations. We're also thinking about additional options for providing access to numerous organisations that are combined into a single entity.


Currently, you must manage each organisation separately. When you have a lot of organisations, this approach can be difficult.


By using deployments, project collections, and projects, Azure DevOps Server scales.


The following three options for scope and scalability are provided by Azure DevOps Server:

Data, including project collections, projects, and deployments. Deployments are, in their most basic form, merely servers.


  • However, deployments can be more challenging and may involve:

  • Two-server setup with SQL split out on a different system

  • Farms for high availability that have a number of servers

  • Project collections act as physical database limits as well as containers for security and administration. Related projects are also grouped together using them.

  • The assets of individual software projects, such as source code, work items, etc., are collected in projects.




You can connect to Azure DevOps Services using a public internet connection, such as Depending on how your business is set up, you can either authenticate using your Microsoft account credentials or your Azure AD credentials. You can also put together


You should set up your companies to use Azure AD rather than Microsoft accounts, as opposed to the latter. This approach offers more options for improved security and a better experience in many instances.


 Your Active Directory (AD) domain credentials and Windows Authentication are used for authentication. There is no sign-in process in this method, which is transparent.


Controlling users and groups:


Similar methods can be used with Azure DevOps Services to grant access to groups of users. To Azure DevOps Services groups, you can add Azure AD groups. You must add users one by one if you utilise Microsoft Accounts as opposed to Azure AD.

By adding Active Directory (AD) groups to multiple Azure DevOps groups, you may grant users access to deployments in Azure DevOps Server (for example, the Contributors group for an individual project). Memberships in the AD groups are coordinated. Users can access the Azure DevOps Server by being added to or removed from AD.

Control user access


You may control who has access to certain functionalities in Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server by giving users varying levels of access. One access level must be given to all users. You can grant an infinite number of Stakeholders free access to work item functionality in both the cloud and on-premises options. Additionally, any number of Visual Studio users can access all


Basic functionalities available without extra cost. Only those users who require access are charged

Each user in your company needs to have a different access level in Azure DevOps Services. Subscribers to Visual Studio are verified as they log in through Azure DevOps Services. You can give five users without Visual Studio subscriptions Basic access for nothing.


Set up billing for your organisation and buy more users if you want to grant Basic access or higher to more people. Otherwise, Stakeholder access is granted to all other users.


Groups of users have access using Azure AD groups. At initial sign-in, access levels are automatically allocated. You must explicitly give access levels to each user for companies that have Microsoft accounts set up for sign-in.


Microsoft Azure DevOps Server


Every use is on an honour basis. Specify the access levels for users on the administration page to assign them based on their licences. Assign unlicensed users, for instance, Stakeholder access only.


Basic access is available to users who have an Azure DevOps Server Client Access License (CAL). Depending on their membership, Visual Studio subscribers can have either Basic or Advanced access. There is no attempt made by Azure DevOps Server to validate these licences or enforce compliance.


Protection of data and security:


When considering shifting to the cloud, many organisations want to learn more about data protection. We are devoted to maintaining the security and safety of Azure DevOps Services projects. To fulfil this pledge, we have put in place the necessary business procedures and technical elements. You can also do something.


Process individualization


Depending on the supported process model, there are two distinct approaches to personalise the work-tracking experience:

Using the WYSIWYG customizable inheritance process model from Azure DevOps Services


You can select the On-premises XML process model for Azure DevOps Server, which offers customization through the import or export of XML definition files for work-tracking objects, or the Inheritance process model with Azure DevOps Server.


Versions of Azure DevOps Server prior to 2018: only the On-premises XML Process Model is available to you.


Despite its strength, the On-premises XML process model solution has a number of drawbacks. The fundamental problem is that current projects' processes aren't always updated.


For instance, Azure DevOps Server 2013 provided a number of new features that relied on new work-item kinds and other process template modifications.


Each project collection receives updated copies of all the "in the box" process templates that reflect these changes when you upgrade from 2012 to 2013. These modifications aren't, however, immediately implemented into ongoing projects. Instead, you must use the Configure features wizard or a more manual procedure to include the changes in each project after the upgrade is complete.


Custom process templates and the witadmin.exe tool have always been deactivated in Azure DevOps Services to assist you in staying away from these problems. With each update to Azure DevOps Services, we have been able to update all projects automatically thanks to this strategy. The product team is now putting a lot of effort into making it feasible to customise processes in a way that we can simply and constantly maintain. We just released the first of them.


You can modify the online user interface directly with the new process-customization feature (UI). REST endpoints can be used to programmatically alter your processes in any way you like. When we release new versions of their base processes with Azure DevOps Services updates, projects that you have customised in this way are instantly updated.

Reporting and analytics


Numerous tools are available in Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server to help you monitor the development and quality of your software projects. There are the following tools included:


Both cloud-based and on-premises solutions can access dashboards and simple charts. Both setting up and using these tools is simple.


Analytics widgets and the analytics service. Fast read-access and server-based aggregations are prioritised in the Analytics service.


Microsoft Capability BI connection, which offers a balance of simplicity and power and supports importing Analytics data into Power BI reports.


With OData support, you can use the delivered JSON data to your liking after directly querying the Analytics service from a supported browser. You can create queries that cover your entire organisation or a few of projects. See our Reporting roadmap for more information about the Analytics service.



You have all the tools you need to quickly build and upgrade your applications with Microsoft Azure DevOps. It encourages the use of agile methodologies, which lowers the cost of release management and speeds up time to market. It also smoothly connects with other cloud services and tools.