Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server (formerly known as Team Foundation Server or TFS) are both Microsoft solutions for managing your software development lifecycle. Both solutions provide similar capabilities, including source control, continuous integration and delivery, work tracking, and more. However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider when choosing between them.

Azure DevOps Services is a cloud-based service that provides a fully managed and scalable solution for your software development needs. It offers a range of integrated tools and services for your development team, including:

  • Azure Boards: a flexible work tracking system for managing your backlog, sprints, and agile planning.
  • Azure Repos: a scalable and secure Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) repository for managing your source code.
  • Azure Test Plans: a comprehensive and integrated testing solution for your applications
  • Azure Artifacts: a universal package repository for managing your packages and dependencies.
  • Azure Pipelines: a powerful and flexible continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for building, testing, and deploying your applications.

Azure DevOps Services is a great option if you want to focus on your development work and leave the management and maintenance of your infrastructure to Microsoft. With Azure DevOps Services, you don’t need to worry about hardware procurement, maintenance, or upgrades. You can also scale your development resources up or down as needed, with no additional infrastructure costs.

On the other hand, Azure DevOps Server is an on-premises solution that provides similar capabilities to Azure DevOps Services, but it requires your organization to manage the infrastructure and perform updates and maintenance. Azure DevOps Server offers the same tools and services as Azure DevOps Services, but with the added flexibility of on-premises installation. With Azure DevOps Server, you have full control over your infrastructure and data, which may be important if you have specific security or compliance requirements.

Here are some pros and cons to consider when choosing between Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server:

Azure DevOps Services Pros:

  • Fully managed solution with no need for hardware procurement or maintenance
  • Easy to set up and get started with, with no installation required
  • Highly scalable and flexible, with the ability to add or remove resources as needed
  • Provides access to the latest features and updates automatically
  • Includes built-in integration with other Microsoft services, such as Azure and Microsoft Teams

Azure DevOps Services Cons:

  • Requires an internet connection to access the service
  • Limited customization options compared to Azure DevOps Server
  • Restricted access to some features and customization options, depending on the plan you choose

Azure DevOps Server Pros:

  • Full control over your infrastructure and data
  • Greater customization options for your deployment and workflows
  • Can be installed on-premises or in a private cloud environment, giving you greater flexibility and control
  • Offers more granular control over user permissions and access to features

Azure DevOps Server Cons:

  • Requires hardware procurement, installation, and maintenance
  • Limited scalability and resource management compared to Azure DevOps Services
  • Requires updates and maintenance to be performed by your IT team

When choosing between Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server, consider the following factors:

  • Your organization’s security and compliance requirements
  • Your infrastructure and resource management capabilities
  • Your development team’s workflow and collaboration needs
  • Your budget and licensing requirements


Both Azure DevOps Service and Azure DevOps Server have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Azure DevOps Service is a cloud-based service that provides better scalability, flexibility, and accessibility. It is ideal for teams that are spread across different geographical locations and want to work collaboratively on the same project. On the other hand, Azure DevOps Server provides better control and customization options, making it more suitable for large enterprises that have specific security and compliance requirements. It is also a good choice for organizations that have limited or no internet connectivity.

Choosing between Azure DevOps Service and Azure DevOps Server largely depends on the needs of your organization. If you need a scalable and flexible solution with minimal infrastructure requirements, Azure DevOps Service may be the better choice. However, if you require complete control over your environment and need to adhere to specific security and compliance requirements, Azure DevOps Server is the way to go.

Regardless of which option you choose, Azure DevOps provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing your software development life cycle, from planning and tracking to building, testing, and deploying. It can help streamline your workflows, improve collaboration and communication, and ultimately, help you deliver high-quality software faster.