Connect Azure DevOps With Your ITSM Tool

Blog
by Benoit Lévesque - 
August 7 2019

True story. Your manager wants to build a bridge between your ticketing tool (helpdesk or service management software) and its Agile development platform. He asks you to develop this bridge to support a series of automated tests. Here are some scenarios where your service management tool and Azure DevOps can communicate bilaterally.

 

Azure DevOps + ITSM Tool = Value Added Collaboration

From a DevOps perspective, these types of systems can communicate together and share critical data in support of the current processes. Although, it is useful to simplify their integration.

For example, with Service Hook event types, an IT department can more easily manage software release, track bug, and identify new stories.

The goal is to reduce operating costs and deliver better value-added services / applications. Accelerating service delivery development requires greater collaboration and synchronization between product development teams and operations teams. To ensure developers are focused on changing the system without having to deal with bugs, it is beneficial to integrate these software development tools into operational systems such as ITSM tools.

This is refering to a DevOps development cycle.

 

Bug Management

In the context of project management or end-to-end software development, the identification and support of bugs is important. If your team is looking to better track quality assurance issues, the ITSM app can create work items or edit items already in Azure DeVops (VSTS).

The opposite also applies in the case where information changes in VSTS; it may change the status of the ticket in the service management software (ITSM), change its summary, etc.

Work item updated - Azure DevOps Integration

Service Request and Incident Management

Let's say that you have Azure DevOps or any other Agile software development solution in your hands and that you receive many service requests for improvements to the system.

By processing these requests with your ITSM solution, you can create a story in Azure DevOps from those same notes.

When your customer who requested improvement "X" wants a status of progress, Azure DevOps is able to update the values, including the progress in the service management tool for example, in order to communicate with the customer transparently.

 

Automated Tests and Product Releases

Let's take another example, generating automated tests. The Agile approach, let's remember, allows to manage the parallel development of stories which must then pass the test of the tests. Several companies have already taken the shift to automation and are trying to speed up the process, including the quality assurance portion.

The bridge between Azure DevOps and the ITSM tool allows you to run tests after programming a new function for example; Once the development team commits and automates the build on Azure DevOps, tests are run and a ticket can be created in the ticketing tool. The development team and the QA team can then be notified for monitoring this output.

Synchronizing ticket creation due to breakage or "failure" of compilation can also save you a lot of time. An incident is immediately created and a notification is sent to the developers who can react quickly on the error.

Several other actions are possible as part of a release management process - ticket creation, ticket modification, additional web service calls, changing a value, etc.

 

Bug management

 

Change Management

Most development cycles must also handle scenarios where change requests can slow down or duplicate work. These changes often involve many levels of verification and compliance, in relation to physical or intangible equipment.

An example of integration is to initiate a change request and to be able to follow the details operationally. The ideal solution is supported with most ITSM tools; change request initiated on Azure DevOps can synchronize values and enable a workflow in the ITSM tool to notify the CAB of the change, then continue with its next tasks.

 

Change management workflow in C2 ATOM

 

Other Triggers: Problem Management

Several triggers are possible depending on your need and its parameters. Problems or malfunctions may occur on the software development side or the operations side.

The development team must be able to quickly identify the potential "real problems" of known errors. To avoid it being constantly disturbed by false problems, the ITSM / Azure DevOps software integration allows the creation of problems in the Azure backlog and can monitor the updates related to these same problems.

The new relevant information can then be returned to the operations to inform the affected customers / users.

 

Azure DevOps work items

 

Implement integrations

Depending on the prioritized scenarios and needs, it is possible to orchestrate these out-of-the-box integration results or develop custom bridges between your ITSM tool and your Agile development platform.

These integration cases will multiply rapidly, as do the majority of organizations seeking to advance the efficiency of their deployment processes.

 

Service Hook List

Here's a list of Service Hook, which represents types of possible events