Get to Know Split’s New Azure DevOps Integration

The team at Split was so excited when M12, Microsoft’s venture fund chose to invest in our vision, via our Series C. Since then, the team here has been hard at work on a series of initiatives to bring the power of Split’s feature delivery platform to the millions of developers in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Today’s announcement of Split’s Azure DevOps integration is a major milestone in our journey together.

Software development teams around the world today are under extreme pressure to innovate faster without compromising the user experience. We invested in Split to partner with them in empowering developers to exceed customers’ expectations with ease. We’re excited to expand this partnership with Split’s new Azure DevOps integration and believe it will be essential to how developers deliver new products and features with speed, control, and focus.

Priyanka Mitra, Principal at M12

Cross-Team Visibility, Speed and Safety as the Default

Our goal in this first project together was to streamline access to the full power of feature flags when building and releasing code with Azure DevOps. Thanks to input from design partners and beta testers, we’ve been able to create a developer experience that is not only streamlined, but also the first of its kind to support the full power of feature flags from within Azure DevOps, including multiple flag types beyond “on” and “off,” dynamic configurations, and advanced targeting rules. 

Our focus was on building two capabilities that would make cross-team visibility, speed, and safety the default experience.

  1. Developers can create feature flags (and associate existing ones) from within Azure work items, as they plan their work. The association between an Azure Board’s work item and a feature flag is instantly visible in both Azure DevOps and Split, even before the first line of code is written using the flag. 
  1. As code is written and deployed, the new “Split” Azure Pipeline task initializes targeting rules for newly created flags upon the very first commit. Default settings ensure that work in progress remains “dark” even if deployed all the way to production, while all of Split’s advanced flag definition and targeting capabilities are available via the task’s Split Targeting Definition field. Whether you are looking to use the default settings to enable trunk-based development, or the advanced targeting capabilities to support testing in production and other use cases, this new “Split” pipeline task has you covered.

The free Split extension in the Azure DevOps Marketplace takes about two minutes to install,  unlocking these two capabilities for any organization, large or small.

Relationships Matter

Throughout the process of design, coding, testing, and release, the system at the heart of work planning and execution (Azure Boards) and the system at the heart of release control (Split) are deep-linked to each other at the work item and feature flag level. No matter which system you start in, you are never more than two clicks away from the details and associated context in the other.

Split’s Azure DevOps integration will simplify our workflow by allowing developers to create new flags directly in Azure Boards. This integration will also help us better collaborate with our product teams who approve all public releases. The linkage between work items and feature flags is a big plus because it streamlines the process of knowing when all work is completed for a single feature, and will help us ensure a drama-free release.

Matthew Bingham, Director of Development at J. J. Keller & Associates.

Have a Look!

Perhaps the best way to understand this new integration is to see it yourself. Here are links to an end-to-end demo video, a 3-minute install video, docs, release notes, and more: 

You can keep a close eye on the fast-evolving state of feature delivery by following us on YouTube, LinkedIn or Twitter! Looking to network with like-minded practitioners in a more focused setting? Join the Split Community on Slack!