All About Azure Artifacts

February 27, 2020 Troy Micka

Managing the packages your application uses and that you develop internally can become a tiresome burden when developing your applications. In order to support your developers and ensure that your development continues to move forward without being dependent on external feeds means that you need the ability to host those dependent packages on an artifact feed that you control. 

What is Azure Artifacts? 

Azure Artifacts is a package management solution integrated into Azure DevOps that allows you to create and share Maven, npm, and NuGet packages via feeds that can be both public and private to an organization with teams of any size. Azure Artifacts also allows you to include upstream feeds into your configured package feeds to allow you to cache packages that your applications are dependent on inside your own feeds. This allows you to continue to take dependencies on packages that your application is using even if they are no longer available from the original source feed. 

Azure Artifacts additionally allows you to store other artifacts on your feed in what are called universal packages that can be customized to meet your needs. One example of a universal package use case would be to host an internal PowerShell gallery where your team could upload scripts and PowerShell modules that are used inside your company. 

Why should I choose to use Azure Artifacts for hosting my internal packages? 

When choosing how you will manage your packages, often the decision comes down to a buy vs. build approach.

On the one hand, you can build a solution internally on a server and incur the management burden for this server and its security implications. For example: Hosting your own NuGet server in-house comes with administrative burdens such as server maintenance, security patching, access management and connectivity availability for developers and build systems.

An alternative to the build-your-own-solution path would be to leverage a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution such as Azure Artifacts which is included in Azure DevOps. By leveraging Azure Artifacts, you can release your system administrators from the management burden implementing and hosting a homegrown solution while also gaining powerful capabilities such as single sign-on to your package feeds, higher uptime and scalability while not increasing the footprint of your IT infrastructure. You will also experience enhanced security for your package feeds by virtue of leveraging the built-in security in Azure DevOps. 

Azure Artifacts has many use cases that can help your organization to move faster and with greater confidence in the systems on which you rely on to keep moving forward.

Let us help you design an implication plan for Azure Artifacts and if you’re running your own artifact server, we can help you move toward a model that will ease your management burdens and spend more time on items that mean the most to your business. Connect with an expert today. 

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