Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server – formerly called Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server, respectively – are two separate but similar development tools. They can help with planning, versioning, and even deploying your code. Azure DevOps Services is a cloud offering. It is scalable, reliable, and globally available. It is also backed by a 99.9% SLA and is monitored around the clock. Azure DevOps Server is the on-premises sibling of Azure DevOps Services. Companies choose this option when they need to keep their data within their own network, or to take advantage of SQL Server reporting services. While both tools offer the same necessary resources, there are a few fundamental differences to consider when deciding which is right for you.

SQL Server Reporting

One difference between the cloud and on-premises versions of Azure DevOps is SQL Server Analysis Services. This data reporting service supplies data models for business reports and applications such as Power BI and Excel. SSAS is installed as an on-premises server instance and supports tabular models at all compatibility levels. At the time of this writing, SQL Server Analysis Services are only available in Azure DevOps Server.


Scope and Scale

Azure DevOps Services scales in two ways: by organization and by project. Organizations have their own unique URL, and they all have one project collection. Each method has scenarios in which they are more successful. For instance, having one organization with many projects is useful when different efforts require different processes. On the other hand, Azure DevOps Server scales in three different ways: by deployments, by project collections, and by projects. For more about the methods of scale and how to plan your organizational structure, see the documentation.


When using Azure DevOps Services, authentication is done over the public internet with Microsoft account credentials or Azure Active Directory credentials. If using Azure AD, you can also require multi-factor authentication or IP address restriction. When using Azure DevOps Server, you connect to an intranet server. You can use Windows Authentication and AD domain credentials for authentication.

These are just a few differences between Azure DevOps Services and Azure DevOps Server. Additional details and examples can be found here.

For more information, or to get started with a migration, contact our team here at PRAKTIK.