Team vs Group in Azure DevOps

Very confusing? Yes! It’s very confusing to understand what’s the difference between Team and Group in the Azure DevOps. Let’s discuss about it today.

Both Team and Group are same. But they are different in the context i.e. the way and where we implement them. Both are part of a project in Azure DevOps. What I mean to say is we create or have a team or a group at project level, and not at the Organization level. Both are used to implement permissions to the human resources working on the project.

There are built-in groups i.e. Project Administrators, Build Administrators, Contributors, Project Valid Users and Readers. There groups are already provided by the Azure DevOps and can’t be deleted.

When we create a project, a team is created with the same name as project by default. And this team will appear if we go to the Permissions option in Project Settings where built-in permissions groups appear. This default team can’t be deleted too.

So, what the difference between a team and a group?

Both are used to implement permissions to the human resources. Let’s say, we have a project team with 20-25 people i.e. a small team working on the project. In this case, we don’t need extensive permission mechanism. So, we can go and add the users to the built-in groups one by one, and permissions will be implemented to them. Handling of a small group of resources is easier i.e. we can add or remove or delete them one by one. In this scenario, we don’t need a team concept. The built-in groups are suffice to implement the security/permissions.

But, let’s assume we have a team of 1000 resources working on a project. The Dev Team consists of 700 developers with various roles such as Sr. Software Engineer, Software Engineer, etc. When we need to implement permission for these 700 developers, it’s not wise practically to add/remove each user one by one. It would always be easier to have a group of 700 developers and implement permissions to the group or add that group to built-in groups. In this case we create the concept of a Team, add all 700 developers to a team and use that team as a Group. In fact, every team is technically a group.

Therefore, decision to have team/group depends upon what team size and architecture we have for the project. Based on that, we can decided either to work with only built-in groups or have both teams and groups. I recommend to start with built-in groups with simple architecture/permission mechanism and extend it later with teams if required.


Power BI and Source Control Integration

Yes! This is a real problem with the Power BI team to source control Power BI report files (.pbix) with the team. I too have faced problem with it.

Questions arise:

  1. How to integrate Power BI files to a source control tool like TFS, SVN, Git, Azure DevOps, etc. as there is no Project structure available?
  2. Will we get proper versioning of .pbix files as they are not XML/JSON based as we get in case of SQL Server Reporting Services?

Different teams have adopted different ways to handle it.

One of the teams used Visual Studio to have a Solution with any project. Created Solution Folders to organize the report files and added all .pbix files to respective folders. Finally, associated that Solution to the TFS. Whenever they need to work on a particular report, open the Visual Studio Solution and double click on .pbix file. It opens the report up into Power BI Desktop. Work on it and save it. Come back to Visual Studio and Check-In. That’s it! Though, the real issue is Power BI Developer needs to have Visual Studio installed on their local system to make it work. The management questions, why a Power BI team needs to have Visual Studio??? Of course, they need to buy VS licenses for them.

Does it really maintains different versions of .pbix file? Technically a .pbix file is not a XML/JSON file the way we have SSRS reports. So, how does it maintain different versions of .pbix file? Practically, I have seen it working fine with TFS. God knows how it works, but it works, at least so far. Never got any issue from anyone on this.

I wish if Power BI team can integrate the Desktop tool to Azure DevOps the way Azure Data Factory team has done it for ADF V2 version. Azure Data Factory has implemented CI/CD in the Azure Portal itself. So, there is no need for Visual Studio and other stuff, which had been there with ADF V1 version earlier. Yes! I faced problem working on ADF V1 when it comes to sharing files with other team members. Hope, Power BI team does same sooner.

Let me know your experience on this issue.

How to find out Power BI Desktop Version, User ID and Session ID

It’s always good to have latest version of Power BI Desktop as Power BI team keeps on updating the Desktop tool. So, how to find out what version of Power BI Desktop you’ve been running???

Open up your Power BI Desktop, go to About and click it. It will open a new box displaying all the required details about Power BI Desktop. Take a look at below image:

I’ve rubbed the User ID and Session ID off from the image as that’s, I guess, the confidential info about my Power BI Desktop.


WPF and MVVM Training at L&T Technology Services, Mysuru, 11-15 Feb, 2019

Conducted WPF and MVVM training at L&T Technology Services, Mysuru during 11-15 Feb, 2019.

Have been working on ASP.NET MVC, Angular and React more often now-a-days. It’s been really great to have this session as I had worked on WPF and MVVM long back and was out of touch somehow. Feel Happy! I still remember all the concepts and could share my knowledge with the participants.

Had nice time with cool weather at L&T Technology Services!