Azure DevOps has now moved from a “pre-purchase and assign licences” model to a “pay-as-you-assign licences” model and it’s really quite an exciting change.
In a Nutshell
What is now different?
You no longer need to go to the marketplace to purchase licences and then assign them. The option is still there for those who need to buy TFS/Azure DevOps Server licences, but the pricing model for Azure DevOps (not Server) is now simply dependant on who is assigned to a given organisation.
Doesn’t that pose a risk in terms of people being assigned in error?
Yes, it does. Previously you had the disconnected licence purchase as a gating mechanism, which now doesn’t exist anymore in Azure DevOps.
The product group recognises that this concerns some customers and advise all customers to use group rules. These can help them introduce a similar gating mechanism using their very own Active Directory. “You need to be in this group to get a paid licence!”