The latest update to the GitLab continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform adds a bevy of additional capabilities spanning multiple capabilities, from being able to manage application development and deployment projects in smaller chunks to allowing remote teams to work more efficiently.
Brendan O’Leary, senior developer evangelist for GitLab, said a Minimal Viable Change (MVC) capability in version 13.2 enables DevOps teams to break down work into smaller, more manageable chunks that are less disruptive. At the same time, GitLab is further reducing disruption by enabling deeper integration with Jira project management software from Atlassian. DevOps teams can provide bulk updates to projects using Jira in addition to creating confidential “epics” that only a limited number of users can access, said O’Leary.
GitLab Geo has also been updated to improve replication performance to ensure local content is fresh. That capability has become especially crucial for DevOps teams that now routinely have large numbers of members who are working from home to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Many DevOps teams were already often working remotely prior to the pandemic; now large organizations are moving to extend those efforts at scale because it’s not clear when, if ever, DevOps teams might be heading back into an office, noted O’Leary.
Other new capabilities include CI test results within a Release Evidence module for tacking compliance data; a global search tool for GitLab.com; tools for tracking designs stored in GitLab; and the ability to run custom load tests as part of a CI/CD pipeline more easily.
DevOps teams can now associate Feature Flags with related issues; invoke container host monitoring and blocking; track changes to wiki pages; drive feedback into web-based integrated development environments (IDEs) in real-time; enable PHP developers to access a Composer Repository to discover dependencies; and employ a Code Quality Merge Request widget.
Finally, DevOps teams can run the GitLab Runner tool to launch jobs on instances of z/OS running on IBM mainframes. O’Leary said that capability is especially critical as more organizations that have mainframes embrace best DevOps practices to drive digital transformation initiatives.
In general, digital business transformation initiatives are fueling adoption for DevOps as organizations look to accelerate these initiatives to reduce overall costs and potentially increase revenue. As part of those efforts, O’Leary said organizations are looking for a highly integrated DevOps platform that minimizes the amount of time and effort DevOps teams need to spend integrating components and managing the platform. That urgency is also driving more organizations to embrace the software-as-a-service (SaaS) edition of GitLab, he added.
In the meantime, competition among CI/CD platform providers continues to intensify in the wake of an ongoing wave of consolidation. The paradox is that consolidation is not being driven by declining demand; rather, many IT organizations are looking to streamline DevOps processes by standardizing on a single platform. As such, the race to add as many capabilities to a CI/CD platform as possible has never been more heated.