Blog AI/ML GitLab Duo Chat, your at-the-ready AI assistant, is now generally available
Published on April 18, 2024
6 min read

GitLab Duo Chat, your at-the-ready AI assistant, is now generally available

Explore a real-world example of how our versatile conversational interface for GitLab Duo helps developers onboard faster and write secure code more efficiently.

Chat blog cover image

GitLab Duo Chat is now generally available in GitLab 16.11, bringing a broad range of AI features together into a single easy-to-use, natural language chat experience. Chat provides real-time guidance for engineering and non-engineering users across the entire software development lifecycle — supporting teams in a wide range of tasks, from understanding code faster and boosting collaboration to quickly learning how to use GitLab.

Today, we are also making the following GitLab Duo capabilities, which are accessible in Chat, generally available:

  • Code explanation helps developers understand unfamiliar code.
  • Code refactoring enables developers to improve and modernize existing code.
  • Test generation automates the writing of tests for functions and methods and helps teams catch bugs sooner.

GitLab Duo Chat is available within the GitLab user interface, including GitLab’s Web IDE, as well as within popular IDEs, including VS Code and the JetBrains suite of IDEs. Chat can also be extended by adding custom tools to help users more accurately complete tasks unique to their organization.

GitLab's 2023 State of AI in Software Development Report found that developers spend 75% of their time on tasks other than writing code, including understanding and improving existing code, maintaining code, and testing — and AI, when leveraged across the entire software development lifecycle, will drive efficiencies across all these areas. The report also found that over three-quarters of DevSecOps professionals said they are concerned about AI tools having access to private information or intellectual property. By providing teams with a single entry point into AI for the entire software development process, Chat helps teams boost efficiency without sacrificing security, privacy, or code quality.

In this blog, we’ll explore an example of how you can use Chat to jump into a new project and immediately start adding value.

Get up to speed, fast

As a developer during onboarding, you can ask Chat for help with general knowledge such as understanding CI/CD, the difference between an issue and an epic, how to reset your GitLab password, or how to get started with popular frameworks. With Chat, you have an assistant ready to answer all of your onboarding questions, and soon you’re ready to dig into your first project.

Chat GA blog CI/CD explanation

Accelerate development

Your first task is to help the Product team update the product UI to include totals for the prices of all products in the inventory.

To better understand where to add the new functionality, you can ask Chat to explain a portion of the application and get a quick, easy-to-understand explanation of how the code works — without context-switching. Then, as you start developing the new feature, you can use GitLab Duo Code Suggestions to write code more efficiently. GitLab Duo lets you stay in flow by predictively completing code blocks and proposing common code, all in the same environment where you’re already coding.

Finally, you spot a few lines of code that can be simplified, so you ask Chat to refactor the code. After just a few minutes, you have a better understanding of how your application works — and you have new, high-quality code to implement the functionality the Product team is looking for.

Stay secure

Before you merge any of your new code, you’ll need to run some tests to ensure everything works as expected. You can ask Chat to create unit tests for a Java class you modified. You then paste the unit tests into a new file. You notice that the vulnerability scanner for infrastructure as code has not been enabled, so you ask Chat about it and quickly append the scanner to the project pipeline.

Now you can merge your code with confidence.

Explore tips and tricks for integrating GitLab Duo Chat into your AI-powered DevSecOps workflows.

Adopt AI with guardrails

Luckily, while you’ve been busy onboarding, getting up to speed on your first project, and merging your first lines of code, your organization can rest assured that Chat is built with privacy in mind and doesn't use customer data to train AI models. In addition, GitLab Duo AI access controls enable organizations to control sensitive data at the project, sub-group, and group levels by enabling or disabling AI read access.

Visit the GitLab AI Transparency Center to explore how GitLab implements governance and transparency in GitLab Duo.

Get started with GitLab Duo Chat today

Whether you’re a developer or you’re managing the entire team, GitLab Duo Chat can empower you to take advantage of AI exactly where you need it throughout the software development lifecycle — all while helping you maintain code quality and security guardrails. GitLab Duo Pro, including code explanation, code refactoring, and test generation, is now available to GitLab Premium and Ultimate customers for $19 USD per user per month.

GitLab Duo Pro price card

Start a free trial of GitLab Duo and get started using Chat today.

What’s next for GitLab Duo

We are building GitLab Duo to empower your teams to develop software faster, secure applications more efficiently, better manage software pipelines, and enhance team collaboration. We are excited to share that several GitLab Duo features currently in Beta will soon be released into general availability. Key enhancements include improved AI-powered security capabilities, such as detailed vulnerability explanations and automated resolution processes, as well as summarization and templating tools to help teams improve collaboration in issues, merge requests, and code reviews with concise AI-powered summaries and auto-population of templates.

In line with our privacy-first approach to AI, we will also continue to introduce new ways for organizations to tailor GitLab Duo to their specific needs with two upcoming capabilities:

  • Model personalization will enable organizations to leverage the full potential of AI in a way that aligns closely with their strategic goals, operational needs, and customer expectations.
  • Self-hosted model deployment will help organizations ensure that data doesn't leave their secure environment, reducing the risk of breaches and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.

Visit the GitLab Duo documentation for a complete list of generally available, Beta, and Experimental features.

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