GitLab Direction

This page describes the direction and roadmap for GitLab. It's organized from the short to the long term.

Your contributions

GitLab's direction is determined by GitLab the company, and the code that is sent by our contributors. We continually merge code to be released in the next version. Contributing is the best way to get a feature you want included.

On our issue tracker for CE and EE, many requests are made for features and changes to GitLab. Issues with the Accepting Merge Requests label are pre-approved as something we're willing to add to GitLab. Of course, before any code is merged it still has to meet our contribution acceptance criteria.

What our customers want

As a company, GitLab tries to make things that are useful for our customers as well as ourselves. After all, GitLab is one of the biggest users of GitLab. If a customer requests a feature, it carries extra weight. Due to our short release cycle, we can ship simple feature requests, such as an API extension, within one or two months.

Previous releases

On our release list page you can find an overview of the most important features of recent releases and links to the blog posts for each release.

Future releases

GitLab releases a new version every single month on the 22nd. Note that we often move things around, do things that are not listed, and cancel things that are listed.

This page is always in draft, meaning some of the things here might not ever be in GitLab. New premium features are indicated with "EE Premium" label. This is our best estimate of what will be new premium features, but is in no way definitive.

The list is an outline of tentpole features – the most important features of upcoming releases – and doesn't include any contributions from volunteers outside the company. This is not an authoritative list of upcoming releases - it only reflects current milestones.

10.0

Next 2-3 months

Next 3-6 months

Enterprise Editions

Starter Features

Starter features are available to anyone with an Enterprise Edition subscription (Starter, Premium, Ultimate).

Premium Features

Premium features will only be available to EE Premium (and in the future: Ultimate) subscribers.

Ultimate Features

Ultimate features will only be available EE Ultimate subscribers. Enterprise Edition Ultimate is not yet available.

Functional Areas

Below are features that represent the various functional areas we see GitLab going in. This list is not prioritized. We invite everyone to join the discussion by clicking on the items that are of interest to you. Feel free to comment, vote up or down any issue or just follow the conversation. For GitLab sales, please add a link to the account in Salesforce.com that has expressed interest in a wishlist feature. We very much welcome contributions that implement any of these things.

Chat Commands

No current issues

Build and packaging

GitLab is the engine that powers many companies' software businesses so it is important to ensure it is as easy as possible to deploy, maintain, and stay up to date.

Today we have a mature and easy to use Omnibus based build system, which is the foundation for nearly all methods of deploying GitLab. It includes everything a customer needs to run GitLab all in a single package, and is great for installing on virtual machines or real hardware. We are committed to making our package easier to work with, highly available, as well as offering automated deployments on cloud providers like AWS.

We also want GitLab to be the best cloud native development tool, and offering a great cloud native deployment is a key part of that. We are focused on offering a flexible and scalable container based deployment on Kubernetes, by using enterprise grade Helm Charts.

GitLab High Availability

Cloud Native Deployment

Other Build Objectives

No current issues

CI / CD

We want to help developers get their code into production; providing convenience and confidence to the developer in an integrated way. CI/CD focuses on steps 6 through 9 of our scope: Test (CI), part of Review (MR), Staging (CD), and part of Production (Chatops). When viewed through the CI/CD lens, we can group the scope into CI, CD, and things that are currently beyond any definition of CD.

GitLab CI/CD Scope

We define our vision as “Auto DevOps”: leveraging our integrated set of tools, it is simple to assist users in every phase of the development process, implementing automatic tasks that can be customized and refined to get the best fit for their needs. Our idea is that the future will have “auto CI” to compile and test software based on best practices for the most common languages and frameworks, “auto review” with the help of automatic analysis tools like Code Climate, “auto deploy” based on Review Apps and incremental rollouts on Kubernetes clusters, and “auto metrics” to collect statistical data from all the previous steps in order to guarantee performances and optimization of the whole process. Dependencies and artifacts will be first-class citizens in this world: everything must be fully reproducible at any given time, and fully connected as part of the great GitLab experience.

Watch the video explaining our vision on Auto DevOps.

Many of the issues describe development of an n-tier web app, but could equally be applied to an iOS app, Ruby gem, static website, or other type of project.

See a slightly more complete rendering of an example pipeline.

Pipelines

Build

GitLab CI provides an explicit build stage and the concept of build artifacts, but we might need to separate out the build artifacts from test artifacts. For example, you might want your test runner to create a JUnit-style output file which is available for external consumption, but not included in the build image sent to production. Creation of an explicit build aligns well with Docker where the result of the build stage is a Docker image which is stored in a registry and later pulled for testing and deployment.

Test

Deploy

A key part of CD is being able to deploy. We currently have this ability via scripts in the deploy stage in .gitlab-ci.yml. We will go further.

Deliver

What's the difference between Deploy and Deliver? There's a big benefit to decoupling deployment of code from delivery of a feature, mostly using feature flags. Continuous integration helps improve the speed of development, but feature flags take it to another level, giving you the confidence to integrate code even more often while providing a gradual and granular method for delivery.

Monitor

See Prometheus Monitoring.

Misc

Code Review

Container Registry

Moderation Tools

No current issues

Open Source Projects

Pages

Performance

Prometheus Monitoring

Performance is a critical aspect of the user experience, and ensuring your application is responsive and available is everyone's responsibility. We want to help address this need for development teams, by integrating key performance analytics and feedback into the tool developers already use every day.

As part of our commitment to performance we are also deeply instrumenting GitLab itself, enabling our team to improve GitLab peformance and for customers to more easily manage their deployments.

Service Desk

Team-first collaboration with issue boards

Usability

User management

Version Control for Everything

Wiki

No current issues

Workflow management with issues

Discussion: Issues and Merge Requests

Portfolio Management

Teams

Review

Enterprise

Feedback

Moonshots

Moonshots are big hairy audacious goals that may take a long time to deliver.

Scope

Our vision is an integrated set of tools for application lifecycle management based on convention over configuration.

Inside out scope

To achieve this we ship the following features in our Omnibus package:

  1. Idea => Chat using Mattermost
  2. Define => Issue tracking through GitLab Issues
  3. Plan => Issue Boards
  4. Create => Web editor, Web Terminal and GitLab Repositories
  5. Review => GitLab Continuous Integration, Container Registry, GitLab Merge Requests and Review Apps
  6. Release => GitLab Continuous Delivery, Auto Deploy, Mattermost slash commands and Slack slash commands
  7. Measure => Cycle Analytics, Prometheus and Conversational Development Index

Also see our demo.

Outside our scope

  1. Error monitoring Sentry, Airbrake, Bugsnag
  2. Logging Fluentd, ELK stack, Graylog, Splunk, LogDNA
  3. Tracing OpenTracing, LightStep
  4. Network Flannel, Openflow, VMware NSX, Cisco ACI
  5. Network security Suricata, Nmap, rkhunter, Metasploit, Snort, OpenVAS, OSSEC
  6. Configuration management although we do want to upload cookbooks, manifests, playbooks, and modules for respectively Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Salt.
  7. Container configuration agents ContainerPilot, Orchestrator-agent
  8. Distributed configuration stores Consul, Etcd, Zookeeper, Vault
  9. Container Scheduler although we do want to deploy to CloudFoundry, OpenStack, OpenShift, Kubernetes, Mesos DCOS, Docker Swarm, Atlas/Terraform, Nomad, Deis, Convox, Flynn, Tutum, GiantSwarm, Rancher
  10. Operating System Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, CoreOS, Alpine Linux

Product Strategy

Today you can create an entire product successfully in GitLab, from idea to production. But you still need domain-specific knowledge to be able to set this up and then maintain, monitor and scale this application.

GitLab provides an integrated product for teams of any size with any kind of projects to move faster from idea to production, while giving you actionable feedback, and making shipping products simple.

GitLab's product is opinionated, but still allows you to use other tools if you like to do so. GitLab plays well with others.

Integrated Product

GitLab is an integrated produc for conversational development. A single integrated product has many advantages over separate components:

Integrated Authorization

GitLab does not require you to manage authorizations for each of its tools. This means that you set permissions once and everyone in your organization has the right access to every component.

Integrated Authentication

You only have to login to one application. No extra steps needed.

Integrated interface

A single interface for all tools means that GitLab can always present the relevant context and you're not losing information due to constant context switching. Furthermore, if you're comfortable with one part of GitLab, you're comfortable with all of GitLab, as it all builds on the same interface components.

Integrated installation

Running GitLab means that there are is only one product components to install, maintain, scale, backup and secure.

Integrated upgrades

Updating GitLab means that everything is guaranteed to work as it did before. Maintaining separate components is often complicated by upgrades that change or break integration points, essentially breaking your software delivery pipeline. This will never happen with GitLab because everything is tested as an integrated whole.

Integrated data-store

GitLab uses a single data-store so you can get information about the whole software development life-cycle instead of parts of it.

Emergent benefits

An integrated product has unique, emergent benefits. Among them:

Conversational Development

Conversational development carries a conversation across functional groups through the application lifecycle management, involving gatekeepers at every step. By providing relevant context, a feature that is only possible with an integrated solution like GitLab, we can reduce cycle time, making it easier to diagnose problems and make decisions.

Concretely, conversational development in GitLab means that a change can be easily followed from inception to the changes it made in performance and business metrics and feeding this information back to all stakeholders immediately.

Effectively, this allows cross-functional teams to collaborate effectively.

Review Apps

Review apps are the future of change review. They allow you to review not just the code, but the actual changes in a live environment. This means one no longer has to check out code locally to verify changes in a development environment, but you simply click on the environment link and try things out.

Only a tool that combines code review with CI/CD pipelines and integration with container schedulers (Kubernetes) is able to quickly create and shut down review apps and make them part of the review process.

Cycle Analytics

Cycle analytics tell you how what your time to value, from idea to production is. Only by having direct access to each step in the software development lifecyle, GitLab can give actionable data on time to value.

This means you can see where you are lagging and make meaningful change to ship faster.

Container registry integrates with CI

Every GitLab projects comes with a container registry. That means there is no need for elaborate configuration to be able to use and push container images in CI. Rather, all you have to do is use a pre-defined variable in your CI configuration file (.gitlab-ci.yml).

Idea to Production

GitLab contains all tools needed to bring any project from the ideation stage up to running in production and giving feedback. This includes repositories, issue tracking, CI, CD, monitoring, chat and more. GitLab focuses on lowering the threshold between each step, so that working on a project means focusing on collaboration and not on learning new tools.

External Integrations

GitLab plays well with others. To allow everyone to contribute, it's important that there is only one place where you'll have to look, even if you need to use external tools that are not part of GitLab. For this reason, GitLab plays well with others: Providing APIs for nearly everything you can do within GitLab and powerful, simple authentication and authorization tools for external integrations.

GitLab ships with built-in integrations to many popular applications.

Actionable Feedback

Deployments should never be fire and forget. GitLab will give you immediate feedback on every deployment on any scale. This means that GitLab can tell you whether performance has improved on the application level, but also whether business metrics have changed.

Concretely, we can split up monitoring and feedback efforts within GitLab in three distinct areas: execution (cycle analytics), business and system feedback.

Business feedback

With the power of monitoring and an integrated approach, we have the ability to do amazing things within GitLab. GitLab will be able to automatically test commits and versions through feature flags and A/B testing.

Business feedback exists on different levels:

Application feedback

You application should perform well after changes are made. GitLab will be able to see whether a change is causing errors or performance issues on application level. Think about:

System feedback

We can now go beyond CI and CD. GitLab will able to tell you whether a change improved performance or stability. Because it will have access to both historical data on performance and code, it can show you the impact of any particular change at any time.

System feedback happens over different time windows:

Execution Feedback & Cycle Analytics

GitLab is able to speed up cycle time for any project. To provide feedback on cycle time GitLab will continue to expand cycle analytics so that it not only shows you what is slow, it’ll help you speed up with concrete, clickable suggestions.

Enterprise Editions

GitLab comes in 3 editions, with Ultimate coming in the future:

Quarterly Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

To make sure our goals are clearly defined and aligned throughout the organization, we make use of OKR's (Objective Key Results). Our quarterly Objectives and Key Results are publicly viewable.

Vision

From development teams to marketing organizations, everyone needs to collaborate on digital content. Content should be open to suggestions by a wide number of potential contributors. Open contribution can be achieved by using a mergeable file format and distributed version control. The vision of GitLab is to allow everyone to collaborate on all digital content so people can cooperate effectively and achieve better results, faster.

Ideas flow though many stages before they are realized. An idea originates in a chat discussion, an issue is created, it is planned in a sprint, coded in an IDE, committed to version control, tested by CI, code reviewed, deployed, checked and documented. Stitching all these stages of the application lifecycle together can be done in many different ways. You can have a marketplace of proprietary apps from different suppliers or use a suite of products developed in isolation. We believe that an integrated set of tools for application lifecycle management based on convention over configuration offers a superior user experience. The advantage can be quoted from the Wikipedia page for convention over configuration: "decrease the number of decisions that developers need to make, gaining simplicity, and not necessarily losing flexibility". In GitLab you only have to specify unconventional aspects of your workflow. The happy path is frictionless from idea to production.

We admire other convention over configuration tools like Ruby on Rails (that doctrine of which perfectly describe the value of integrated systems), Ember, and Heroku, and strive to offer the same advantages for a continuous delivery of software.

Integrated product over network of services

We prefer to offer an integrated product instead of a network of services or offering plugins for the following reasons:

  1. We think an integrated set of tools provides a better user experience than a modular approach, as detailed by this article from Stratechery.
  2. The open source nature of GitLab ensures that that we can combine great open source products.
  3. Everyone can contribute to create a feature set that is more complete than other tools. We'll focus on making all the parts work well together to create a better user experience.
  4. Because GitLab is open source the enhancements can become part of the codebase instead of being external. This ensures the automated tests for all functionality are continually run, ensuring that additions keep working. This is in contrast to externally maintained plugins that might not be updated.
  5. Having the enhancements as part of the codebase also ensures GitLab can continue to evolve with its additions instead of being bound to an API that is hard to change and that resists refactoring. Refactoring is essential to maintaining a codebase that is easy to contribute to.
  6. Many people use GitLab on-premises, for such situations it is much easier to install one tool than installing and integrating many tools.
  7. GitLab is used by many large organizations with complex purchasing processes, having to buy only one subscription simplifies their purchasing.