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Category Direction - Importers

Last Reviewed: 2020-05-25

Introduction and how you can help

Thanks for visiting the direction page for Importers in GitLab. This page belongs to the Import group of the Manage stage and is maintained by Haris Delalić who can be contacted directly via email. This vision is a work in progress and everyone can contribute. If you'd like to provide feedback or contribute to this vision, please feel free to comment directly on issues and epics at GitLab.com.

Mission

The mission of the Importers category is to provide a great experience importing from other applications in our customer's DevOps toolchains, thereby removing friction for migrating to GitLab. Our goal is to build the Importers that our customers find valuable, reliable and easy to use in order to create a more positive first impression when migrating to GitLab. This also includes GitLab-to-GitLab migrations, particularly self-managed GitLab to GitLab.com.

Problems to solve

A typical organization looking to adopt GitLab already has many other tools. Artifacts such as code, build pipelines, issues and epics may already exist and are being used daily. Seamless transition of work in progress is critically important and a great experience during this migration creates a positive first impression of GitLab. Solving these transitions, even for the complex cases, is crucial for GitLab’s ability to expand in the market.

At this time, GitLab is targeting the following high-level areas for import: planning tools, CI/CD tools, and source control tools.

In addition to the migration from other tools, creating easy and reliable GitLab-to-GitLab migrations allows our customers to choose how they access GitLab. While Projects can be migrated using the UI, the ability to migrate GitLab Groups is only available via the API, which requires custom work and manual intervention. With GitHost being deprecated, it is even more important to have a robust migration solution that allows our customers to easily migrate to GitLab.com.

A large portion of our current Importer issues is about the reliability of the solutions. We will need to make our Importers more reliable for our customers to have confidence in the migration process. The availability of importers for our main competitors is another challenge that we will need to address. And finally, the current Importer user experience is hard to discover and is not always user friendly.

What's next & why

To provide a path for our customers moving from GitHost to GitLab.com, the Import group is currently focused on enabling GitLab.com adoption by adding the Group Export/Import functionality to the GitLab UI. Additionally, the Import group continues to enhance the overall user experience by improving the UI for creating new Projects.

Jira Importer and Jenkins Importer are also in focus and currently being implemented by our Plan and Verify stage teams. These two Importers were identified as top 2 IACV features for the Dev section, as these tools are GitLab’s largest competitors in their respective categories.

Finally, the Import group will continue to work on the maintenance and improving the stability of other Importers, such as GitHub and BitBucket.

What is not planned right now

Group Import continuously evaluates and updates the Importers' direction and roadmap. As part of that effort, new Importers such as Trello, CircleCI, and Azure DevOps are being discussed. While these discussions may ultimately lead to the implementation of a new feature or a new Importer, none of them are being planned at this time.

If you'd like to contribute feedback on areas you'd like to see prioritized, please add them as comments in the corresponding epic for this category.

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