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Category Direction - Review Apps

Review Apps

Review Apps let you build a review process right into your software development workflow by automatically provisioning test environments for your code, integrated right into your merge requests.

This area of the product is in need of continued refinement to add more kinds of review apps (such as for mobile devices), and a smoother, easier to use experience.

Interested in joining the conversation for this category? Please join us in our public epic where we discuss this topic and can answer any questions you may have. Your contributions are more than welcome.

What's Next & Why

We recently conducted research regarding the Review Apps experience and have gained a lot of insights of what can make this experience better. These can be followed under the following public epic. If you did not get a chance to participate in the interviews but still feel that you have a lot to say, please leave us feedback in the issues or contribute new ones.

Some improvements that we are currently working on are:

Maturity Plan

This category is currently at the "Complete" maturity level, and our next maturity target is Lovable (see our definitions of maturity levels). Key deliverables to achieve this are:

Competitive Landscape

One big advantage Heroku Review Apps have over ours is that they are easier to set up and get running. Ours require a bit more knowledge and reading of documentation to make this clear. We can make our Review Apps much easier (and thereby much more visible) by implementing One button to enable review apps, auto-edit .gitlab-ci.yml, auto-configure GKE, which does the heavy lifting of getting them working for you.

Top Customer Success/Sales Issue(s)

Management of Review Apps can be a challenge, particularly in cleaning them up. To highlight the severity of how this issue can grow, www-gitlab-com project has over 1,500 running stale environments at the time of writing this, with no clear easy way to clean them up. There are two main items that look to address this challenge:

Top Customer Issue(s)

The top customer issue impacting users of Review Apps is gitlab#20956 which sets an expiration date for an environment.

Top Internal Customer Issue(s)

In some cases after a review app is not available for a specific Merge Request
(gitlab#10733), adding some information to the user as to what action needs to be done in order to resolve this and taker action directly from the MR itself, would help not only our customers, but also our own developers.

Top Vision Item(s)

Our focus for the vision is to bring Review Apps to mobile workflows via gitlab#20295 - adding support to Android/iOS emulators via the Review App will enable a whole new kind of development workflow in our product, and make Review Apps even more valuable.