GitLab is one of the most used DevOps tools, a popular SCM tool among JVM devs. It was recognized as an IDC Innovator in Tools Supporting Open Developer Platforms in 2019 and owns two-thirds of the market share in the self-managed Git market. With more than 3,000 contributors, it’s one of the key competitors for GitHub.
Though similar in a lot of ways, GitLab differs from GitHub in the following areas:
Permits code collaborations within Teams
Doesn’t allow inner sourcing and lacks confidential issue features
Offers 100% built-in integration favoring their own CI tools.
Both public and private repositories are available for free per user. GitLab’s Premium tier for teams is available at $19/user/month with code reviews, project management, and release controls. Ultimate packages for organizations with added security, planning, and compliance are available at $99/user/month.
GitLab also provides free Ultimate licenses, along with 50K CI minutes per month, to qualifying open source projects, educational institutions, and startups.
GitLab has an internal security notification dashboard via Slack or email for high-priority security notifications appropriate for the entire organization.
It also offers a security department option for things like application development and security research as well as an on-call security engineer for relevant issues within the appropriate SLA.
GitLab has a good design with source code browsing and is supported in Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It offers free private repositories, with different user access (permissions) based on their roles in the project. Audit management and CI/CD are better with the Auto DevOps feature. The community is smaller than GitHub’s.
When working on projects, it’s always easier to keep organized when you have everything in one place. This is especially true when working on such projects which require many different steps, or even more so when you work on multiple projects at once. In such scenarios, good organization is the key.
For developers, this is a very real and very common scenario. Bringing an application from an idea to a finished product takes a lot of complicated steps, and frequently includes many people or even different teams working on the same project.
Enter GitLab: an all-in-one solution that allows keeping all phases of your project in one place.
Since GitLab was developed as an expanded Git, we first need to explain what Git is.
So, what exactly is Git?
Git stands for an open-source control system, designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. The primary purpose of Git is to handle many changes in one or more projects which contain and so to track progress over time.
Git is created not only for professionals but also for non-technical users to monitor and track all their project files.
When we “expand” a Git to GitLab, we get the full-service repository and complete DevOps platform that allows all users to perform all the tasks in the project. By all tasks, we mean, every step as a part of every bigger phase or milestone, from project planning and source code management to monitoring and security. The main benefit of GitLab is to allow all team members to collaborate all the time through every phase and all to build better software and achieve the best possible results.
Why do DevOps supporters love GitLab?
Before this kind of platform, the developers’ work was to think ten steps ahead. Multitasking and “thinking five steps ahead” is often part of a developer
s work, but only when we speak about the code and application functionalities. However, we dont expect them to think also about the platform where the same application needs to come to life. Also, we often have more than one developer who works on the same project, so how can they track each other’s work? What if one, for some reason, needs to continue the colleague`s job? How should other developers identify the difficulties which the first one was facing and at what time? How will the automation tests for the code be written? Does anyone else need to run this code? How hard is it to reproduce the right environment to test it?
The GitLab platform answers this question with its simplicity and automation. GitLab application offers tracking from planning to creation, build, verify, security testing, deploying, and monitoring to automate the entire DevOps life cycle. We use it also for the high availability and replication and scalability and available for using on-premises or cloud storage together with wiki, issue-tracking, and CI/CD pipeline features.
We won’t be going too much into detail as we covered the DevOps topic fully in our “What is DevOps and why is it important” blog post, but in the meantime, we will continue with the listing of the main phases of the projects and try to explain how GitLab can support and assist us with it, with a combination of all kinds of toolsets.
How can GitLab assist us?
Each project consists of many or fewer milestones, while each of them contains small tasks that are needed to move the project from the idea to the completed phase. We mark off the ten main phases; most of them are essential for every project, but this list is a little bit adjusted to our field.