GitLab 12.8 becomes more Windows dev friendly – if you pay, that is

Gitlab Logo
Gitlab Logo

It’s GitLab release time again – version 12.8 of the repo management cum DevOps platform takes a stab at compliance management and accommodating Windows devs better.

The latter is realised by a built-in NuGet repository, which allows devs developing in C# and .NET to manage and share their binaries. The addition is exclusive to premium/silver and ultimate/gold subscribers. Other Windows devs will have to stick to external tools to get their packages out there.

Another heavily highlighted improvement included in the release, a compliance dashboard, is accessible to even fewer users, with GitLab making it part of the ultimate and gold packages only. The dashboard is the first step towards the company’s vision of broadening its use cases to include compliance management. It is meant to aggregate the most recent approved and merged merge requests from each project in a group, promising group owners an extra bit of insight into their activities.

Insight is also crucial when searching for the cause of incidents, which was a bit tricky in earlier versions of GitLab, due to a lack of log aggregation tooling. This has been mediated by adding a Log Explorer, which is available to ultimate/gold users in GitLab 12.8. The tool is powered by the Elastic stack and offers full-text search capabilities, filtering options, and ways to skip back in time.

Apart from that, high paying users are now able to configure network policies to control communication between Kubernetes pods amongst each other as well as with the internet, and have access to an instance-level view of security vulnerabilities. 

Starter to gold customers will meanwhile find a new capability to mark issues as blocking or blocked by other issues in the new release. This goes along with a new visual marker, which in combination should be helpful when prioritising which issues to tackle first.

However, the GitLab team also threw in some changes that can be useful for those working with the core or free version. For one, there is an expiration timer which is meant to help avoid wasting resources by stopping environments after a set amount of time. Version 12.8 also comes with an automated accessibility scanning feature, informing users about issues in Review Apps; better garbage collection for instances using S3, and automatic clean-up of corrupted manifests.