Customers protest as JetBrains ends Space collaboration platform, intros SpaceCode as partial alternative

Customers protest as JetBrains ends Space collaboration platform, intros SpaceCode as partial alternative

Citing weak adoption, JetBrains will discontinue its Space product – an all-in-one solution for code collaboration – in favour of SpaceCode, covering just git hosting and code reviews. Space support and updates will end May 31, 2025 and some customers are “deeply disappointed.”

In a post yesterday, the company said Space was intended as a tool which would provide “everything your company needs for software development,” plus communication and information sharing.

Customers though responded by asking to integrate Space with third-party apps such as Slack, or other tools for CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery), such that the notion of an all-in-one solution was lost. According to product marketing manager Elena Berendeeva, this was the reason why “the adoption of Space has not been what we had hoped for.”

Now Space is to be discontinued and new subscriptions are no longer available. Customers are being offered a variety of alternative subscriptions, such as to TeamCity and YouTrack (for issue tracking). A new product, called SpaceCode, is now in private preview and will provide only git hosting and code review, said to be the most popular features in Space.

Space was introduced at the end of 2019 including “Git-based Version Control, Code Review, Automation (CI/CD) based on Kotlin Scripting, Package Repositories, Planning tools, Issue Tracker, Chats, Blogs, Meetings, and Team Directory.” The product could be self-hosted or hosted by JetBrains, though the on-premises version was not released until 2022. The product evolved to include a marketplace, plans for video conferencing, extensibility, mobile apps, full-text search, dev environments and more.

The roadmap for the second half of 2023 though hinted at a change of direction, with a pause in development, then said to be temporary, for calls and calendar features. The roadmap also covered integration with external issue trackers, and integration with TeamCity for CI/CD rather than investing in the dedicated Space automation tools.

Some customers are unhappy. “I am deeply disappointed by this decision. As someone who introduced JetBrains Space to our small company, we’ve relied on it heavily for our issue management and Git repositories. Space has been integral to our workflow, and its all-in-one solution was perfect for our needs,” said one.

“Why don’t you just open source the project and let other people in the community maintain it,” said another, who received a reply from Berendeeva that avoided answering the question. JetBrains, perhaps, has no enthusiasm for creating an open-source competitor to its own products, and may not want to share code also used in its commercial offerings.

Another concern is how to migrate from Space without losing data. A customer with over 40 Space repositories remarked that “every single [one] of our commits links back into Space issues, thousands of them. They are linked to documentation, checklists, other projects. Every merge request, every release, every release candidate is in boards as issues and linked and connected.”

It appears from the comments that Space was most popular among smaller businesses for whom the low friction of a single platform was a key benefit. 

For the company though, it seems that the effort of maintaining a large product whose functionality overlapped with other JetBrains tools was impossible to justify.