GitLab Release 9.1: Three Big Additions
With the April release of GitLab 9.1, users of the service can now benefit from canary deployments, service desk functionality, and burn-down charts.
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The team at GitLab has been busy since I last spoke to Job van der Voort during a DZone interview I participated in just a few weeks ago regarding GitLab 9.0. In a very short time, the following items have been included in the 9.1 release:
Service desk functionality.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of canary deployments, think about the idea of rolling out a new set of features to a limited audience - with the ability to roll back to the prior release, if anything unexpected happens. Taking this approach allows the features to be utilized, but not at the price of impacting the entire user base. This concept is referred to as canary deployments.
Canary deployments are now part of GitLab with release 9.1. The screenshot below provides an illustration of five (first on left side, with yellow indicator) canary deployments.
To get started quickly, GitLab recommends using the Autodeploy template, as referenced in the Canary deployments section.
Service Desk Functionality
Another welcome feature with GitLab 9.1 is the ability to expose an email address, which will automatically generate a confidential issue when email is sent to the unique address. See the screenshot below for an example:
Sending an email to the firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject of "I need some help, please" and a body of "Hi, I'm having some issues with your product. Can you help please?" will generate the issue shown in the screen shot above.
The service desk functionality can be enabled from your project's settings. Upon being enabled, a unique email address will be provided.
The last item I wanted to focus on with the GitLab 9.1 update is the inclusion of burn-down charts in the issue section of the GitLab service. For teams tracking issues for a release cycle, having a burn-down chart can provide a visual that teams can reference in keeping pace with their planned workload.
A screenshot of the burn-down charts is shown below:
I continue to be impressed with the features and functionality the team at GitLab has revealed lately and am looking forward to future additions that Job referenced during our interview in April.
Have a really great day!
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