Since launching into the DevOps world in 2011, GitLab has quickly established itself as a major player in the DevOps space. The platform automates all the steps required to build, test and deploy your code. Plus, it helps teams organise, plan, align and track project work for end-to-end visibility and traceability of issues throughout the software delivery lifecycle from planning to production. Built on open source, GitLab empowers a growing community of millions of users worldwide with DevOps innovations.
However, with so many players occupying the DevOps space, it can get a little overwhelming to understand what they are and what business needs they meet. In this blog, we put GitLab under the spotlight, explaining what it is and where it fits in the DevOps landscape. Let's dive in.
What is GitLab?
GitLab is a DevOps platform that provides a comprehensive, out-of-the-box solution for the challenges of software product delivery: development, collaboration, quality, security, compliance, scalability, and automation. Some of its key capabilities range from source code management, continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) and project management to testing and container registry.
In addition, this DevOps platform can support an organisation's security goals through instant, out-of-the-box security and compliance. GitLab supports a "shift left" approach and can help you integrate security across the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC).
GitHub vs GitLab: what is the difference?
So, is GitLab the same as GitHub? The short answer is, no, they are not. Although they do share similarities, they are both web-based repositories that enable code management and help developers to track local file changes. You can run code through either GitLab or GitHub systems to track code changes and protect source code from conflicts and bugs. Both platforms can be cloud-based or self-hosted on your servers.
So, how is GitLab different from GitHub?
GitLab and GitHub both fall under the same Git distributed version control system, but they have different development approaches. GitLab has built-in continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and DevOps workflows; it's majorly focused on DevOps and CI/CD. Whereas with GitHub, you can work with your preferred CI/CD tools and integrate with CircleCI, TravisCI, and Azure DevOps, should you choose. However, you will need to work with a third-party program to integrate with such tools. You can also use the platform's native CI/CD framework, GitHub Actions, to connect tools to automate your build, test, and deployment pipeline.
Moreover, GitLab provides enhanced DevOps features and capabilities, including Auto DevOps, infrastructure automation, and DevSecOps.
Essentially, GitLab offers a complete software development solution that empowers teams to run all the tasks in a project—from project planning to monitoring and security. Plus, GitLab excels in the vast number of features it offers, which incorporate integrated continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), project management, and container registry, to name a few. Compared to GitLab, GitHub offers fewer services and capabilities within its program. As previously mentioned, GitHub will require a large amount of third-party integration. You can read more about the differences in features here.
Is GitLab a DevSecOps platform?
From the outset, GitLab was designed to provide collaboration tools as well as a code repository service, but security is also a key focus for GitLab. The platform helps to deliver secure applications along with license compliance through Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), Container Scanning, and Dependency Scanning. These features ensure security is integrated into every stage of the SLDC.
Although security is a big focus for GitLab, the platform should not be viewed simply as a security add-on when it can offer so much more. It is better to think of GitLab as a complete DevOps platform, one that will enable your teams to perform all the tasks in a project. It provides help with all stages, from project planning and source code management to monitoring and security.
Is GitLab the same as Snyk?
GitLab positions itself as a DevSecOps platform, so you may think it is the same as other developer security platforms like Snyk. Snyk is a cloud-based security dedicated platform that enables developers to secure their entire application. It enables you to scan, prioritise and fix security vulnerabilities in your code, open source dependencies, container images, and Infrastructure as Code configurations.
However, its sole focus is security.
Similar to Snyk, GitLab covers all the basics for SAST – but it does much more besides. Amongst its catalogue of key features, GitLab includes continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) for code testing, building, and deployment, as well as Git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds, and audit logs. One platform for the entire DevOps lifecycle.
Transform your DevOps with GitLab
As a Select GitLab partner, Adaptavist delivers GitLab services and expertise through end-to-end DevOps services and solutions. We help you build and implement continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) systems through the latest industry-proven techniques that allow you to maximise the benefits of your IT investment. Our end-to-end DevOps services and solutions range from DevSecOps assessments to GitLab integration and migration, strategic guidance, assessments, coaching, and training.
In 2021, we were proud to add another string to our bow when we achieved Professional Services Certified Partner status in GitLab's Channel Services Program. This certification was awarded in recognition for service delivery excellence, a status that strengthens our commitment and capacity to deliver value through our solutions offerings.
Contact us to learn more about how our team of experts can help your organisation migrate to GitLab.