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GitLab 8.15 Introduces Auto Deploy and Web Terminal

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The latest GitLab version, 8.15, provides new continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) features aimed to automate deployments on a variety of platforms and to make it easier to reach your staging or production deployments through a command line interface.

GiLab Auto Deploy will automatically deploy an application using Docker to a container scheduler, such as Docker Swarm, Google Kubernetes, and Apache Mesos. Auto Deploy uses predefined templates to adapt to various infrastructure providers. Templates describe how to package an app, set up the infrastructure, and launch any required services. At the moment, GitLab provides one reference template that will create a Docker image and then deploy it to Kubernetes on OpenShift. All available templates are hosted in a specific repository.

Auto Deploy is fully integrated with Review Apps, a GitLab feature that allows you to create ephemeral app environments where the life-cycle is bound to a specific branch. Review Apps aim to make it possible to test a branch in a production-like environment without requiring to set up a dedicated development server. The combination of Auto Deploy and Review Apps means that you can deploy a branch to a review environment even before the branch is merged.

GitLab Web Terminal allows you to connect to an app environment, including review environments, and get a shell prompt using SSH. The main benefit provided by Web Terminal is the possibility of easily getting direct access to a review, staging, or production environment to quickly test how certain changes affect the system.

Other notable features introduced in GitLab 8.15 are:

  • Improved BitBucket importer, including issues and comments, pull requests and comments, milestones, and wiki.
  • Global Git Hooks, which makes it possible to use Git hooks across repositories. Git hooks are repository-specific actions triggered by pushes, commits, merges, etc.
  • Slack integration, which allows to create, show and search for issues directly from Slack.

Last but not least, GitLab 8.15 brings many interface improvements, including new typefaces, easily recognizable labels, improved build scrolling and loading, etc.

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