Gitpod Providing Native Integration with GitLab's UI

Gitpod is joining forces with GitLab to provide native integration with GitLab's UI, the two organizations announced last week.

Architected by Sven Efftinge, the company's co-founder and CEO, Gitpod was designed to automate the creation of disposable, ready-to-use development environments. With a click, devs get a fully prebuilt, immediately productive environment for any GitLab, GitHub, or Bitbucket project. It's effectively a cloud-based IDE that integrates tightly with GitHub.

GitLab is a Web-based DevOps lifecycle tool that provides a Git-repository manager, issue-tracking capabilities, and continuous integration and deployment pipeline features using an open-source license.

"GitLab is one of the most popular DevOps tools/platforms out there, used by more than 100,000 organizations across the globe," said Efftinge, in a blog post. "Through its Web IDE, simple edits can already be made today from within the application. However, for more advanced programming tasks, developers require a full development environment."

Efftinge pointed to one of the initial benefits of the new collaboration in his post: developers can now launch cloud-based dev environments with one click directly from, even without the Gitpod browser extension.

"Until now GitLab users would set up and maintain a single dev environment on their local machines," he said. "It's time to free engineers from wasting their time with such tedious tasks and apply the lessons learned from CI/CD and infrastructure as code to dev environments."

Gitpod was originally developed by TypeFox, a Kiel, Germany-based team of developer tool specialists and longtime open-source contributors. That organization was co-founded by Efftinge, Jan Köhnlein, and Moritz Eysholdt.

Like a continuous integration (CI) system, Gitpod monitors changes in the Git repository and prepares dev environments with every change. That preparation not only includes setting up the tools and checking for the right git branch, Efftinge explained, but perhaps more importantly, compiling the code, downloading all dependencies, and initializing everything else needed by the developer to become productive. When the developer is ready to start working, he/she gets a fresh, ready-to-code dev environment within seconds, he said.

The Gitpod IDE was developed with GitOps best practices in mind, Efftinge added. "GitOps" is a way of implementing continuous deployment (CD) for cloud-native applications using the Git distributed version control system as the single source of truth for declarative infrastructure and applications.

"Most DevOps people are actually already doing GitOps," Efftinge told ADTmag in an earlier interview. "It's just a matter of realizing that Git is at the heart of your DevOps pipelines."

The Gitpod integration is actually already live on today and is going to be part of GitLab 13.5, which is scheduled for released on October 22. 

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].