JetBrains Launches 'Space' Dev Team Environment

JetBrains, the Prague-based maker of the venerable code-centric Java IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, has launched an early-access program for a new integrated team development environment called Space. Unveiled last week at the KotlinConf Global event in Copenhagen, JetBrains Space combines communication, team and project management, internal blogs, meeting scheduling, and software development processes into a single solution.

The Space environment is designed to keep all the data a team needs stored in one place, and it integrates the software development tools—including source code management, code review and browsing, continuous integration, delivery, and deployment, package repositories, issue tracking, planning tools, and project documentation—with communication and identity support. Space can automate any workflow, the company says, "from onboarding new employees to configuring rules for merging requests to CI/CD pipelines." It also provides a meeting schedule, projects, tasks, commits, code reviews, and an internal blogs feed.

Space can be used by teams of any size, from startups to large enterprises, JetBrains CEO Maxim Shafirov explained in a statement.

"Most digital collaboration environments are, in fact, a mixed bag of solutions tackling different problems," Shafirov said, "from development tools to task management ones. This leaves people switching tools and tabs, manually copying information, and generally losing time and creative flow. JetBrains Space is changing this, and thus changing the foundation of creative work, software development included."

JetBrains Space is available through a subscription model with a freemium starting tier, while the paid plans start at $8 per active user per month. The ultimate goal for Space is to provide a unified company-wide platform, Shafirov said, expanded to a wider range of creative teams, including designers, marketers, sales, accounting, and others.

JetBrains also shared details of the upcoming release of Kotlin 1.4 at the conference. For the new release, expected in the spring of 2020, JetBrains focused on "the overall experience" rather than big features, the company said. Details are available on the company blog.

Kotlin, the statically typed programming language created JetBrains, has been growing steadily in popularity among Java and Android developers since it was open sourced in 2011. It currently ships out of the box in Android Studio.

That popularity has fostered a burgeoning community of contributors and innovators that JetBrains' CTO Andrey Breslav told conference attendees has quickly evolved into a true ecosystem.

He supported his claim with some telling statistics: the population of Kotlin users—devs "who have opened a file in an editor and did something with our codes," he explained—grew from about 200,000 in 2016 to more than 4 million today. "What impresses me," Breslav said, "is that it happened in about four years."

Kotlin compiles to both JVM byte code and JavaScript. Breslav has claimed that the language is more stable at runtime than Java, because it can statically check weak points and supports things like variable type interface, closures, extension functions, and mix-ins. It's also less verbose than Java, which means devs can write less code with a more readable syntax.

JetBrains unveiled Kotlin at the 2011 JVM Language Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., and later released it for distribution under the Apache 2 Open Source License.

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].