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New GitLab features for 2020 – Retrospective and Insights

New Year is a great time to summarize the past year! So let’s see what happened with GitLab product.

This time I decided to focus on new features that were released in 2020 and to represent some interesting data and insights as charts.

As providers of DevOps and ALM solutions (and partners of GitLab company for 4+ years and using GitLab ourselves for 5+ years) we work intensively with customers using GitLab or those who are looking for solutions that can be provided by tools like GitLab.

The data we’re based on is open source and available online so we used GitLab API and GitLab CI to generate some interesting charts (and we even used GitLab runners to process some data).

The data below is based on the last 12 monthly releases, i.e. 12.7 (January 2020) to 13.7 (December 2020)

Total: 711 new features were released in that period.

The most 10 popular features created over the past year:

Release Feature Name  Thumbs Up  User Notes  Hearts  Available In
13.05 Group wikis 687 174 0 Premium
13.04 Lock the latest job artifact to prevent deletion 359 204 0 Core
13.03 Squash Commits Options 314 138 0 Core
12.07 Pipeline Resource Groups 299 257 22 Core
13.05 Snippets with multiple files 288 71 0 Core
13.00 Inherit environment variables from other jobs 280 122 0 Core
13.00 Versioned Snippets 251 51 0 Core
12.08 Automatically bring in artifacts from cross-project jobs 217 76 0 Premium
12.09 View history of changes to issue; merge request and epic descriptions 204 230 0 Starter
12.09 Group Deploy Tokens 184 88 3 Core


How did we measure it?

We’ve used a sorted and weighted score of upvotes, user notes, and hearts for all new 711 issues. The 10 above are the top ten.


  • If you want to see where you can find those numbers see the following screenshot or see in an arbitrary GitLab issue here.
    gitlab like and heart emoticons
  • If you want to see a list of all new features and scores click here.

New features by GitLab stages and categories

New features (created in 2020) by GitLab Stages:

gitlab stages pie chart 2020

Click to enlrage

This is a distribution chart. We collected all new features over the past year (12.7 -13.7) and checked what stage they belong to.

GitLab separates all features into 11 stages: Manage, Plan, Create, Verify, Package, Secure, Release, Configure, Monitor, Protect, and Enablement.

A more detailed chart demonstrating GitLab categories can be seen here:

New features by GitLab Categories:

gitlab categories distribution pie chart 2020The category is a sub-branch of “Stage” (every category belongs to one stage).
The data for this chart was available starting on 12.8 only (so it’s based on releases 12.8 – 13.7).

New features by stage (every month)

Here we share 3 charts of the same data so you can see it from 3 different perspectives.

gitlab releases by stages trend chart

X represents the release name (12.07 to 13.07). Y represents how many new features were released. Click to enlarge

You’ll see this is actually a trend chart by GitLab stages.

This chart demonstrates some trends, yet it might seem quite messy so I created the following bar chart as well:

gitlab new features per release and stage bar chart

(click to enlarge)

Same chart but normalized to 100% :

gitlab new features per release and stage bar chart normalized

click to enlarge

X represents release name (12.07 to 13.07)
Y represents the proportional part of new features per category
You can see that most of the work is done in the Manage, Create, Release and Verify stages.

New Features by GitLab Editions:

New features by edition (all editions):

gitlab new features by all editions

There were a total of 711 new features. 63.2% were placed in free editions – 6.3% in Starter/Bronze etc.

New features by Enterprise editions only:

gitlab new features by enterprise editions

New features by Enterprise edition every month (normalized)

How many new features went to Starter, Premium, and Ultimate every month (normalized to 100%) :

gitlab new features by enterprise editions bar chart 2020

Click to enlarge

X axis represents release name (12.07 to 13.07). Y represents the proportional part of new features per enterprise release (Starter/Bronze – Premium/Silver and Ultimate/Gold)

This chart does not include new features that were placed in the Core/Free edition.


The raw data (we based the charts on) is available here: https://about.gitlab.com/blog/archives.html  (we used the original post of the major releases and the relevant code behind)

If you notice additional interesting insights share them with us (at gitlab@almtoolbox.com) and we may add it inside (and give you a credit of course)

If you want to see our data warehouse (the one we built to generate some of the sophisticated charts above) you can email us and we’ll send you a link (please mention your company name)

ALM-Toolbox is an official partner of GitLab in Europe and worldwide for 4+ years. We provide consulting, GitLab licenses, private hosting, quality and fast support, GitLab add-on development, and we support and sell a variety of DevOps and ALM tools.

We can help you take the data you have within your git / GitLab/ GitHub / Jira / Jenkins (and even ClearCase/ClearQuest etc.) and convert it into interesting insights, reports and alerts.
Contact us: gitlab@almtoolbox.com or +972-722-240-5222 / 1-866-503-147 (USA & Canada)

This post was written by Tamir Gefen, CEO of ALM-Toolbox. Much thanks to Alex Karnovsky (of our team) who helped with building the data warehouse using GitLab’s API and automation.

Final notes:

  • We sometimes used 12.07 instead of 12.7 to avoid confusion (e.g. there’s a version named 12.10 which was released later than 12.7)
  • The numbers in the table above are valid for January 4th (those numbers might be changed in the future)

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