Microsoft rolls GitHub into CI/CD space


GitHub has extended its still in beta Actions service into the CI/CD space, arguably positioning itself as an end to end DevOps platform and rattling traditional CI/CD providers.

GitHub introduced Actions last year, shortly before the repo manager was taken over by Microsoft. At the time Actions was billed as a tool for configuring workflows. However, it’s been long expected that the firm would extend the feature into the Continuous Integration and Delivery space.

Yesterday, it confirmed the rumours. CEO Nat Friedman said in a blog post, “We’ve…heard clear feedback from almost everyone: you want CI/CD.”

He wrote that when it finally hits general availability in November, GitHub Actions would make it “easier to automate how you build, test, and deploy your projects on any platform, including Linux, macOS, and Windows. Run your workflows in a container or in a virtual machine.”

He said that Actions would support “more languages and frameworks” than ever, including Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, C/C++, .NET, Android, and iOS.

As well as allowing users to build, test, and deploy applications, he said they could use Actions to “automate other tasks common to your developer workflows: triaging and managing issues, automating releases, collaborating with your user base, and more. 

He also flagged up future features, including self-hosted runners for users’ VMs, and Actions for GitHub Enterprise Server, slated for next year, which will include a hybrid option, “for on-premises deployments that keeps your code and packages in your data center while GitHub orchestrates your workflows.”

Some observers saw the launch as making GitHub a full DevOps platform, through Friedman did not use the word in his blog post.

Of course, there is a myriad of tools out there that developers employ, and Friedman wrote, “You can also reuse a rich ecosystem of Actions from our partners, such as LaunchDarkly, mabl, Code Climate, GitKraken, or even trigger builds on other CI providers, like CircleCI”

In fact, Circle CI announced just this week that it would open up its CI/CD platform to Windows, a move VP of product Matt Wyman, said was made possible by “Microsoft’s moves to open up their toolchain”.

GitLab chose Wednesday to highlight its own product roadmap for its platform, which it recently redubbed a complete DevSecOps platform. 

And GitHub’s increasingly tight integration with Azure DevOps is likely to cause even further angst for anyone who feels a Redmond-based one-top shop is a threat to their business – though again, Friedman chose not to mention his colleagues at Microsoft’s cloud business in yesterday’s announcement.

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