Source code repository software startup GitLab today is introducing Issue Boards, an open-source task-management tool that will be integrated into the existing web service for all users, free of charge.
The tool provides a visual interface where team members can track the status of their projects. Rather than require users to list out all the tasks that have been completed and have yet to be done, the tool can take in existing issues from teams’ repositories and drop them in automatically using the labels that have previously been applied to issues. All boards have two lists enabled by default: Backlog and Done, GitLab said in a blog post.
Users can add unlimited lists — each one representing a step in the development process — but just one board, a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. Enterprises customers could get unlimited boards in the future, the spokesperson said. Issues can be filtered by their corresponding label, milestone, author, or assignee.
Of course, developers have always been able to check out issues for projects hosted on GitLab. Issue Boards offer a different representation of things that people need to do. GitLab says the tool can help teams with thousands and thousands of issues do a better job of figuring out what to focus on.
The thing is, many other tools help people manage tasks — Trello, Wrike, Asana, the recently launched Microsoft Planner, and so on. There are also open-source task management tools, including Kanboard, Restyaboard, and Wekan. GitLab’s Issue Boards bear a striking similarity specifically to Trello, which had more than 12 million users as of January.
But GitLab, which competes with Atlassian’s Bitbucket and GitHub, has been seeking to make its offering more well rounded. Not only is it core functionality open source unlike GitHub. It now packages up additional tools like Mattermost, an open-source alternative to team communication app Slack, and also it now lets users easily build and run code inside a Koding cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE).
Founded in 2011 by Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Sytse “Sid” Sijbrandij, GitLab is currently used by more than 100,000 organizations, including Alibaba, CERN, Expedia, IBM, NASA, and SpaceX.
You can find the code for Issue Boards here.