Aggregate and explore logs

GitLab 12.8 adds new Log Explorer and Compliance Dashboard

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Michal Ninger

What’s new in the latest version of GitLab? Before you upgrade to version 12.8, let’s review some of the newest features and improvements made to the complete DevOps platform. GitLab 12.8 introduces a new Log Explorer, environment auto-stop, built-in NuGet repository, a compliance dashboard, performance enhancements, and much more.

Right on time, the latest updates for GitLab are here with the arrival of version 12.8. This version adds a new Log Explorer, where users can interact with all of their logs aggregated in one place.

As usual, this update provides some new features for free users, but also includes some new additions for paid tiers.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the highlights and how it improves this complete DevOps platform.

Log explorer

Ultimate and gold users will have access to the new Log Explorer, which aggregates logs using the Elasticsearch simple_query_string function.

This will aggregate all application logs and surface them on the UI, where users will be able to view their status, conduct searches, and use in triaging application incidents.

View the documentation for more info about this new feature.

SEE ALSO: DevSecOps Panel – Best DevOps Security Practices & Best Tools

Compliance dashboard

Get an overview of your groups’ Merge Request approvals and changes. The new Compliance Dashboard allows users to see and track a group’s Merge Request activity. It expands beyond simply managing teams on a project-by-project basis and helps group owners stay on top of potentially risky projects.

This feature is only included in the GitLab Ultimate tier and can be used by administrators and group owners.

Built-in NuGet repository

For premium, silver, ultimate, and gold users, GitLab includes built-in NuGet repositories.

From the release blog:

Now, GitLab 12.8 gives teams writing code in C# and .NET a built-in NuGet repository so they have one place to manage and share project binaries both privately and publicly. Developers can now benefit from having their source code, CI/CD pipelines, and the resulting packages all in the same application so they can get work done faster with less effort.

This feature works with NuGet CLI, .NET Core CLI, and Visual Studio. Users require NuGet CLI version 5.2 or later, as earlier versions have not gone through testing.

Environment auto-stop

With GitLab 12.8, users will now be able to set an environment expiration time. After a specified amount of idle time, an environment will automatically stop, preventing wasted infrastructure resources or requiring manual intervention.

To enable auto-stop, specify the  environment:auto_stop_in keyword in .gitlab-ci.yml.

Auto-stop is available for all tiers, including free users.

Checking the expirations of environments. Source.

New features for free users

While most of the big changes in GitLab 12.8 are for paid tiers, free users also receive a few updates.

Updates for GitLab free includes:


Sample accessibility report. Source.

SEE ALSO: Building a strong CI/CD pipeline

Other changes and upcoming deprecations

Version 12.8 also adds a number of bug fixes and performance updates.

When GitLab 13.0 releases in May 2020, several settings will reach the end of the line. Prepare for the next big update and keep up to date with the planned removals and their new replacements.

Review the official blog for a full list of changes. Refer to the update page for instructions on how to upgrade to the latest version. A new version of GitLab is released on the 22nd of every month.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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