GitHub is making significant changes to its platform and how developers work with it. At its Satellite conference, the company announced a new method for finding and integrating apps to improve your workflow, and is making the GraphQL API standard fare for everyone (the company included).
Today, many developers tap into Integrations to find apps or services that work with GitHub. That platform is now renamed GitHub Apps, and is getting some new features. Developers can now allow more granular access to users, and “build bots that automate your workflow and connect GitHub to your internal tools.”
Marketplace is GitHub’s new portal for finding and purchasing tools that suit your needs. Via four categories (project management, continuous integration, code quality and monitoring), the company is offering a sort of “best-of” toolset for integrating features into your day-to-day workflow. It also weaves payment directly into your GitHub account, so you don’t have to create multiple profiles to use services.
An example: let’s say a team of developers is managing a private repo for their company, and using Waffle to manage their workflow on the project. Currently, they have to find Waffle in the Integrations portal, and are offloaded onto the Waffle site to set up an account and pay for a $49/month enterprise plan.
With GitHub Marketplace, that same team could still discover Waffle as a project management solution, and simply download and pay for it all within Github.
All Marketplace apps or services will work with GitHub, and the company tells Dice it will qualify services before they’re placed in Marketplace. (Sorry, whoever thought a paid cat GIF app for use during compile time would be a good idea.)
Perhaps the real hero of GitHub’s news is its GraphQL API, which just might be the unsung champion of the company moving forward. It’s meant to (eventually) replace the company’s current REST API, which may sound a bit scary, but GraphQL uses a relational quotient to return results. Today, querying the REST API for something like comments on a pull request in a particular repo might need up to 25 sequential API calls. GraphQL knocks that down to a single call.
GraphQL is also being used internally at GitHub, where the company tells us adoption has been “strong.” It’s the first step in getting everyone on the same page. In GitHub’s view, everyone inside and outside the company will eventually use GraphQL when accessing GitHub data. That means those writing apps for – well, Apps – or the Marketplace will have access to all the same data Github employees do.
GraphQL, Apps and Marketplace are all measures by Github to meet developers where they work, no matter where that is. It’s sensible, too; for a company with a strong remote working culture, having location- and platform-agnostic tools makes the most sense. As a company with storied revenue issues, becoming a payment processor for Marketplace services might just help close the money gap, too.