Looking for a GitLab alternative or complementary solution? GitLab is a great solution for source control management and CI. When it comes to securely managing the lifecycle of software artifacts at scale across the entire software development lifecycle, most organizations that are concerned with software supply chain trust will not be able to solely rely on GitLab. A true supply chain management solution must focus on the asset that will run in production - the software binary.
The JFrog Platform, with JFrog Artifactory at its core, is focused on managing the flow of software artifacts and the metadata relationships between them, and serves as a single system of record for the entire organization’s software inventory. Key capabilities of the Platform include proxying and caching 3rd party packages for consistent, reliable access even across remote locations, as well as enterprise grade support for over 30 package types, multi-site support, continuous security monitoring focused both on source code and binaries, prioritization of long lists of vulnerabilities, actionable policies, and a guaranteed uptime SLA in the cloud that you can rely on.
GitLab’s focus is the source code repository, so it isn’t purpose-built to manage and cache binary files at enterprise scale. However, the increasingly large volumes and complexity of packages within organizations’ software development ecosystems require a more systematic and automated approach to the management of software artifacts. The JFrog Platform was built to track and store package workflow, approval, and usage metadata; and provide shared visibility with a structure that defines how, who, and where packages can be used.
Unlike JFrog Artifactory, GitLab’s support for packages at scale is limited, forcing them to implement mechanisms such as rate limiting. These mechanisms will most likely break automation processes – the way packages are primarily used at scale. GitLab’s lack of expertise in package management and their focus on source code led them to implement their package solution with the Git user as the consumer in mind, rather than as a service for the CI process.
It’s no surprise that the vast majority of GitLab’s users are focused around source code management and CI/CD capabilities. The GitLab Package Registry and DevSecOps capabilities are less adopted because they are not mature enough for many enterprises. GitLab themselves admit that most parts of their platform aren’t mature (GitLab Maturity).