GitHub Enterprise upgrade eases team development

Enhancements to GitHub Enterprise help enterprise developers schedule, automate and administrate tasks, as the company adjusts course under Microsoft's watch.

GitHub continues to enhance its popular source code version control service to better support enterprise development.

The latest version of GitHub Enterprise, released this week, features improvements to the developer experience and streamlined administrative capabilities. GitHub Enterprise version 2.16 is the first release of the source code version control system since the San Francisco-based company unified its Enterprise Cloud and Enterprise Server services earlier this month.

GitHub Enterprise was once the on-premises version of GitHub, but the unified product supports GitHub in a cloud or self-hosted configuration to provide a hybrid cloud option for enterprises. This enables enterprise development teams to access both the cloud and server instances with one per seat price.

Additional features in GitHub Enterprise 2.16 include timeline events to force pushes or software updates. Project maintainers mandate force pushes in some projects, so they can track team members' work. Other features to simplify the developer experience include template automation and updates to the pull request reviews process.

Meanwhile, streamlined administrative capabilities enable repository administrators to more easily grant and control access to all of their GitHub tools, GitHub App management and collaboration requests.

GitHub has moved in the right direction with its enterprise product, said Thomas Murphy, a Gartner analyst based in Spokane, Wash.

"[GitHub is] simplifying the product line with 'a seat is a seat' pricing, private repositories for their free level, and some UI cleanup around administration [and] pushes," he said.

Unlimited free repos enable developers to support private projects that nobody else can see except the project collaborators. The catch is that the free plan is limited to teams with a maximum of three collaborators.

[GitHub is] simplifying the product line with 'a seat is a seat' pricing, private repositories for their free level, and some UI cleanup around administration [and] pushes.
Thomas Murphyanalyst, Gartner

Free unlimited private repos and unifying GitHub Enterprise "set the new pace" for a strategic shift with GitHub under Microsoft's umbrella, Murphy said. The upgrades in GitHub Enterprise 2.16 mostly apply to developers, but Microsoft's gaze is ever on IT decision-makers who hold the purse strings.

Microsoft's strategy is likely to maximize GitHub's market share, and boost its integrated value with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, versus alternative cloud platforms, said Rhett Dillingham, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, in Austin, Texas.

"Offering free private repos and simplified pricing for business use of the unified GitHub Enterprise offering are just first steps in line with this strategy," Dillingham said.

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