Roadie’s Blog

Backstage Weekly 69 - Next Backend teasers, new GitLab plugin

By Jorge LainfiestaJanuary 30th, 2023

Hi y’all! this week I’m bringing you some spoilers on what the next Backend System will look like, an explanation of the current state of the GitLab Backstage plugin, and a new search feature.

A step closer to the next Backend System

The Backstage team has been doing a phenomenal job at developing the new Backend system. This week, they’ve finished writing the initial documentation that includes an explanation of the architecture, how the plugins work, naming patterns, and extension points on core services.

The next Backend System is still under active development and is not recommended for production, especially because very few plugins support it at the moment. However, if you’re curious about what’s coming, there are some exciting guides written by the team. Keep in mind all of this information is provisional:

Thanks to the maintainers for this massive effort! For more information and context, checkout the [Backend System] Core API issue.

Using managed Backstage lets you focus on building value for your team instead of learning internals and upgrading your instance. Get a Roadie Backstage demo

GitLab plugin: which plugin to use?

If you’re a GitLab user, you may have noticed that there are two backstage-plugin-gitlab **** plugins available. The first one was generously contributed by the loblaw-sre team in 2021. However, after a few months of reduced activity in the second half of 2022, its users reached a decisive point when the plugin was holding them back from upgrading to Backstage beyond 1.6 (which included a critical security fix) due to react-router change.

In December 2022, the team at immobiliare forked out their own backstage-plugin-gitlab plugin and applied urgent changes required to upgrade Backstage. After having observed the situation, the Backstage team decided to recommend immobiliare’s in the plugin directory and removed the reference to the older plugin two weeks ago.

The latest version of @immobiliarelabs/backstage-plugin-gitlab, v3, released last week, includes improvements to the previous plugin and more in-depth documentation. backstage gitlab pipeline information

If you’re using the older loblaw-sre plugin, you’re advised to migrate to the new plugin to unblock you from upgrading Backstage.

New: Search Item Extensions

Thanks to camilaibs, you’ll be able to extend the Search page to have a more refined UI for your search results. Your plugin can provide a component to createSearchResultListItemExtension such that its results are rendered using it.

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Check out camilaib’s PR for detailed API usage and more context. This feature will be available in Backstage 1.11.0 release.

Talk to you next week!

Jorge L

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