Roadie’s Blog

Backstage Weekly 72 - New Catalog plugins, alpha release for New Backend

By Jorge LainfiestaFebruary 20th, 2023

Hi y’all! We’ve got some heavy hitters this week!

  • First up is a plugin that lets you bring language information à la GitHub right into the Entity Page.
  • Next, we’ll take a look at an entity feedback plugin that lets developers rate the information present in their Backstage instance.
  • And the best for dessert: the new Backend system hits its alpha release!

New plugin: Linguist

Using the library that GitHub uses to understand the languages in your repository, ahhhndre implemented a Backstage plugin that brings that very same information to the entity page. This is particularly useful for people using Azure DevOps or BitBucket, where the language statistics are unavailable.

Screenshots: languages plugin

To get started with this plugin, head to the @backstage/plugin-linguist README. This plugin is already available for installation!

🧡 New in Roadie 🧡 Talking about languages, Roadie just introduced a new automation that lets users tag entities according to their language. Check out Roadie’s new feature.

Screenshot; Roadie's admin panel

New Plugin: Entity feedback

If developers do not find enough value in the Backstage instance you’re giving them, they won’t come back or onboard their assets. But how do you know if the info you’re giving them is relevant/accurate? Ask them on the spot!

Thanks to kuangp, you can now collect feedback from your users on entity data. Screenshot 2023-02-20 at 12.09.01

At the moment, there are two options for rating cards: thumbs up or a 5-stars system. When there’s a low rating, the user is prompted to explain why they feel this way.

This plugin is readily available, check out the @backstage/plugin-entity-feedback README to get started.

Alpha Release: New Backend System

As you’ve heard before, the Backstage team has been busy–for over a year–consolidating the new backend system. Last week they released the alpha version, to encourage you to try it out although it’s not yet recommended for production.

The New Backend System simplifies the work of plugin authors, and adopters, moving more complexity into the framework. The current implementation is the result of three-phases of work (with collaboration with Roadie in the initial implementation) and validation from the community.


I highly recommend reading Patrik’s blog post to get a high-level understanding of what the New Backend System is and how it came to be.

Talk to you next week!

Jorge L

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