Product updates in May 2023

May saw many many product improvements for Tech Insights and the Backstage catalog.

Tech Insights Error messages

Error messages now show up in numerous places throughout the app. Tech Insights can encounter errors such as 403s, rate limits and missing annotations when running in the background. In the past, Roadie swallowed these errors, leading to incorrect results.

We are now displaying these errors in various places throughout the application so you can debug the problem.


Tech Insights Performance improvements

We delivered substancial performance improvements in both the rendering of pages and the calculations that happen in the background.

  • Reduced load times of check and scorecard overviews from tens of seconds to single digit numbers.
  • Added more information to data sources overview and reduced the payload sizes by ~80% simultaneously.
  • Removed extra pressure on the backend services by improving calculations and algorithms in the underlying rules engine and its supporting functionality. Check calculation speed has been increased by up to 10x in some cases.

Presence of annotation for Tech Insights filters

Data sources, checks and scorecards can now be targeted at components which have a certain annotation set. Use this to exclude components where the check is just going to fail anyway.

Expanded the built-in GitHub Data Source

The GitHub data source has been expanded to collect facts such as Number of Open PRs, Merged PR Percentage, Average Time to Merge a PR and Amount of closed issues.

See the full list of facts available in our docs.

Tons of Tech Insights bugs and improvements

  1. We expanded, rewrote and re-organised the Tech Insights docs.
  2. Scorecards can now be refreshed for one individual entity from inside the catalog.
  3. Query parameters now appear in the dry-run area when creating or editing a data source.
  4. Fixed a bug where “No results” was showing in the wrong DB column.
  5. Fixed a bug where scorecard results didn’t sort correctly.
  6. Prevented tech insights facts from overflowing the tables and being too big.

The API now has a scaffolder dry run endpoint

We heard from customers that they wanted to test their scaffolder jobs in CI. We’ve exposed the scaffolder dry-run endpoint in order to enable that.

POST the JSON representation of a scaffolder template to to try it out.

Added the harness plugin

The Harness Backstage plugin is now available on Roadie. Docs are here.

General bug fixes and improvements

  1. Upgraded Backstage to 1.13
  2. Fix a kubernetes plugin bug that crashed the backend when the API returns bad data.
  3. Added the systems tab to the explore page.
  4. Published a new doc explaining the various options for connecting Roadie to your infrastructure.
  5. Fixed a bug with the Datadog secrets that was breaking Datadog proxies.