AI features based on 3rd-party integrations

Introduced in GitLab 15.11.


  • Async execution of the long running API requests
    • GraphQL Action starts the request
    • Background workers execute
    • GraphQL subscriptions deliver results back in real time
  • Abstraction for
    • OpenAI
    • Google Vertex AI
  • Rate Limiting
  • Circuit Breaker
  • Multi-Level feature flags
  • License checks on group level
  • Snowplow execution tracking
  • Tracking of Token Spent on Prometheus
  • Configuration for Moderation check of inputs
  • Automatic Markdown Rendering of responses
  • Centralised Group Level settings for experiment and 3rd party
  • Experimental API endpoints for exploration of AI API’s by GitLab team members without the need for credentials
    • OpenAI
    • Google Vertex AI

Feature flags

Apply the following two feature flags to any AI feature work:

  • A general that applies to all AI features.
  • A flag specific to that feature. The feature flag name must be different than the licensed feature name.

See the feature flag tracker for the list of all feature flags and how to use them.

Implement a new AI action

To implement a new AI action, connect to the OpenAI API. You can connect to this API using either the:

  • Experimental REST API.
  • Abstraction layer.

All AI features are experimental.

Test AI features locally

  1. Enable the required general feature flags:

  2. Simulate the GDK to simulate SaaS and ensure the group you want to test has an Ultimate license
  3. Enable Experimental features and Third-party AI services
    1. Go to the group with the Ultimate license
    2. Group Settings > General -> Permissions and group features
    3. Enable Experiment features
    4. Enable Third-party AI services
  4. Enable the specific feature flag for the feature you want to test
  5. Set the required access token. To receive an access token:
    1. For Vertex, follow the instructions below.
    2. For all other providers, like Anthropic or OpenAI, create an access request where @m_gill, @wayne, and @timzallmann are the tech stack owners.

Set up the embedding database

For features that use the embedding database, additional setup is needed.

  1. Enable pgvector in GDK
  2. Enable the embedding database in GDK

      gdk config set gitlab.rails.databases.embedding.enabled true
  3. Run gdk reconfigure
  4. Run database migrations to create the embedding database

Setup for GitLab documentation chat (legacy chat)

To populate the embedding database for GitLab chat:

  1. Open a rails console
  2. Run this script to populate the embedding database


To gather more insights about the full request, use the Gitlab::Llm::Logger file to debug logs. To follow the debugging messages related to the AI requests on the abstraction layer, you can use:

tail -f log/llm.log

Configure GCP Vertex access

In order to obtain a GCP service key for local development, please follow the steps below:

  • Create a sandbox GCP environment by visiting this page and following the instructions, or by requesting access to our existing group environment by using this template. At this time, access to any endpoints outside of text-bison or chat-bison must be made through the group environment.
  • In the GCP console, go to IAM & Admin > Service Accounts and click on the “Create new service account” button
  • Name the service account something specific to what you’re using it for. Select Create and Continue. Under Grant this service account access to project, select the role Vertex AI User. Select Continue then Done
  • Select your new service account and Manage keys > Add Key > Create new key. This will download the private JSON credentials for your service account.
  • Open the Rails console. Update the settings to:

# Note: These credential examples will not work locally for all models
Gitlab::CurrentSettings.update(vertex_ai_host: "<root-domain>") # Example:
Gitlab::CurrentSettings.update(vertex_ai_project: "<project-id>") # Example: cloud-large-language-models

Internal team members can use this snippet for help configuring these endpoints.

Configure OpenAI access

Gitlab::CurrentSettings.update(openai_api_key: "<open-ai-key>")

Configure Anthropic access

Gitlab::CurrentSettings.update!(anthropic_api_key: <insert API key>)

Experimental REST API

Use the experimental REST API endpoints to quickly experiment and prototype AI features.

The endpoints are:


These endpoints are only for prototyping, not for rolling features out to customers. The experimental endpoint is only available to GitLab team members on production. Use the GitLab API token to authenticate.

Abstraction layer


To connect to the OpenAI API using the Abstraction Layer, use an extendable GraphQL API called aiAction. The input accepts key/value pairs, where the key is the action that needs to be performed. We only allow one AI action per mutation request.

Example of a mutation:

mutation {
  aiAction(input: {summarizeComments: {resourceId: "gid://gitlab/Issue/52"}}) {

As an example, assume we want to build an “explain code” action. To do this, we extend the input with a new key, explainCode. The mutation would look like this:

mutation {
  aiAction(input: {explainCode: {resourceId: "gid://gitlab/MergeRequest/52", code: "foo() { console.log()" }}) {

The GraphQL API then uses the OpenAI Client to send the response.

How to receive a response

As the OpenAI API requests are handled in a background job, we do not keep the request alive and the response is sent through the aiCompletionResponse subscription:

subscription aiCompletionResponse($userId: UserID, $resourceId: AiModelID!) {
  aiCompletionResponse(userId: $userId, resourceId: $resourceId) {
You should only subscribe to the subscription once the mutation is sent. If multiple subscriptions are active on the same page, they currently all receive updates as our identifier is the user and the resource. To mitigate this, you should only subscribe when the mutation is sent. You can use skip() for this case. To prevent this problem in the future, we implement a request identifier.

Current abstraction layer flow

flowchart TD A[GitLab frontend] -->B[AiAction GraphQL mutation] B --> C[Llm::ExecuteMethodService] C --> D[One of services, for example: Llm::GenerateSummaryService] D -->|scheduled| E[AI worker:Llm::CompletionWorker] E -->F[::Gitlab::Llm::Completions::Factory] F -->G[`::Gitlab::Llm::OpenAi::Completions::...` class using `::Gitlab::Llm::OpenAi::Templates::...` class] G -->|calling| H[Gitlab::Llm::OpenAi::Client] H --> |response| I[::Gitlab::Llm::OpenAi::ResponseService] I --> J[GraphqlTriggers.ai_completion_response] J --> K[::GitlabSchema.subscriptions.trigger]


The CircuitBreaker concern is a reusable module that you can include in any class that needs to run code with circuit breaker protection. The concern provides a run_with_circuit method that wraps a code block with circuit breaker functionality, which helps prevent cascading failures and improves system resilience. For more information about the circuit breaker pattern, see:

Use CircuitBreaker

To use the CircuitBreaker concern, you need to include it in a class. For example:

class MyService
  include Gitlab::Llm::Concerns::CircuitBreaker

  def call_external_service
    run_with_circuit do
      # Code that interacts with external service goes here

      raise InternalServerError

The call_external_service method is an example method that interacts with an external service. By wrapping the code that interacts with the external service with run_with_circuit, the method is executed within the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is created and configured by the circuit method, which is called automatically when the CircuitBreaker module is included. The method should raise InternalServerError error which will be counted towards the error threshold if raised during the execution of the code block.

The circuit breaker tracks the number of errors and the rate of requests, and opens the circuit if it reaches the configured error threshold or volume threshold. If the circuit is open, subsequent requests fail fast without executing the code block, and the circuit breaker periodically allows a small number of requests through to test the service’s availability before closing the circuit again.


The circuit breaker is configured with two constants which control the number of errors and requests at which the circuit will open:


You can adjust these values as needed for the specific service and usage pattern. The InternalServerError is the exception class counted towards the error threshold if raised during the execution of the code block. This is the exception class that triggers the circuit breaker when raised by the code that interacts with the external service.

The CircuitBreaker module depends on the Circuitbox gem to provide the circuit breaker implementation. By default, the service name is inferred from the class name where the concern module is included. Override the service_name method if the name needs to be different.


To test code that uses the CircuitBreaker concern, you can use RSpec shared examples and pass the service and subject variables:

it_behaves_like 'has circuit breaker' do
  let(:service) { }
  let(:subject) { service.dummy_method }

How to implement a new action

Register a new method

Go to the Llm::ExecuteMethodService and add a new method with the new service class you will create.

class ExecuteMethodService < BaseService
    # ...
    amazing_new_ai_feature: Llm::AmazingNewAiFeatureService

Create a Service

  1. Create a new service under ee/app/services/llm/ and inherit it from the BaseService.
  2. The resource is the object we want to act on. It can be any object that includes the Ai::Model concern. For example it could be a Project, MergeRequest, or Issue.
# ee/app/services/llm/amazing_new_ai_feature_service.rb

module Llm
  class AmazingNewAiFeatureService < BaseService

    def perform
      ::Llm::CompletionWorker.perform_async(,,, :amazing_new_ai_feature)

    def valid?
      super && Ability.allowed?(user, :amazing_new_ai_feature, resource)


We recommend to use policies to deal with authorization for a feature. Currently we need to make sure to cover the following checks:

  1. General AI feature flag is enabled
  2. Feature specific feature flag is enabled
  3. The namespace has the required license for the feature
  4. User is a member of the group/project
  5. experiment_features_enabled and third_party_ai_features_enabled flags are set on the Namespace

For our example, we need to implement the allowed?(:amazing_new_ai_feature) call. As an example, you can look at the Issue Policy for the summarize comments feature. In our example case, we want to implement the feature for Issues as well:

# ee/app/policies/ee/issue_policy.rb

module EE
  module IssuePolicy
    extend ActiveSupport::Concern
    prepended do
      with_scope :subject
      condition(:ai_available) do

      with_scope :subject
      condition(:amazing_new_ai_feature_enabled) do
        ::Feature.enabled?(:amazing_new_ai_feature, subject_container) &&

      rule do
        ai_available & amazing_new_ai_feature_enabled & is_project_member
      end.enable :amazing_new_ai_feature

Check if feature is allowed for this resource based on namespace settings

There are two settings allowed on root namespace level that restrict the use of AI features:

  • experiment_features_enabled
  • third_party_ai_features_enabled.

To check if that feature is allowed for a given namespace, call:

Gitlab::Llm::StageCheck.available?(namespace, :name_of_the_feature)

Add the name of the feature to the Gitlab::Llm::StageCheck class. There are arrays there that differentiate between experimental and beta features.

This way we are ready for the following different cases:

  • If the feature is not in any array, the check will return true. For example, the feature was moved to GA and does not use a third-party setting.
  • If feature is in GA, but uses a third-party setting, the class will return a proper answer based on the namespace third-party setting.

To move the feature from the experimental phase to the beta phase, move the name of the feature from the EXPERIMENTAL_FEATURES array to the BETA_FEATURES array.

Implement calls to AI APIs and the prompts

The CompletionWorker will call the Completions::Factory which will initialize the Service and execute the actual call to the API. In our example, we will use OpenAI and implement two new classes:

# /ee/lib/gitlab/llm/open_ai/completions/amazing_new_ai_feature.rb

module Gitlab
  module Llm
    module OpenAi
      module Completions
        class AmazingNewAiFeature
          def initialize(ai_prompt_class)
            @ai_prompt_class = ai_prompt_class

          def execute(user, issue, options)
            options = ai_prompt_class.get_options(options[:messages])

            ai_response = nil, **options)

  , issue, ai_response, options: {}).execute(


          attr_reader :ai_prompt_class
# /ee/lib/gitlab/llm/open_ai/templates/amazing_new_ai_feature.rb

module Gitlab
  module Llm
    module OpenAi
      module Templates
        class AmazingNewAiFeature
          TEMPERATURE = 0.3

          def self.get_options(messages)
            system_content = <<-TEMPLATE
              You are an assistant that writes code for the following input:

              messages: [
                { role: "system", content: system_content },
                { role: "user", content: messages },
              temperature: TEMPERATURE

Because we support multiple AI providers, you may also use those providers for the same example:

Add Ai Action to GraphQL



Refer to the secure coding guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (AI) features.