Secure Partner Integration - Onboarding Process

If you want to integrate your product with the Secure Stage, this page describes the developer workflow GitLab intends for our users to follow with regards to security results. These should be used as guidelines so you can build an integration that fits with the workflow GitLab users are already familiar with.

This page also provides resources for the technical work associated with onboarding as a partner. The steps below are a high-level view of what needs to be done to complete an integration as well as linking to more detailed resources for how to do so.

Integration Tiers

The security offerings in GitLab are designed for GitLab Ultimate users, and the DevSecOps use case. All the features are in those tiers. This includes the APIs and standard reporting framework needed to provide a consistent experience for users to easily bring their preferred security tools into GitLab. We ask that our integration partners focus their work on those license tiers so that we can provide the most value to our mutual customers.

What is the GitLab Developer Workflow?

This workflow is how GitLab users interact with our product and expect it to function. Understanding how users use GitLab today helps you choose the best place to integrate your own product and its results into GitLab.

  • Developers want to write code without using a new tool to consume results or address feedback about the item they are working on. Staying inside a single tool, GitLab, helps them to stay focused on finishing the code and projects they are working on.
  • Developers commit code to a Git branch. The developer creates a merge request (MR) inside GitLab where these changes can be reviewed. The MR triggers a GitLab pipeline to run associated jobs, including security checks, on the code.
  • Pipeline jobs serve a variety of purposes. Jobs can do scanning for and have implications for app security, corporate policy, or compliance. When complete, the job reports back on its status and creates a job artifact as a result.
  • The Merge Request Security Widget displays the results of the pipeline’s security checks and the developer can review them. The developer can review both a summary and a detailed version of the results.
  • If certain policies (such as merge request approvals) are in place for a project, developers must resolve specific findings or get an approval from a specific list of people.
  • The security dashboard also shows results which can developers can use to quickly see all the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in the code.
  • When the developer reads the details about a vulnerability, they are presented with additional information and choices on next steps:
    1. Create Issue (Confirm finding): Creates a new issue to be prioritized.
    2. Add Comment and Dismiss Vulnerability: When dismissing a finding, users can comment to note items that they have mitigated, that they accept the vulnerability, or that the vulnerability is a false positive.
    3. Auto-Remediation / Create Merge Request: A fix for the vulnerability can be offered, allowing an easy solution that does not require extra effort from users. This should be offered whenever possible.
    4. Links: Vulnerabilities can link out external sites or sources for users to get more data around the vulnerability.

How to onboard

This section describes the steps you need to complete to onboard as a partner and complete an integration with the Secure stage.

  1. Read about our partnerships.
  2. Create an issue using our new partner issue template to begin the discussion.
  3. Get a test account to begin developing your integration. You can request a Subscription Sandbox or an EE Developer License.
  4. Provide a pipeline job template that users could integrate into their own GitLab pipelines.
  5. Create a report artifact with your pipeline jobs.
  6. Ensure your pipeline jobs create a report artifact that GitLab can process to successfully display your own product’s results with the rest of GitLab.
  7. Optional: Provide a way to interact with results as Vulnerabilities:
    • Users can interact with the findings from your artifact within their workflow. They can dismiss the findings or accept them and create a backlog issue.
    • To automatically create issues without user interaction, use the issue API.
  8. Optional: Provide auto-remediation steps:
    • If you specified remediations in your artifact, it is proposed through our remediation interface.
  9. Demo the integration to GitLab:
    • After you have tested and are ready to demo your integration, reach out to us. If you skip this step you won’t be able to do supported marketing.
  10. Begin doing supported marketing of your GitLab integration.
    • Work with our partner team to support your go-to-market as appropriate.
    • Examples of supported marketing could include being listed on our Security Partner page, doing a blog post, doing a co-branded webinar, or producing a co-branded white paper.

We have a video playlist that may be helpful as part of this process. This covers various topics related to integrating your tool.

If you have any issues while working through your integration or the steps above, create an issue to discuss with us further.