Today, GitHub Enterprise gets what the company is unofficially calling a "Version 2.0" release, with major new features that make the on-premises code repository more enterprise-friendly. That includes support for deploying GitHub Enterprise in the Amazon Web Services public cloud, high availability and disaster recovery options, better support for LDAP and SAML, and updates to code review and project management.
GitHub is pretty much the closest thing Silicon Valley has to startup royalty (Complete with royal scandals): Its web-hosted Git repository service is what makes the development of so many apps possible. If you don't believe that, ask the 7 million developers who are building 17 million projects on the site.
Of course, that whole "web-based" thing isn't right for every company. Some -- especially those in regulated industries like healthcare and finance -- prefer to keep code under closer wraps, if not in their own data center. That's why in 2011, GitHub introduced GitHub Enterprise, a version of the software that could run in a virtual machine anywhere a customer wanted it and still give development teams access to the collaborative tools they were used to.
"What they want to buy is what GitHub represents," said GitHub Vice President of Strategy Brian Doll.
Which brings us back to today's updates.
The key value to GitHub Enterprise, said Doll, is that developers are going to use it anyway. College students get used to GitHub while still taking computer science classes, while most major open-source projects at least get started on the platform. For many developers, GitHub is a stock-standard tool of the trade, Doll said, and GitHub Enterprise's paying customers want to give it to them, or risk alienating their talent.
"If they don't use it at work, they definitely use it in their personal projects," Doll said.
So the challenge becomes making it available to those developers while still meeting the needs of the CIO's office. That's tricky, but it's also why these updates to GitHub Enterprise are key to the product's future. The new features are simply to provide more flexible options to GitHub Enterprise customers.
Enhanced LDAP/SAML support provides a better path to secure GitHub Enterprise logins via corporate credentials, for example, while Amazon Web Services support (via custom .ami Amazon Machine Images) means that it can be deployed in the public cloud while still retaining an element of control lacking from the original GitHub. Another new feature, multi-factor authentication, brings it into line with just about every other enterprise app out there.
In short, GitHub is king of the world, and as the race for development talent, mobile strategy, and custom app building accelerates, it's good to be king. If a company wants the best apps, it wants developers to have the best tools. If they don't, you're going to fall behind, regardless of what industry you're in.
Developers are important, and only getting more so. "Every company in the world is a software company," said Doll.
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