GitLab, an online repository for open source code, has rolled out new features, including big data-ready Elasticsearch, in a bid to become the leading platform for hosting and maintaining software for independent developers and large companies alike.

The new features are part of GitLab version 8.4, which the site released a few days ago. They mark the fiftieth update to the platform in its history, according to developers.

Highlights of GitLab 8.4 include:

  • A tool for searching through source code that takes advantage of Elasticsearch, enabling fast searches even with very large amounts of data.
  • An updated importer for migrating code hosted on GitHub, one of GitLab's biggest competitors.
  • Enhanced readability of diffs, which show differences between two versions of source code.
  • Support for optionally requiring two-factor authentication for all users of a GitLab instance.

GitLab says it has more than 100,000 users, including thirty percent of Fortune 500 companies.

The site also has a lot of competition from other Git-as-a-Service providers, which offer hosted source code repositories based on Git, the open source software management and revision system originally written by Linus Torvalds for use with the Linux kernel.

Although this corner of the open source world rarely receives much attention from people other than programmers, it's a thriving space. And the push by providers like GitLab to provide advanced features, including ones that make Git hosting Big Data-friendly, is a sign of just how much opportunity there remains to integrate in this market.