GitLab is a web application for version management based on Git. Later, further functions were added such as an issue tracking system with Kanban board, a system for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) as well as a Wiki and Snippets. The GitLab Community Edition (CE) is developed as open source software under the MIT licence and can be installed on-premises.

The GitLab CI tools enable automated builds and deployments without the need for external integrations. If a PaaS solution such as Kubernetes is already in use, apps can be automatically deployed, tested and scaled with GitLab CI/CD. In addition, code can be automatically scanned for potential security risks.

GitLab is a completely packaged platform, while GitHub can be extended with apps from the Marketplace. However, this does not mean that GitLab cannot be integrated, for example with Asana, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.