Feature Categorization

Introduced in GitLab 13.2.

Each Sidekiq worker, controller action, or (eventually) API endpoint must declare a feature_category attribute. This attribute maps each of these to a feature category. This is done for error budgeting, alert routing, and team attribution.

The list of feature categories can be found in the file config/feature_categories.yml. This file is generated from the stages.yml data file used in the GitLab Handbook and other GitLab resources.

Updating config/feature_categories.yml

Occasionally new features will be added to GitLab stages, groups, and product categories. When this occurs, you can automatically update config/feature_categories.yml by running scripts/update-feature-categories. This script will fetch and parse stages.yml and generate a new version of the file, which needs to be committed to the repository.

The Scalability team currently maintains the feature_categories.yml file. They will automatically be notified on Slack when the file becomes outdated.

Sidekiq workers

The declaration uses the feature_category class method, as shown below.

class SomeScheduledTaskWorker
  include ApplicationWorker

  # Declares that this worker is part of the
  # `continuous_integration` feature category
  feature_category :continuous_integration

  # ...

The feature categories specified using feature_category should be defined in config/feature_categories.yml. If not, the specs will fail.

Excluding Sidekiq workers from feature categorization

A few Sidekiq workers, that are used across all features, cannot be mapped to a single category. These should be declared as such using the feature_category_not_owned! declaration, as shown below:

class SomeCrossCuttingConcernWorker
  include ApplicationWorker

  # Declares that this worker does not map to a feature category

  # ...

Rails controllers

Specifying feature categories on controller actions can be done using the feature_category class method.

A feature category can be specified on an entire controller using:

class Boards::ListsController < ApplicationController
  feature_category :kanban_boards

The feature category can be limited to a list of actions using the second argument:

class DashboardController < ApplicationController
  feature_category :issue_tracking, [:issues, :issues_calendar]
  feature_category :code_review, [:merge_requests]

These forms cannot be mixed: if a controller has more than one category, every single action must be listed.

Excluding controller actions from feature categorization

In the rare case an action cannot be tied to a feature category this can be done using the not_owned feature category.

class Admin::LogsController < ApplicationController
  feature_category :not_owned

Ensuring feature categories are valid

The spec/controllers/every_controller_spec.rb will iterate over all defined routes, and check the controller to see if a category is assigned to all actions.

The spec also validates if the used feature categories are known. And if the actions used in configuration still exist as routes.