March 6th, 2020
Connect in Fewer Steps: What’s New with Integrated Version Control
With Rasa X 0.26.0, we've added new features to Integrated Version Control that simplify the setup process and give teams greater visibility into changes. Now, it's possible to connect to a repository with a click of a button-no manually generating SSH keys or making API calls. You can also see when the last changes were made, and in Rasa Enterprise, which user initiated changes. With these updates, we're removing the Experimental label from Integrated Version Control and making it a core feature of Rasa X.
These updates build on previous iterations of Integrated Version Control, first released with Rasa X 0.23.0. Integrated Version Control connects Rasa X to a remote Git repository, allowing developers to version training data, create a record of changes (and roll back if needed), and connect Rasa X with downstream workflows like CI/CD, automated testing, and code reviews.
In this post, we'll review the capabilities of Integrated Version Control and give you a tour of what's new in 0.26.0.
Engineering Best Practices with Rasa X
Engineering teams everywhere follow a set of standard practices for maintaining code quality and shipping consistent improvements. We believe building an AI assistant benefits from these practices, just as traditional applications do.
- Automating build processes and deployments.
- Running automated tests to check for regressions and code quality.
- Reviewing PRs before introducing updates.
These practices have one thing in common. They all rely on maintaining a centralized Git repository that represents the source of truth for the application and tracks each change to the code.
With Integrated Version Control, Rasa X supports these engineering best practices. Any change you make in Rasa X that alters your files-annotating NLU data or adding stories-is tracked and pushed to a connected Git repository. This means you can manage your assistant's training data in Rasa X and keep it in sync with a Git repository that represents the source of truth for your assistant. By extension, you can leverage automated deployments, tests, and PR reviews in your downstream workflows.
This ability isn't new-it's been included since the first introduction of Integrated Version Control. What is new is that getting started with Integrated Version Control is easier than ever before.
In Rasa X 0.26.0, we've drastically reduced the number of steps required to connect your Git repository with Rasa X.
Previously, setting up Integrated Version Control required manually generating an SSH key and making an API call to establish the connection between Rasa X and your repository. Now, an onboarding flow within the Rasa X UI creates an SSH key automatically. You're provided with the public key to copy and paste into your Git repository's settings, and after providing your repository URL and target branch, one click completes the setup.
Whether you've been waiting to try Integrated Version Control or installed an earlier version, we can't wait for you to try the improved, simplified onboarding flow.
Tracking Changes by User
Integrated Version Control now includes a timestamp showing you when unpushed changes were made.
For Rasa Enterprise users, you can also now see which user made changes. Rasa Enterprise shows who made the change that caused the indicator to go from green (up to date) to orange (unpushed changes), and when it occurred. This feature helps large organizations manage the complexity of team collaboration by allowing other users to see which teammate has work in progress. Integrated Version Control also respects the permissions granted to users in the Git repository settings, so users without write access won't be able to push changes.
Watch a short demo walking through the latest capabilities we've added to Integrated Version Control:
During the Experimental release of Integrated Version Control, we worked closely with Rasa X users to understand their workflows and incorporate feedback into the latest version. With Rasa X 0.26.0, we've added all key features and smoothed out the edges to make Integrated Version Control ready for engineering teams building mission-critical AI assistants.
We encourage all Rasa users to download Rasa X 0.26.0 and give it a try. Check out the documentation for detailed instructions, and get in touch in the forum. We'd love to know how you're using Integrated Version Control and what features you'd like to see prioritized in future releases.