What you should know about internal developer portals

For platform engineering teams, the big question is: build or buy?

Help developers do more in less time it has become a priority for organizations. As the scope of SaaS continues to expand and DevOps becomes more popular, enterprises are finding that they need to ease the cognitive load on developers, who often have to keep up with all the microservices available to them.

While this problem was initially addressed with service catalogs, the category morphed into something more ambitious: a one-stop-shop that allows developers to access all the microservices and tools in their ecosystem.

Called internal developer portals, this category is quickly gaining traction with software-heavy companies as they look to improve their developer experience and therefore efficiency. According forrester87% of DevOps leaders agreed that increasing developer productivity is a priority for the next 12 months.

By Gartner“These portals enable software engineering leaders to create a versatile ‘app store’ that increases software reuse, improves the developer onboarding experience, streamlines software delivery, and facilitates knowledge sharing.”

But these developer portals didn’t just happen on their own. Its appearance is closely linked to another trend: the advent of platform engineering.

Simply put, platform engineering teams are “groups within typically larger organizations that are tasked with improving the developer experience for other developers in the organization,” Shomik Ghosh, a partner at Boldstart Ventures, told TechDigiPro+.

Platform engineering teams have become increasingly common in large organizations, as have internal portals for developers. Gartner wait that by 2026, 80% of software engineering organizations will have a platform team, and by 2025, 75% of organizations with platform teams will provide self-service development portals to their engineers.

To better understand why and how internal developer portals came to be, let’s go back in time a bit.

Beyond the catalogs

Internal developer portals are a key tool for platform engineering teams, but they actually emerged before both concepts were fully conceived. In fact, they arose out of DevOps: Engineers suddenly found themselves increasingly forced to implement and operate the code they write. But in reality, and in production, it was often unclear who owned a given microservice.


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