The Practical Guide to internal developer portals


Chapter 6


Internal developer portals have the potential to massively increase developer productivity. 

That’s because the portal’s software catalog acts as a “single pane of glass” into all services and applications, enabling teams to automate DevOps workflows. A robust portal can – and should – be able to trigger workflows around resource management, remediation, provisioning, and more.

Automations trigger alerts or workflows

Automation refers to the ability to programmatically trigger alerts or DevOps workflows based on well-defined criteria. For example, an automation might automatically terminate an ephemeral environment after its TTL (time to live) expires, or notify teams via Slack when changes are made to the software catalog.

Automations are enabled through the portal’s API, which enables machines to access real-time data about the software catalog. Automation use cases include the following:

  • Incident escalation: Automated alerts that escalate unresolved incidents to on-call teams
  • Security remediation: Auto-remediate security issues like excessive permissions and vulnerable configurations
  • Resource cleanup: Terminate inactive cloud resources exceeding time-to-live policies to manage costs
  • Service monitoring: Get notified of service degradations and anomalies, or disallow deployments when service scorecards degrade
  • Catalog updates: Email subscribers when new services are added to the catalog or other changes in the software catalog

Anatomy of an automation

Every automation is defined by a “trigger” (what conditions initiate a workflow) and an “action” (the workflow that is automated as a result).

Examples of triggers Examples of actions
  • When an entity matches conditions
  • When a form is submitted
  • When an entity is created
  • When an entity is updated
  • At a scheduled time
  • When a scorecard degrades
  • Send an email
  • Send a Slack message
  • Send a weekly digest
  • Run a job
  • Call an API
  • Disallow a deployment

By offering a “single pane of glass” into all services and applications, the internal developer portal’s software catalog enables powerful automations: DevOps workflows that reduce manual work (like access provisioning and performance monitoring), streamline communication (around job failures, major releases, degraded services, and more), and enforce consistent practices to promote quality and standardization (auto-terminate resources, run CD flows, and more).

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Further Reading:
Read: Why "running service" should be part of the data model in your internal developer portal

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