Changes to GoCD in 2020

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Aravind SV

Nov 18, 2019, 5:12:19 AM11/18/19
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Hi everyone,

In 2014, after more than 5 years as a proprietary product, ThoughtWorks open sourced GoCD and continued to provide paid commercial support + paid plugins geared towards larger organizations. During this time, GoCD changed massively including in areas such as config as code, dynamic elastic agents, external artifacts support and Kubernetes support, while continuing to improve on its core strengths of powerful pipeline modeling and visualization.

Five years later, the time has now come for GoCD to become a fully open source project. The commercial support offering by ThoughtWorks is being ended and all existing proprietary plugins created by ThoughtWorks will be open sourced in 2020. This is an exciting change as the commercial plugins will be available to use for free beginning in Q2 2020 (estimated). 

With this change, ThoughWorks will also be reducing its investment into the development effort on GoCD in 2020 and beyond. However in 2020, ThoughtWorks will continue to build and support the GoCD community, including providing infrastructure for releases through, supporting and monitoring the google groups and gitter channel and providing open source project governance.

We believe that GoCD has played a significant role in changing the way software is delivered and look back with immense pride at what has been achieved with GoCD so far. In order for GoCD and the community to continue to thrive beyond 2020, we are planning to set up a bootstrap steering committee consisting of members from the GoCD community as well as members from the ThoughtWorks GoCD team to decide the way forward. We still need to work out membership and details of how the bootstrap committee will run but expect to get back to you on how that will work in the next few weeks. In the meantime check out the FAQ below for our initial thoughts. 

As always, happy to answer questions about this change or about GoCD. Please reply here or contact us on if you have any unanswered questions.

Thank you,

Aravind SV (on behalf of the GoCD team)


  • Who will do GoCD releases?

    In 2020 the GoCD team will continue to provide releases. Beyond 2020 this will be the responsibility of the GoCD community. 

  • What happens to GoCD after 2020? What kind of governance will be in place for GoCD?

    In 2021 ThoughtWorks will no longer formally staff GoCD developers. In order for the community to continue to thrive beyond 2020 we are looking for external community members to support the project.

    Based on conversations with members of the open source community, a strong recommendation has been to set up a bootstrap steering committee to help decide the way forward. We are planning to set up such a committee consisting of members from the GoCD community as well as some members from the GoCD team. The initial thought around such a committee is that it will be time-boxed and responsible for making decisions about the way forward. Once those decisions are made, the committee will likely be dissolved. These ideas can be modified based on the feedback from the community.

  • What happens to GoCD’s build infrastructure?

    In 2020 ThoughtWorks will continue to provide this infrastructure. Beyond 2020 this is currently unknown.

  • Have you considered making GoCD part of a foundation?

    Yes. We have considered it. We felt that the decision should not be taken only by us, but by including the wider community. This will be a decision for the bootstrap steering committee.

  • When will the proprietary plugins be open sourced?

    Estimated to be in Q2 2020. Among other things, there are licensing considerations that can make this a little challenging.

  • Should I migrate from GoCD? Will you help?

    You should assess your needs and select the best tool for you. GoCD will be actively supported in 2020 and available as an open source project for use in the future. ThoughtWorks will not be providing alternative tools recommendations or migration support. Different tools in this space offer different levels of modeling capabilities and features. 

  • What is happening to ThoughtWorks’ commercial GoCD offering?

    ThoughtWorks will no longer take any new orders for commercial support or plugins. If you are an existing paying customer we should already have reached out to you to explain that we will honor your existing agreement and you will be supported for the remainder of your contract term. 

  • I want to try the proprietary plugins now. Where can I get them?

    If you are a paying customer please contact and we will help you get access to the plugins you have purchased.

    If you have not purchased GoCD’s commercial offering from ThoughtWorks you will need to wait until the plugins are open sourced in Q2 2020. We will update this community when this change is made. 

  • I have purchased support. This is the first I’m hearing about this change.

    We are so sorry. We believe we reached out to all paying customers via phone and email earlier to talk directly with you about this change. Please contact and we will talk you through how these changes impact you.

Paul Reid

Feb 19, 2020, 8:45:47 AM2/19/20
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Have there been any developments in regard to setting up a Bootstrap Steering Committee? 

Thanks, Paul

Aravind SV

Feb 20, 2020, 8:51:17 AM2/20/20
Hello Paul (and others),

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 05:45:47 -0800, Paul Reid wrote:
> Have there been any developments in regard to setting up a Bootstrap Steering Committee?

Apologies for the radio silence on this. It is progressing. I've been involved with this the most. I thought no one would be interested in the minutiae of the progress. :)

We've looked at other bootstrap steering committees in this area to understand how they are set up. We're also working with the legal team to figure out what needs to be done. The current thinking is that it should be a small group of people (internal and external) who will be responsible to come up with a set of next steps and a plan for continued sustainability and technical steering of GoCD. This committee will be time-boxed and will be different from any technical steering group they decide is necessary. I'm also creating a set of marks and assets that currently belong to ThoughtWorks, but will need to be transferred in this process.

Please expect more details early to mid March regarding this.

Thank you,

PS: The work around open-sourcing GoCD's paid plugins is also progressing. The analytics plugin is the only one we know of currently that has a commercial component (HighCharts) which doesn't have an open-source compatible license. We've been in touch with HighSoft to look into options, but it is quite likely that we will need to open-source the plugin without HighCharts being bundled.

saif ali

Mar 30, 2020, 3:42:21 AM3/30/20
to go-cd
Hi Arvind,

Once GoCD is open-sourced what would be the migration path from H2 database to Postgress database.


Aravind SV

Mar 31, 2020, 1:43:28 PM3/31/20
Hello Saif,

Usually, with Postgres, we have a little tool which exports from H2 and imports to a configured Postgres DB and then GoCD can be configured to use Postgres. That's likely going to be the path. Once it is done, there should be more details.

The efforts around the committee and the plugins are a little delayed. The world has changed a bit since my last mail. :/

I hope you're all staying safe.

Take care,
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Aravind SV

May 29, 2020, 2:33:58 AM5/29/20
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Hello everyone,

Hope you're all safe in these times.

When the original announcement about the changes to GoCD was made, I had said that we would open-source GoCD's commercial plugins in Q2 of 2020. Here is an update regarding each of those plugins:

1. ECS Elastic Agent plugin: This is now available at

2. LDAP Authorization plugin: This is now available at

3. Azure Elastic Agent plugin: This is now available at

4. PostgreSQL support: We are trying to incorporate it into GoCD core itself. The pull request for this is in progress and you can see it here ( In fact, this change should add support for multiple databases. The reason it is taking time is because we needed to change the underlying database-related technology to use Liquibase, which helps provide support for different databases. This should come out in GoCD 20.5.0, the next release of GoCD. Note: Release 20.4.0 was finished today.

5. GoCD Analytics plugin: This is a work in progress, and you should get an update soon. The challenge there is that it uses Highcharts, which is incompatible with any open-source license. So, we need to make changes to remove Highcharts from being bundled, while allowing it to be put back in place by users who have procured a license from Highsoft or have a reason to believe that they don't need one. You can see the original documentation for the analytics plugin in case you don't know about it.

6. Business continuity addon: This depends on the work around Postgres mentioned above, and will likely be the last one to be open-sourced. We haven't given this a lot of thought at this time.


Also: I had mentioned setting up a bootstrap steering committee. There is some work going on towards it. Please wait for an update here soon. Thank you for your patience.


Robert Lounsberry

Jun 2, 2020, 7:40:10 PM6/2/20
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That Azure Elastic Agent plugin is reporting that it is deprecated and will not allow me to create an Elastic Profile. It starts on the Cluster Profile page but will not allow selection of the Elastic Profile page. Is there some version of this plugin that will allow both Cluster and Elastic profiles for Server version 20.#? I'm currently employing 1.0.0-4

Aravind SV

Jun 24, 2020, 9:55:53 AM6/24/20
to go-cd

Just a quick (and probably final) update from me regarding open-sourcing of the plugins:

1. GoCD 20.5.0 was released a couple of days ago. It has support for PostgreSQL built in. The recommendation is for all production instances of GoCD to make use of PostgreSQL support. You'll likely see better performance. Please note that upgrading to 20.5.0 (even if you are not planning to switch to PostgreSQL) requires a one-time data migration, since the underlying database technology was changed.

2. GoCD Analytics plugin: This plugin has now been open-sourced at and a release is available on GitHub releases.

3. Business continuity addon: This will either be bundled with GoCD or made available as a separate addon. Either way this will be mentioned in the release notes of the release that happens in. I'm not planning to send an update to this group when that happens.

Also: There is an update about the bootstrap steering committee here: -- please take a look.


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Roberto Yudice

Jun 24, 2020, 11:00:01 PM6/24/20
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Hi, was the S3 artifact storage plugin going to be open sourced as well?

Aravind SV

Jun 25, 2020, 7:01:00 AM6/25/20
Hello Roberto,

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 20:00:00 -0700, Roberto Yudice wrote:
> Hi, was the S3 artifact storage plugin going to be open sourced as well?

Not sure which one you're talking about. There wasn't a commercial S3 artifact storage plugin.

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