Privately share configuration across your organization: Private orbs now on CircleCI

Two years ago CircleCI launched open-source orbs. With these orbs, developers across the globe have been able to simplify their entire development process and shorten their time to production. In that time, over 2,000 orbs have been created, 10,000+ unique organizations are using them on a monthly basis, and they have been integrated into nearly 18 million CI/CD pipelines.

Not familiar with orbs? Orbs are reusable packages of YAML configuration that help developers automate repeated processes, speed up project setup, and make it easy to integrate with third-party tools.

Developers are leveraging a variety of orbs available on our public registry to help automate what would otherwise be manual, time-draining, repeated processes. For example, the following are a few of our most utilized orbs:

  • The Slack orb implements event-based notifications for a developer’s CI/CD pipelines
  • Our partner Codecov’s orb provides test coverage across applications
  • Community developed React Native orb builds and tests React Native projects

What’s next for orbs from CircleCI?

Developers have asked the team at CircleCI to provide them with a way to privately share configuration across multiple projects, exclusive to their organization. We listened, and now, we are excited to announce our release of private orbs.

Since the introduction of the Scale plan, the first CircleCI plan designed specifically to support the needs of our enterprise customers, our engineering team has diligently been working to offer more valuable features for our largest organizations. While thousands of developers to date have enjoyed their experience with our open source orbs, many of our customers at larger organizations have needed a way to make their orb instances private.

These organizations typically have many repos they must manage, so standardizing configuration and being able to privately share it across projects is a substantial priority. Private orbs are joining Runner as additional features exclusive to the Scale plan.

Where are CircleCI private orbs useful?

Private orbs provide developers with increased privacy, efficiency, and collaboration across teams. This is especially useful for teams working in healthcare, finance, and other industries with high governance and compliance standards.

How CircleCI private orbs work

Private orbs will not appear on the public registry, and only those within your organization can access them. Users with read or write permissions will only be able to see and manage private orbs if they are authenticated to do so in your organization.

How to author a private orb

To author a new private orb, users will utilize the CircleCI local CLI tool. Administrators can fully control what orbs are available to their teams, since only admins have the privilege to create, publish, and update private orbs using the manual orb authoring process.

As long as your organization is on the Scale plan, you will be able to create and maintain an unlimited number of private orbs. Check out the following video to learn how to author a private orb:

Get the best CI/CD experience

In addition to private orbs and Runner, Scale plan includes unlimited concurrency for running multiple builds at the same time and robust resources for executing compute-intensive applications. These features enable your team to build incredible application experiences for your end users.

Administrators on Scale plan can now create, publish, and maintain their private orbs. For more details on how to start privately sharing configuration across multiple projects within your organization, refer to our orbs documentation.

To learn more about how private orbs increase privacy, efficiency, and internal sharing across an organization, contact our customer success team or read our Discuss post.