What is the Application Catalog

  • A catalog of services which can be self-service ordered directly from a Kubernetes cluster (via an well-defined API)

  • A framework to build services to make them available in the catalog - having a unique application catalog identity

The VSHN Application Catalog is a Cloud Native marketplace which offers services from Cloud Service Providers like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Aiven.io, Exoscale or cloudscale.ch, as well as managed services from VSHN.

— products.docs.vshn.ch

Behind the scenes it’s our framework to self-service order services provided by a cloud service provider or provisioned directly in the cluster itself. Everything happens directly from inside the Kubernetes cluster (API server), no external system or tool is needed for provisioning.

It’s also a list of applications available in an APPUiO Kubernetes cluster from which the user of the cluster can choose from. The list of applications heavily depends on where the cluster runs and it’s capabilities.

The Framework

It enables us to:

  • Easily engineer new services for the application catalog, by still having them to adhere to our standards and make them discoverable

  • Provide services with a unique and discoverable identity, similar to the Crossplane Resource Model (XRM) or the Kubernetes Resource Model (MRK)

  • Have similarity between all services in the application catalog because they all are built using the same framework and technology

  • A standardization of the same service between clusters, because we set our best practices and only expose the parameters we want to allow to be customized

A comparison

For a better understanding, the framework can be compared to:

  • Base modules allow installing a service and configure (usually) every aspect of it (a lot of parameters are exposed)

  • Profiles use base modules, glue them together and configure them with our own best-practice, to form a new service. Usually only a few parameters are exposed and only these parameters can be influenced.

Project Syn
  • Helm charts are base modules, they allow installing and configuring a particular service and expose all possible options.

  • Commodore Components are:

    • sticking Helm Charts together

    • parametrize them with best-practices

    • make useful options available to the user

    • provide a fallback to set every Helm value