Enhance Developer Experience, Productivity with Tanzu Application Platform for Application Deployment

November 15, 2021 Deepak Belani

At VMware’s annual SpringOne developer conference in September, we announced the first customer beta of VMware ​Tanzu​ Application Platform. Tanzu Application Platform delivers a pre-paved path to production and a streamlined, end-to-end developer experience on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster. As a modular, application-aware platform, it includes all the needed components preconfigured for developer teams to build and deploy software quickly and securely. 

As we continue to add new functionalities in Tanzu Application Platform, our aim is to build a more secure developer and platform operations experience, and to streamline the path to production. With Beta 3, the latest update to Tanzu Application Platform, we have done just that. New functionalities enhance the DevOps user experience and productivity, provide application teams with quicker paths to learning Kubernetes, and deliver more automation and security.  

Get started faster with Tanzu Application Platform Profiles

An incredibly exciting addition to Beta 3 is the introduction of Profiles, which allow for a quick and effortless installation of the Platform Carvel packages and their dependencies. These Profiles speed up the installation experience dramatically and allow users to get started quickly and focus on running their workloads and building secure applications as intended.

Enhance developer productivity with a centralized GUI

The new Tanzu Application Platform graphical user interface (GUI) provides easy workload and application visibility to application teams, delivering a consistent and unified experience atop any Kubernetes. The GUI is a centralized portal where application teams can see what users are working on and get deeper insights into workloads and applications.

The Tanzu Application Platform GUI’s software catalog

The Tanzu Application Platform GUI’s software catalog

With many organizations embracing the Kubernetes ecosystem, application teams are scrambling to learn new concepts and ways of working. Most developers simply do not have the exposure or level of knowledge on Kubernetes and how the app components fit together. The Tanzu Application Platform GUI simplifies an application team’s experience by enabling them to focus on writing innovative code as opposed to figuring out how the app pieces fit together. Importantly, this provides a low barrier to entry for application teams new to Kubernetes. 

The offerings within Tanzu Application Platform are centered around the principles of modularity, automation, and bootstraps. While most components are command line interface (CLI) or integrated development environment (IDE) driven, there is tremendous value in complementing a user interface experience that supports the three principles. This allows application teams to experience the full breadth of Tanzu Application Platform.

A view of the Tanzu Application Platform workload visibility plugin

A view of the Tanzu Application Platform workload visibility plugin

Using technology from the Backstage Project, which is an open source initiative started by Spotify, the centralized GUI provides a simple, user-friendly “front door” to Tanzu Application Platform and demystifies for application teams what makes up their apps and services. It not only provides the information on the application but also provides teams the capability to build on the data they are working on so other teams can use it. The GUI enhances developer and operator productivity by providing them with the ability to dive deeper and investigate running workloads and applications to see and learn about what is going on inside and troubleshoot issues easily. With one centralized view of business, the application teams can get started quickly and onboard faster. It makes their learning curve shorter and easier.

Workload details shown in the Tanzu Application Platform workload visibility plugin

Workload details shown in the Tanzu Application Platform workload visibility plugin

Build code faster with easy access to learning paths for Kubernetes   

The learning center experience in Tanzu Application Platform includes capabilities that enable developers to learn how to build production-ready code faster. Based on an internally developed platform that runs on Kubernetes, the learning center offers the ability to create interactive workshops with session-based environments alongside guided technical content.

A workshop building tutorial in the learning center

A workshop building tutorial in the learning center

The Tanzu Application Platform learning center comes ready with a prebuilt workshop on how to create educational content, demonstrating the ease of building out learning paths for your team. Application teams can leverage the self-paced learning content in a safe, guardrailed space for exploration of new technologies and technical concepts. With a robust, customizable learning tool available at their fingertips, customers can onboard and educate their teams quickly at scale to keep up with growing business needs.

To see the learning center in action, try out a workshop in the Tanzu Developer Center

Increase DevOps efficiency with default software supply chains 

Supply chain choreography allows app operators to create pre-approved paths to production integrating Kubernetes resources into their existing toolchains. Operators can create and manage multiple, pre-approved default supply chains out of the box. These supply chains include components for building, testing, scanning, and deploying software all while giving app operators peace of mind that all code in production has passed through an approved workflow.

Beta 2 included two default supply chains, one that enabled customers to go from source to running Knative service quickly and the other that added the capability to modify the supply chain to run tests in the Tekton pipeline. In Beta 3, we are adding a third default supply chain that allows customers to not only test but also scan their code using tools like Grype. Through this supply chain, customers can go from source to running a Knative service that has been tested for CI and scanned using compliant tools. The video below shows this new supply chain in action.

In addition, Beta 3 offers an enhanced delivery experience by providing the ability to deploy workloads on the cluster where they were built.

Check out the Tanzu Application Platform Beta

We are actively working with a wide variety of customers and have received a lot of positive feedback already as we build momentum toward general availability. Here are some of the key business benefits customers have highlighted when using the beta:

“Tanzu Application Platform hides a lot of the complexity (knobs and tubes) of Kubernetes for a lot of engineers who don’t have a Kubernetes skillset, and bringing them this skillset is difficult.”

“Tanzu Application Platform allows you to identify the bottlenecks and easily tune [them] while giving appropriate guardrails to mask what’s underneath with the Kubernetes platform.”  

“A lot of devs don’t want to know about the platform. This is common across customers—the less they have to know Kubernetes, the better.” 

“We started to work with Pivotal and, after the integration with VMware, we had some concerns.... Now I am fully happy with the strategy. It’s very important to have pluggable integration. Like you said ... choreography. It was very important for us to be flexible.”

“Now we’re actually able to drive budgets and ... a product focus that aligns to the business and the business values ... [and] looking into leveraging Tanzu Mission Control and Tanzu Application Platform to investigate how we make the operational aspects and wiring things and doing things much simpler and easier to create that capability.”

If you’d like to enhance your developer user experience and productivity for application deployment, start using the Tanzu Application Platform Beta

About the Author

Deepak Belani

Deepak Belani is senior product marketing leader for Tanzu Application Platform at VMware Tanzu.

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