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Kubernetes Application Lifecycle Management

KubeSphere integrates OpenPitrix, an open-source multi-cloud application management platform, to set up the App Store, managing Kubernetes applications throughout their entire lifecycle. The App Store supports two kinds of application deployment:

  • Template-Based Apps provide a way for developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to share applications with users in a workspace. You can also import third-party app repositories within a workspace.
  • Composed Apps help users quickly build a complete application using multiple microservices to compose it. KubeSphere allows users to select existing services or create new services to create a composed app on the one-stop console.

Using Redis as an example application, this tutorial demonstrates how to manage the Kubernetes app throughout the entire lifecycle, including submission, review, test, release, upgrade and removal.


Hands-on Lab

Step 1: Create a customized role and two users

You need to create two users first, one for ISVs (isv) and the other (reviewer) for app technical reviewers.

  1. Log in to the KubeSphere console with the user admin. Click Platform in the upper-left corner and select Access Control. In Platform Roles, click Create.

  2. Set a name for the role, such as app-review, and click Edit Permissions.

  3. In App Management, choose App Template Management and App Template Viewing in the permission list, and then click OK.


    The user who is granted the role app-review has the permission to view the App Store on the platform and manage apps, including review and removal.
  4. As the role is ready now, you need to create a user and grant the role app-review to it. In Users, click Create. Provide the required information and click OK.

  5. Similarly, create another user isv, and grant the role of platform-regular to it.

  6. Invite both users created above to an existing workspace such as demo-workspace, and grant them the role of workspace-admin.

Step 2: Upload and submit an application

  1. Log in to KubeSphere as isv and go to your workspace. You need to upload the example app Redis to this workspace so that it can be used later. First, download the app Redis 11.3.4 and click Upload Template in App Templates.


    In this example, a new version of Redis will be uploaded later to demonstrate the upgrade feature.
  2. In the dialog that appears, click Upload Helm Chart to upload the chart file. Click OK to continue.

  3. Basic information of the app displays under App Information. To upload an icon for the app, click Upload Icon. You can also skip it and click OK directly.


    The maximum accepted resolution of the app icon is 96 x 96 pixels.
  4. The app displays in the template list with the status Developing after it is successfully uploaded, which means this app is under development. The uploaded app is visible to all members in the same workspace.

  5. Go to the detail page of the app template by clicking Redis from the list. You can edit the basic information of this app by clicking Edit.

  6. You can customize the app's basic information by specifying the fields in the pop-up window.

  7. Click OK to save your changes, then you can test this application by deploying it to Kubernetes. Click the draft version to expand the menu and click Install.


    If you don't want to test the app, you can submit it for review directly. However, it is recommended that you test your app deployment and function first before you submit it for review, especially in a production environment. This helps you detect any problems in advance and accelerate the review process.
  8. Select the cluster and project to which you want to deploy the app, set up different configurations for the app, and then click Install.


    Some apps can be deployed with all configurations set in a form. You can use the toggle switch to see its YAML file, which contains all parameters you need to specify in the form.
  9. Wait for a few minutes, then switch to the tab App Instances. You will find that Redis has been deployed successfully.

  10. After you test the app with no issues found, you can click Submit for Release to submit this application for release.


    The version number must start with a number and contain decimal points.
  11. After the app is submitted, the app status will change to Submitted. Now app reviewers can release it.

Step 3: Release the application

  1. Log out of KubeSphere and log back in as app-reviewer. Click Platform in the upper-left corner and select App Store Management. On the App Release page, the app submitted in the previous step displays under the tab Unreleased.

  2. To release this app, click it to inspect the app information, introduction, chart file and update logs from the pop-up window.

  3. The reviewer needs to decide whether the app meets the release criteria on the App Store. Click Pass to approve it or Reject to deny an app submission.

Step 4: Release the application to the App Store

After the app is approved, isv can release the Redis application to the App Store, allowing all users on the platform to find and deploy this application.

  1. Log out of KubeSphere and log back in as isv. Go to your workspace and click Redis on the Template-Based Apps page. On its details page, expand the version menu, then click Release to Store. In the pop-up prompt, click OK to confirm.

  2. Under App Release, you can see the app status. Activated means it is available in the App Store.

  3. Click View in Store to go to its Versions page in the App Store. Alternatively, click App Store in the upper-left corner, and you can also see the app.


    You may see two Redis apps in the App Store, one of which is a built-in app in KubeSphere. Note that a newly-released app displays at the beginning of the list in the App Store.
  4. Now, users in the workspace can install Redis from the App Store. To install the app to Kubernetes, click the app to go to its App Information page, and click Install.


    If you have trouble installing an application and the Status column shows Failed, you can hover your cursor over the Failed icon to see the error message.

Step 5: Create an application category

app-reviewer can create multiple categories for different types of applications based on their function and usage. It is similar to setting tags and categories can be used in the App Store as filters, such as Big Data, Middleware, and IoT.

  1. Log in to KubeSphere as app-reviewer. To create a category, go to the App Store Management page and click in App Categories.

  2. Set a name and icon for the category in the dialog, then click OK. For Redis, you can enter Database for the field Name.


    Usually, an app reviewer creates necessary categories in advance and ISVs select the category in which an app appears before submitting it for review. A newly-created category has no app in it.
  3. As the category is created, you can assign the category to your app. In Uncategorized, select Redis and click Change Category.

  4. In the dialog, select the category (Database) from the drop-down list and click OK.

  5. The app displays in the category as expected.

Step 6: Add a new version

To allow workspace users to upgrade apps, you need to add new app versions to KubeSphere first. Follow the steps below to add a new version for the example app.

  1. Log in to KubeSphere as isv again and navigate to Template-Based Apps. Click the app Redis in the list.

  2. Download Redis 12.0.0, which is a new version of Redis for demonstration in this tutorial. On the tab Versions, click New Version on the right to upload the package you just downloaded.

  3. Click Upload Helm Chart and click OK after it is uploaded.

  4. The new app version displays in the version list. You can click it to expand the menu and test the new version. Besides, you can also submit it for review and release it to the App Store, which is the same as the steps shown above.

Step 7: Upgrade an application

After a new version is released to the App Store, all users can upgrade this application to the new version.


To follow the steps below, you must deploy an app of one of its old versions first. In this example, Redis 11.3.4 was already deployed in the project demo-project and its new version 12.0.0 was released to the App Store.
  1. Log in to KubeSphere as project-regular, navigate to the Apps page of the project, and click the app to upgrade.

  2. Click More and select Edit Settings from the drop-down list.

  3. In the window that appears, you can see the YAML file of application configurations. Select the new version from the drop-down list on the right. You can customize the YAML file of the new version. In this tutorial, click Update to use the default configurations directly.


    You can select the same version from the drop-down list on the right as that on the left to customize current application configurations through the YAML file.
  4. On the Apps page, you can see that the app is being upgraded. The status will change to Running when the upgrade finishes.

Step 8: Suspend an application

You can choose to remove an app entirely from the App Store or suspend a specific app version.

  1. Log in to KubeSphere as app-reviewer. Click Platform in the upper-left corner and select App Store Management. On the App Store page, click Redis.

  2. On the detail page, click Suspend App and select OK in the dialog to confirm the operation to remove the app from the App Store.


    Removing an app from the App Store does not affect tenants who are using the app.
  3. To make the app available in the App Store again, click Activate App.

  4. To suspend a specific app version, expand the version menu and click Suspend Version. In the dialog that appears, click OK to confirm.


    After an app version is suspended, this version is not available in the App Store. Suspending an app version does not affect tenants who are using this version.
  5. To make the app version available in the App Store again, click Activate Version.

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