Announcing CNAB Core 1.1 and CNAB Claims 1.0

Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB) is one of the projects that DeisLabs works on. Together with Docker, DataDog, and others, we have been defining a specification for cloud-based package management. This is different than something like Helm, which is Kubernetes-specific. CNAB allows you to work with any public cloud or cloud service provider, as well as on-premises/edge systems to provision and configure resources.

The CNAB project defines the standards that CNAB implementations use. Additionally, it provides reference implementations for some CNAB specifications. Tools like Porter implement those specifications.

This October, the CNAB project has reached a pair of milestones.

The CNAB working groups have been busy working on their specifications, and we are proud to announce two completed specs. The CNAB Claims specification has reached its 1.0.0 milestone. And the CNAB Core has gone from version 1.0.1 to version 1.1.0.

In this post, we will take a quick look at what these new releases mean.

Overview of the CNAB Specification Landscape

CNAB is composed of the following specifications:

  • CNAB Core: The definition of the CNAB bundle and how such a bundle is to be installed, updated, or deleted.
  • CNAB Security: The security guidance for signing, transmitting, and verifying bundles.
  • CNAB Registry: The specification for how bundles are stored in and retrieved from an OCI registry.
  • CNAB Claims: The definition of a data format for sharing information about specific CNAB installations.

The CNAB Core specification is the only one that is required for a system to be CNAB-conformant. The others cover interoperability between CNAB tools.

What is the CNAB Claims 1.0 Specification?

CNAB packages (bundles) may install components in a wide variety of destinations – cloud services, Kubernetes clusters, PaaS platforms, etc. CNAB-aware tools need to be able to determine which things it manages and in which systems. Moreover, multiple CNAB-aware tools may need to share that information.

The CNAB Claims specification describes a data format for sharing installation information, including what CNAB operations were run and what configuration was sent to the invocation image.

The now-deprecated Duffle client introduced Claims prior to its 1.0 release. But the new version of Claims is designed to be used across a wide variety of CNAB tools. The reference implementation of claims is available in the CNAB-Go Library. Porter already includes Claims 1.0 support.

What’s New in CNAB Core 1.1

CNAB Core is a stable specification. Changes are made cautiously. When an ambiguity was discovered in the core specification, it was resolved in a way that we deemed significant enough to warrant a minor release of the specification.

In this case, we discovered that the definition of a contentDigest in the bundle.json was not sufficient to explain how it should be generated. The language was clarified. Specifically, the new version makes it clear that docker and oci image types must use the registry-computed digest for this value (as opposed to a client-side digest).

Looking Forward

The CNAB team has only one remaining specification to complete: The CNAB Registry Specification. It is nearing draft completion, and we are excited at the prospect of a complete set of finished specifications.