CD Foundation Technical Oversight Committee Approves Interoperability SIG!

By January 21, 2020January 23rd, 2020Blog

Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) Governing Board (GB) agreed to and ratified 9 strategic goals in early October 2019. One of the strategic goals identified by CDF GB is fostering tool interoperability.

Recognition of the importance of interoperability and identifying it as one of the strategic goals is a very important step for CDF to take for users. Users and organizations employ various CI/CD tools and technologies depending on their needs and where they are in their CI/CD transformation. Organizations often employ more than one tool in various stages of their CI/CD pipelines due to different capabilities provided by the tools and this is perhaps one of the biggest benefits users get by using open technologies for their CI/CD needs. For example, CDF member Salesforce has over 20 different CI/CD tools internally thanks to acquisitions and different requirements in teams. 

However, one of the challenges users face is the lack of interoperability across the CI/CD tools and technologies, resulting in various issues while constructing and running pipelines such as passing metadata and artifacts between the tools or achieving traceability from commit to deployment. Often users end up building their “own glue code” to address what is a common problem, further complicating moving from one tool to another and adopting new technologies and methodologies.

These “glue code solutions” are generally specific to users’ needs and tools rather than being loosely coupled and agnostic to tooling and technology. Additionally these solutions are not visible to other users and the communities, making them vulnerable to the risk of outage in their CI/CD pipelines due to potential changes (i.e. non-backward changes to the APIs, changes in data models) that happen to the tools in respective projects.

Therefore, focusing on tool interoperability is critical. 

There has been significant collaboration going on in this area. Linux Foundation Networking (LFN), OpenStack Foundation (OSF), and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects have done a lot  to raise awareness of CI/CD interoperability challenges. In addition to these communities, Spinnaker, Jenkins, Tekton, and Jenkins X, CDF founding projects, have been collaborating and sharing ideas. However, there are many more users, projects and communities, either looking for answers to similar interoperability challenges, on their way to developing solutions, or simply trying to find like minded people to work with together.

We believe the work should happen in a neutral forum where users come together with maintainers of open source CI/CD projects and have a dialog about the challenges we need to address. 

Which is why the CDF Interoperability SIG was launched, led by Fatih Degirmenci of Ericsson and with support from representatives from Netflix, Google, China Mobile, CloudBees and others. 

We, the CDF Interoperability SIG, aim to provide such a forum and enable a dialog around interoperability in order to:

  • clarify what interoperability means for the CI/CD ecosystem
  • promote the need to collaborate on interoperability challenges in a neutral forum
  • highlight and promote the needs of the users who face challenges constructing complex end-to-end CI/CD flows and pipelines by employing different tools and technologies
  • explore synergies between, and enable collaboration across, the CI/CD projects with regards to interoperability
  • pursue solutions which are loosely coupled, scalable, flexible, and tool and technology agnostic
  • reduce the need for users to implement in-house solutions by promoting native interoperability between tools
  • attract and assist projects that work on interoperability

Membership to the Interoperability SIG is open to the public. We invite users and contributors to open source CI/CD projects to join us to share ideas, use cases, challenges, and solutions with each other. 

Here are some of the ways you can take part in the Interoperability SIG and start collaborating:

CDF SIG Meets every even week on Thursdays at 15:00UTC on Zoom and the meeting agenda and minutes are available here. Our first meeting will be on January 23, 2020.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has listened to our ideas, shared their thoughts, taken part in crafting the proposal, and most importantly, encouraged us with their +1s!