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OpenStack Community App Catalog Review: Issue #3

Ilya Stechkin - March 24, 2016
Kirill Zaitzev
Welcome back to the Community App Catalog Digest, where we keep you up to date on project goings-on.

At the March 3 meeting, Chris Aedo nominated Kirill Zaitsev to the app-catalog and app-catalog-ui core teams, and as of the time of this writing, his election had been confirmed. Kirill has been actively involved with the Community App Catalog since nearly the beginning of the project, and more recently has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting around implementing the new GLARE backend. Here at OpenStack:Unlocked we'd like to congratulate Kirill, who also actively contributes to the Community App Catalog Digest.
The meeting also included a discussion of GLARE, and setting up a Staging server (with App-cat and GLARE) with a Public IP address.  This will make it possible to implement OpenStack ID authentication so that new assets can be added through a user-friendly API rather than gerrit reviews. The next step is to get a PoC running on Mirantis infra. We’ll keep you updated about how that process goes.
The main topic during the March 10 meeting was discussions between the Community App Catalog project and Horizon. As Community App Catalog PTL Chris Aedo said, “...It makes more sense for the app-catalog-ui work to head towards being a native component of Horizon, leaving the app-catalog web site to grow on it's own. But it's a good topic for debate at the summit; we need to see if there's even a possibility of that ever happening. I'm also (and always have been) leery of tying the app-catalog web site to the Horizon project - so I agree as long as it doesn't get hung up in/by Horizon development.”
Kevin Fox agreed. “We don't want to be restricted by Horizon, but reuse a lot of the work on development if we can use it. Since we have so few devs, any saved work will mean we can do more.”
At the project meeting last Thursday, March 17, the team discussed the agenda of the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Austin. The Community App Catalog project will have one fishbowl session and two work-room sessions, so now is the time to collect topics for discussion. The first one, as noted above, is the need to discuss the idea of the long term direction for the App Catalog UI dialog and possible integration with the Horizon team.
As usual, the next weekly meeting of the Community App Catalog project team will be on Thursday, March 24 at 17:00 UTC on the Freenode IRC channel #openstack-meeting-3. The agenda can be found here. Meetings, with their notes and logs, are available here or in the Wiki.

Further reading: Install Wordpress (or other Murano apps) on OpenStack with a few clicks

When it comes to making applications easily available in OpenStack, there are actually two pieces to the puzzle; Murano makes it easy to deploy applications, and the OpenStack Community App Catalog makes it easy to find applications to deploy. At the moment, the Community App Catalog simply tells you where to find apps to deploy, but that will likely change in the future, according to Murano contributor (and Newton PTL candidate) Kirill Zaytsev. “From the very beginning of the Community App Catalog project I believed that integration with it is essential for Murano’s growth and further development."
Kirill has been working on implementing the necessary APIs to make it possible, and in fact there's a Horizon plugin that enables users to search the app catalog right from their OpenStack Dashboard. However, just the existence of both Murano and the Community App Catalog means that it's possible for non-technical users to easily find, configure, and deploy non-trivial applications.
To put that assertion to the test (and to show you that it’s really easy to work with your apps using Murano) we gave our marketing manager, Ilya Stechkin, a mission: deploy WordPress on our OpenStack cloud in the lab. Here is a step-by-step (non-technical) report of what he found.
The whole procedure took about 30 minutes (including capturing screenshots), and took less than 20 clicks, and that's all because of the ease of use we get from having the the app published in the Community App Catalog.  
We we learned two things:  First, if you're a user, deploying complex applications on OpenStack doesn't have to be complicated, because Murano makes it easy.  Second, If you're a developer and you want to make your users' lives easier, publish your app in the catalog so they can find it and install it.
If you haven't yet actually used an app from the Community App Catalog, you can see the whole process here.

Looking for volunteers

It's probably no surprise that users prefer to use apps they know are going to work. To that end, Mirantis has an app Validation Program that's easy to participate in, and helps show that your apps are robust and aren't going to break when they're deployed.  Next month we're going to provide a case study of that validation process, and we're looking for a volunteer. Interested?  
We're also looking for case studies to feature here in the Digest.  How are you using the Community App Catalog in your business processes? Please send us your use cases and we’ll be happy to describe them in future issues.1

One more thing

Please join us in welcoming the latest new contributor to the Community App Catalog project, Mark Vanderwiel a cloud architect at IBM Research since 2008, who is working on integration tests with Horizon. We are glad to have such a distinguished engineer on board. Thanks for joining us, Mark!

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