At the DockerCon Europe 2018 conference, Docker Inc. today announced it will make Docker Compose for Kubernetes available as an open source project. Docker Compose for Kubernetes was developed by Docker Inc. to make it easier to configure Kubernetes clusters running on top of the Docker Enterprise platform; now it is available to the broader Kubernetes community.
Company CTO Kal De told conference attendees that Docker Inc. would remain committed to leading the development of open source projects even as the company seeks to drive revenue via commercial software and services engagements with enterprise IT organizations. Today, Docker claims it has more than 650 commercial customers and is adding new customers at a rate of over 100 per quarter.
De joined Docker Inc. in October from VMware, where he was vice president of product development for VMware’s Cloud Management Business Unit. He replaced cofounder Solomon Hykes, who is credited with leading the original development of Docker containers and resigned earlier this year. A short time later, Steve Singh, formerly with SAP replaced Ben Golub as Docker CEO.
De says much of the open source work Docker Inc. will focus on going forward will be in the area of making it easier for average developers to build and deploy containerized applications. As part of that commitment, the company earlier this week launched an open source Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB) specification in collaboration with Microsoft that promises to streamline the toolchain DevOps teams need to master to build and deploy containers.
CNAB support from Docker Inc. will be provided initially as part of its docker-app experimental tool for building, packaging and managing cloud-native applications. CNAB packages will be bundled as Docker images compatible with the OCI specification and can be distributed via Docker registry tools such as Docker Hub and Docker Trusted Registry. Docker Inc. also promised to make it possible to deploy and manage CNAB-based applications in Docker Enterprise in 2019. Microsoft, meanwhile, plans to provide CNAB support via a tool called Duffle, an open source reference implementation of a CNAB client. Microsoft also plans to make Duffle available as an extension of its Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).
Docker Inc. claims there are more than 2 million developers building applications using Docker containers today. But there are as many as 15 million developers building enterprise applications using other tools. By making Docker containers more accessible Docker Inc. hopes to expand significantly the overall size of the Docker container community. De specifically cited the book “Flow,” published by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as guiding principle for how an application development platform optimally should function.
It’s too early to say how well Docker Inc. will be able to walk a line between being a primary contributor to the open source community and the need to generate enough revenues to sustain itself. But as the number of Docker developers continues to increase, so does the total available market for the platforms needed to run those applications.