VMware Tanzu Application Catalog is a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami collection that is continuously maintained and verifiably tested for use in production environments. Tanzu Application Catalog gives developers the productivity and agility of pre-packaged apps and components, while enabling operators to meet the stringent security and transparency requirements of enterprise IT.

This guide will walk you through a TAC demo account that includes all of the features of a fully functional TAC environment. We have pre-built two catalogs for you to check out, view, and consume for your testing needs.

In addition, you will learn how to consume the TAC content in the following ways:

  • Consume the TAC artifacts in your local machine via Docker or Helm CLI
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through Kubeapps
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through Google Container Registry
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through a private repository: Harbor

Enterprises can consume and deploy trusted and updated applications from a catalog tailored to their needs. This catalog is distributed through a private repository to internal customers.

How TAC does work

Assumptions and prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that:

Step 1: Sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account

To sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account, your organization must include this service within its VMware Cloud Services. You can check if your organization has access to this service by signing into the Tanzu Application Catalog. Follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Tanzu Application Catalog.
  2. Click the "Sign in with VMware" button. If you have access to the Tanzu Application Catalog, you should be redirected to the "Catalogs" dashboard.

    VMware Tanzu Application Catalog

If your organization does not have access to this service, you will see a message like the one shown below, which allows you to change your current organization or navigate to the VMware Cloud Services Portal to get access to the service.

No access

Step 2: Browse TAC catalog

With TAC, you will have 24 / 7 access to your applications, their status, and deployment details.

In this demo account example, you will see two different assets available by default:

  • Containers
  • Helm charts

TAC overview catalog

These are real artifacts that are continuously updated and can be consumed for testing purposes.

NOTE: This catalog is just an example of what can be done for your team. With TAC, your team will be able to build a customized catalog that is built with the target format, base image, and applications of your choice.

Browse Containers

When access your TAC catalog, you will see the list of the applications included in your catalog. Container images show, at first glance, the following information:

  • Base image
  • Container image version
  • Release status of the container
  • Date of the most recent release
  • "Details" link to view more information associated with that container image

    Container General Information

If a container has more than one version released, you will see the different version branches that the container has:

Container branches version

You can also filter the catalog to show only those containers that accomplish any of these criteria:

  • By Type
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

In the following image, the catalog was filtered by type, operating system, and status so you can only see the list of released containers that use CentOS 7:

Container catalog filtered by operating system

Click the "Details" link for an application to see the following information related to the selected container image:

  • Name of the container and if that image is a part of a Helm chart
  • Status of the release
  • Image References:
    • Digest: Repository URL where the image is stored
    • Container tags: use these tags to run your container
  • Build Time Reports: Click "Download" to save a copy of the available reports in your local machine. There are four types of reports for containers:
    • Asset Specification
    • Test Results
    • Antivirus Scan Result
    • CVE Scan Result

Container detail

Browse Helm Charts

When access your TAC catalog, you will see the list of the applications included in your catalog. Helm charts images show, at first glance, the following information:

  • Base image
  • Chart version
  • Status of chart's release
  • Date of the latest release
  • Dependencies: container image included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image, and release version
  • "Details" link to view more information associated with that chart or its container image

    Helm chart General Information

Also, you can filter the catalog to show only those Helm charts that accomplish any of these criteria:

  • By Type
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

In the following image, the catalog was filtered by type, operating system, and status so you can only see the list of released Helm charts that are built in CentOS 7:

Helm charts catalog filtered by status

Click the "Details" link for a chart. On the resulting screen, you will see the following information related to the selected chart:

  • Name of the Helm chart and if it has any container image as a dependency
  • Status of the release
  • Release information: commands to install the chart
  • Chart information: digest, name, version, and repository URL
  • Build Time Reports: Click "Download" to save a copy of the available reports in your local machine. There are two types of reports for charts:
    • Asset Specification
    • Test Results
  • Dependencies: container image included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image and release version

    Helm chart detail

You can inspect the chart dependencies by clicking the container image. You will see the information related to that container, showing a tag indicating that the selected container is a part of a Helm chart:

Helm chart container dependencies

Step 3: Create custom catalogs

In the demo account, you will be unable to add applications to the catalog. However, you can still follow the steps to see how this process works when it is activated in the full version of TAC.

  1. Click the "Add new applications" button.

    Request new applications

    This will start a wizard, select the following options:

    • Target format: Choose the format of the assets that the catalog will contain. You can create a catalog of container images or Helm charts and required container images.
    • Base Image: Choose the OS for the application base image.
    • Registry to store the applications: Specify the registry where the applications will be stored. If you don't have a registry, select the "I have no registries" option.

    Registry

    • Applications to include: Select the applications to be included in the current catalog.
  2. Click the "Submit" button to start the request.

    Request a new catalog

After following the wizard to create a catalog, the request will be placed in a processing queue that the VMware TAC team will process.

When the update of your catalog is ready, you will receive an email notification with a link to get direct access to it.

Step 4: Consume TAC artifacts

TAC builds trusted and continuously maintained content that can be consumed in three different ways:

  • Consume the TAC artifacts in your local machine via Docker or Helm CLI
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through Kubeapps
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through Google Container Registry
  • Consume the TAC artifacts through a private repository: Harbor

Consume the TAC artifacts in your local machine

TIP: Check out the Consume Tanzu Application Catalog Helm charts In Your Local Machine guide to learn more about this topic.

In this scenario, we will describe how to push the content to your local machine using the Docker or the Helm CLI depending on the type of content you want to use.

To run a container from a TAC Container Catalog:

  1. Navigate to a catalog and click the "Details" link of the container you want to run.
  2. Copy any of the links you will find under the "Container Tags" section, depending on the base OS image you want to run.
  3. Execute the docker run command followed by the container tag you selected. The below command is an example of how to download and run the container image for Chartmuseum:

    $ docker run gcr.io/sys-2b0109it/demo/bitnami/chartmuseum:0-centos-7
    

To run a Helm chart from a TAC Container Catalog:

  1. Navigate to a catalog and click the "Details" link of the chart you want to deploy.
  2. Copy the commands you will find in the "Helm Install" section and execute them in a terminal window on the machine you have your Kubernetes cluster running.

    Install Helm chart

Consume the TAC artifacts through Kubeapps

TIP: Check out the Consume Tanzu Application Catalog Helm charts using Kubeapps guide to learn more about this topic.

You can deploy the Helm charts available in your catalog using the Kubeapps user interface. To do so, you only need to add the TAC catalog as an application repository in Kubeapps.

  1. Log in to Kubeapps.
  2. In the "Configuration" menu, select the "App Repositories" option.

    App repositories

  3. In the resulting screen, give a name to your repository and add the chart URL you will find under the "Chart Information" section in TAC if you want to add a specific chart to Kubeapps:

    Repository URL

    To add the entire catalog to Kubeapps, use this URL instead: https://charts.trials.tac.bitnami.com/demo

  4. Select an authentication method and click "Install Repo" to finish the process.

    Add an application repository in Kubeapps

Consume the TAC artifacts through Google Container Registry

The Tanzu Application Catalog demo that you are accessing automatically pushes the content of the container catalogs to GCR, so it is very easy to check and manage a container image from the Google Cloud platform user interface.i

  1. Navigate to a container catalog and click the "Details" link of the container image you want to check.

  2. Copy the URL you will find under the "Digest" section.

    Containers URL

  3. Log in to Google Cloud Platform if you aren't, open a new tab of your browser and paste the URL in the navigation bar. You will be redirected to the Google Container Registry. You will see all the information related to the container image you selected:

    Container Registry

  4. To pull the image, click the "Show Pull Command" button, copy the commands and paste them into a terminal window or in the Google Cloud Shell:

    Pull container image from Google Container Registry

Consume the TAC artifacts through a private repository: Harbor

Check out the Consume Tanzu Application Catalog Images using a Private Harbor Registry guide to learn more about this topic.

Summary

After going through this guide with your demo account, you should be able to see the catalog examples that we have built, how to view the anti-virus and CVE results, and how to consume the artifacts that are in the Tanzu Application Catalog.

If you need a more customized experience for testing, please reach out to your VMware sales representative. We will work with you to create a POC that includes your target format, base image, and applications of your choice.

Useful links

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