Catalog operations

The software catalog setup procedures in this topic make use of Backstage. For more information about Backstage, see the Backstage documentation.

Adding catalog entities

This section describes how you can format your own catalog. Creating catalogs consists of building metadata YAML files stored together with the code. This information is read from a Git-compatible repository consisting of these YAML catalog definition files. Changes made to the catalog definitions on your Git infrastructure are automatically reflected every 200 seconds or when manually registered.

For each catalog entity kind you create, there is a file format you must follow. For information about all types of entities, see the Backstage documentation.

You can use the example blank catalog described in the Tanzu Application Platform GUI prerequisites as a foundation for creating user, group, system, and main component YAML files.

Relationship Diagram: Relationships box-and-line diagram. User 1 is within Group 1, which is within Organization. Component 2 is within System. User 1 owns Component 2. Group 1 owns System.

Users and groups

A user entity describes a specific person and is used for identity purposes. Users are members of one or more groups. A group entity describes an organizational team or unit.

Users and groups have different descriptor requirements in their descriptor files:

  • User descriptor files require apiVersion, kind,, and spec.memberOf.
  • Group descriptor files require apiVersion, kind, and They also require spec.type and spec.children where spec.children is another group.

To link a logged-in user to a user entity, include the optional field.

Sample user entity:

kind: User
  name: default-user
    displayName: Default User
  memberOf: [default-team]

Sample group entity:

kind: Group
  name: default-team
  description: Default Team
  type: team
    displayName: Default Team
  parent: default-org
  children: []

More information about user entities and group entities is available in the Backstage documentation.


A system entity is a collection of resources and components.

System descriptor files require values for apiVersion, kind,, and also spec.owner where spec.owner is a user or group.

A system has components when components specify the system name in the field spec.system.

Sample system entity:

kind: System
  name: backstage
  description: Tanzu Application Platform GUI System
  owner: default-team

More information about system entities is available in the Backstage documentation.


A component describes a software component, or what might be described as a unit of software.

Component descriptor files require values for apiVersion, kind,, spec.type, spec.lifecycle, and spec.owner.

Some useful optional fields are spec.system and spec.subcomponentOf, both of which link a component to an entity that it is part of.

kind: Component
  name: backstage-component
  description: Tanzu Application Platform GUI Component
    '': 'app=backstage' #Identifies the Kubernetes objects that make up this component
    '': dir:. #TechDocs label
  type: service
  lifecycle: alpha
  owner: default-team
  system: backstage

More information about component entities is available in the Backstage documentation.

Update software catalogs

The following procedures describe how to update software catalogs.

Register components

To update your software catalog with new entities without re-deploying the entire tap-gui package:

  1. Go to your Software Catalog page.
  2. Click Register Entity at the top-right of the page.
  3. Enter the full path to link to an existing entity file and start tracking your entity.
  4. Import the entities and view them in your Software Catalog page.

Deregister components

To deregister an entity:

  1. Go to your Software Catalog page.
  2. Select the entity to deregister, such as component, group, or user.
  3. Click the three dots at the top-right of the page and then click Unregister….

Add or change organization catalog locations

To add or change organization catalog locations:

  1. Use static configuration to add or change catalog locations.

    • Update components by changing the catalog location in either the app_config section of tap-gui-values.yaml or the custom values file you used when installing. For example:

      - type: url
    • Register components by adding the new catalog location in either the app_config section of tap-gui-values.yaml or the custom values file you used when installing. For example:

      - type: url
      - type: url

    When targeting GitHub, don’t write the raw URL. Instead, use the URL that you see when you navigate to the file in the browser. The catalog processor cannot set up the files properly if you use the raw URL.

    • Example raw URL:
    • Example target URL:

    When targeting GitLab, use a scoped route to the catalog file. This is a route with the /-/ separator after the project name. If you don’t use a scoped route, your entity fails to appear in the catalog.

    • Example unscoped URL:
    • Example target URL:

    For more information about static catalog configuration, see the Backstage documentation.

  2. Update the package to include the catalog by running:

    tanzu package installed update backstage \
     --version PACKAGE-VERSION \
  3. Verify the status of this update by running:

    tanzu package installed list

Install demo apps and their catalogs

To set up one of the demos, you can choose a blank catalog or a sample catalog.

Yelb system

The Yelb demo catalog in GitHub includes all the components that make up the Yelb system and the default Backstage components.

Install Yelb

  1. Download the appropriate file for running the Yelb application itself from GitHub.
  2. Install the application on the Kubernetes cluster that you used for Tanzu Application Platform. Preserve the metadata labels on the Yelb application objects.

Install the Yelb catalog

  1. From the Tanzu Application Platform downloads page, click tap-gui-catalogs-latest > Tanzu Application Platform GUI Yelb Catalog.
  2. Follow the earlier steps for Adding catalog entities to add catalog-info.yaml.
check-circle-line exclamation-circle-line close-line
Scroll to top icon