Integrate cloud services into Tanzu Application Platform

In this Services Toolkit tutorial you learn how service operators can integrate the cloud services of their choice into Tanzu Application Platform (commonly known as TAP).

There are a multitude of cloud-based services available on the market for consumers today. AWS, Azure, and GCP all provide support for a wide range of fully-managed, performant, and on-demand services. These services range from databases, to message queues, to storage solutions and beyond. In this tutorial you learn how to integrate any one of these services into Tanzu Application Platform, so that you can offer it for application teams to consume in a simple and effective way.

This tutorial is written at a slightly higher level than the other tutorials in this documentation. This is because it is not feasible to write detailed, step-by-step documentation for integrating every cloud-based service into Tanzu Application Platform. Each service brings a different set of considerations and concerns.

Instead, this tutorial guides you through the general approach to integrating cloud-based services into Tanzu Application Platform. While specific configuration changes between services, the steps in the process remain the same. The aim is to give you enough understanding so that you can integrate any cloud-based service you want into Tanzu Application Platform.

For a more specific and low-level procedure, see Configure dynamic provisioning of AWS RDS service instances, which provides each step in detail for integrating AWS RDS. It might be useful to read through that guide even if you want to integrate with one of the other cloud providers.

In Tanzu Application Platform v1.7 or later, you can instead use the AWS Services package, which provides a more streamlined approach for integrating services from AWS into Tanzu Application Platform.

About this tutorial

Target user role: Service operator
Complexity: Advanced
Estimated time: 30 minutes
Topics covered: Dynamic provisioning, cloud-based services, AWS, Azure, GCP, Crossplane
Learning outcomes: An understanding of the steps involved to integrate cloud-based services into Tanzu Application Platform


The following is a high-level workflow outlining what is required to integrate a cloud-based service into Tanzu Application Platform.

  1. Install a Provider and create a ProviderConfig:

    • Follow the official Upbound documentation to install the Provider and create a ProviderConfig.
  2. Create a CompositeResourceDefinition:

    • Create a CompositeResourceDefinition to define the shape of a new API type representing the service.
    • Choose which configuration parameters to expose to apps teams, if any.
  3. Create a Composition:

    • Create a Composition using managed resources supplied by the Provider.
    • You can compose as many or as few managed resources as required to generate a service instance that application workloads can connect to and use over the network.
    • (Optional but recommended) Configure the connection secret to adhere to the service binding specification for Kubernetes.
  4. Create a provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass:

    • Create a provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass pointing to the CompositeResourceDefinition created earlier.
  5. Create the required RBAC:

    • Create RBAC to allow claiming from the class by using the claim verb pointing to the provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass.
  6. Verify your integration by creating a ClassClaim:

    • Create a ClassClaim pointing to the provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass to begin a dynamic provisioning request.
    • Wait for the ClassClaim to report READY=True.


This tutorial provides the steps required to integrate cloud services and includes tips and references to example configurations where appropriate.

Step 1: Install a Provider

Install a Crossplane Provider for your cloud of choice. Upbound provides support for the three main cloud providers:


These cloud-based Providers often install hundreds of additional CRDs onto the cluster. This can have a negative impact on cluster performance. For more information, see Cluster performance degradation due to a large number of CRDs.

Choose the Provider you want, and then follow Upbound’s official documentation to install the Provider and to create a corresponding ProviderConfig.


The official documentation for the Provider includes a step to install Universal Crossplane. You can skip this step because Crossplane is already installed as part of Tanzu Application Platform.

The Provider documentation also assumes Crossplane is installed in the upbound-system namespace. However, when working with Crossplane on Tanzu Application Platform, it is installed to the crossplane-system namespace by default. Ensure that you use the correct namespace when you create the Secret and the ProviderConfig with credentials for the Provider.

Step 2: Create a CompositeResourceDefinition

Create a CompositeResourceDefinition. This defines the shape of a new API type to create the cloud-based resources.

For help creating the CompositeResourceDefinition, see the Crossplane documentation or see Create a CompositeResourceDefinition in Configure dynamic provisioning of AWS RDS service instances.

Step 3: Create a Composition

This step is likely to be the most time-consuming. The Composition is where you define the configuration for the resources that make the service instances for app teams to claim. This configures the resources required for service instances that users can connect to and use over the network.

To get started with creating a Composition, first read about configuring the composition in the Upbound documentation.

For examples, you can also see Example Compositions.

Step 4: Create a provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass

Create a provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass that is configured to refer to the CompositeResourceDefinition created earlier. For example:

kind: ClusterInstanceClass
  name: cloud-service-foo
    short: FooDB by cloud provider Foo!
      compositeResourceDefinition: XRD-NAME

Where XRD-NAME is the name of your CompositeResourceDefinition.

For an example, see Make the service discoverable in Configure dynamic provisioning of AWS RDS service instances.

Step 5: Configure RBAC

Create a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) rule that uses the claim verb and points to the ClusterInstanceClass you created. For example:

kind: ClusterRole
  name: app-operator-claim-foo-db
  labels: "true"
- apiGroups:
  - ""
  - clusterinstanceclasses
  - cloud-service-foo
  - claim

For an example, see Configure RBAC in Configure dynamic provisioning of AWS RDS service instances.

Step 6: Verify your integration

To test your integration, create a ClassClaim that points to the ClusterInstanceClass you created. For example:

kind: ClassClaim
  name: claim-1
    name: cloud-service-foo
    key: value

Verify that the ClassClaim eventually transitions into a READY=True state. If it doesn’t, debug the ClassClaim using kubectl. For how to do this, see Debug ClassClaim and provisioner-based ClusterInstanceClass.

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