OpenShift 4.2 tries getting into devs’ good graces


Red Hat’s enterprise Kubernetes platform OpenShift has been released in version 4.2 – and this time, the focus is on software developers.

While 4.1 mainly brought improvements for admins, the current release heavily features changes to the development experience, adding for example a new user interface for application developers into the mix. The “developer perspective” is made up of five menu items, spanning most common scenarios from adding workloads to creating build configurations and setting up CI/CD pipelines.

It comes with a topology view amongst other things, which offers an insight into an application’s different components including pod and build statuses, and links to source code and routes where available. The view also provides devs not that deep into the Ops part of DevOps with options to build and deploy applications, services, and databases with the help of wizards and prompts. Those interested to learn more about Kubernetes resources, can take to the new API explorer accessible through the web console UI.

Speaking of DevOps, OpenShift now also contains an extension allowing the deployment of applications to Azure OpenShift directly from Microsoft Azure DevOps. On top of that there are a slew of connectors so that devs don’t have to leave their IDE anymore, for example, when debugging an OpenShift application, and a new CLI called odo is meant to help those not familiar with Kubernetes operations yet to make the most of the platform.

However, OpenShift 4.2 also includes a couple of more general additions. Red Hat for instance threw in a preview version of what it calls OpenShift Serverless. The project is based on Knative and comes in the form of an operator to install all components necessary to deploy serverless functions or applications. Other features connected to OpenShift Serverless ready for trying are the “ability to group objects necessary for applications”, a way of “mapping an endpoint to a specific revision or service” as well as “immutable point-in-time snapshots of code and configuration”.

Meanwhile ops folks can take the Tekton-based OpenShift Pipelines for CI/CD purposes for a spin. While OpenShift users already have Jenkins available for such workflows, the still in preview Pipelines is meant to cater to a more cloud-native audience, executing all steps in separate containers and stepping away from a “central CI/CD server”. 

Since those are going to run in a variety of environments, installers have been improved and should now also support use cases, in which internet access isn’t a given due to regulatory standards or security protocols. Those who have no trouble with that will be happy to hear that OpenShift 4 is now also available on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. More details can be found in the introductory blog post.