Frame 481609
Open Application Model

Written by

Technical Head

Amina Reshma

May 18, 2023 . 4 min read

What is the Open Application Model? Everything you Need to Know About OAM!

Open Application Model (OAM) is a specification for managing cloud-native applications that provides a more flexible way to define and deploy applications.  

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the ability to develop and deploy applications quickly and efficiently is paramount. Platform dependencies, vendor lock-in, and complicated deployment procedures are just a few of the difficulties that traditional approaches to application management frequently face. 

However, a new era of application development and deployment has begun with the rise of OAM. It provides a standardized and platform-neutral approach that frees you from getting bogged down in the specifics of particular cloud platforms and enables you to concentrate on the central logic of your applications. 

We will explore OAM’s capabilities, advantages, and how it enables you to unleash the full potential of your cloud-native applications in this blog. Get ready to embrace a more flexible, scalable, and future-ready approach to application management with OAM.

Challenges in managing cloud-native applications and how Open Application Model can help overcome them

As you may be aware, the ability of cloud-native applications to offer scalability, flexibility, and agility to businesses has led to their significant rise in popularity in recent years. However, managing these applications can be difficult because of their distributed nature and intricate architecture.

Due to the need for a more dynamic and automated approach, cloud-native applications are not well-suited for traditional application management techniques. Furthermore, it is challenging to effectively manage and monitor cloud-native applications due to their high level of abstraction.

The Open Application Model (OAM) was created as an open-source specification for defining cloud-native applications to address these issues. Cloud-native applications are simpler to manage and scale when developers use OAM to abstract away the infrastructure specifics and concentrate on defining the application components and their relationships.

What is Open Application Model (OAM)?

OAM aims to give developers more control and flexibility over the management of cloud-native applications while also making it simpler to build and deploy those applications across various platforms. Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is now responsible for maintaining OAM, created by Microsoft and Alibaba Cloud.

Without having to rewrite or reconfigure your applications, OAM enables you to define application components and their relationships, making deploying and managing applications across various environments simple. OAM makes it easier for developers to concentrate on writing code and providing value to their users by streamlining the process of creating and managing cloud-native applications.

What and why of the Open Application Model (OAM)?

The traditional methods for developing and deploying cloud-native applications frequently have drawbacks like platform dependencies, vendor lock-in, and convoluted deployment procedures. To overcome these difficulties, OAM applies the “separation of concerns” principle and offers guidelines for creating applications. It outlines the following obligations and roles:

  • Application Developers: They are in charge of designing, outlining, and setting up applications.
  • Application Operators: These individuals work on the platform and configure the runtime components of one or more microservices.
  • Infrastructure Operators: Their role involves setting up and maintaining the core infrastructure on which these applications run.

Open Application Model: Core Concepts

OAM core concepts

To aid in the development of applications, several fundamental concepts in the world of OAM are defined. These elements function as abstract concepts with various potential applications:

  • Component Schematic: Developers use component schematics to describe an application or service and act as the application’s blueprint.
  • Application Configuration: By fusing components, traits, and application scopes, application operators can produce numerous instances of a class (Component Schematic) with various properties.
  • Traits: Application operators can assign add-on features to components to meet cross-cutting requirements.
  • Workload: This defines the runtime type for a specific component.
  • Application Scopes: They provide a way to group components with common characteristics into loosely coupled applications.

These core concepts serve as OAM’s building blocks and add to its adaptability and scalability. Understanding these elements will help you make better use of OAM when creating and deploying cloud-native applications.

How OAM can streamline and simplify cloud-native application management

There are many advantages to managing cloud-native applications with OAM. 

  • First, it enhances efficiency by separating the application logic from the specifics of the infrastructure. Developers can now concentrate on the application rather than the supporting infrastructure, ultimately speeding up development and deployment.
  • Secondly, OAM lessens complexity by offering a uniform method for defining and overseeing cloud-native applications. Developers can easily create modular, reusable components with OAM that can be combined to create complex applications. Because less custom code needs to be written, the system as a whole is simpler to manage and maintain.

How does OAM stand out in the Container Orchestration Landscape?

OAM’s approach to application management sets it apart from other container orchestration tools like Kubernetes. OAM offers a higher-level abstraction for managing cloud-native applications in contrast to Kubernetes, which focuses on managing infrastructure resources.

The process of deploying and managing complex distributed applications can be made easier by OAM, which offers a declarative model for describing applications, their components, and their relationships. 

OAM offers a common language for describing application requirements and constraints, which makes it easier for developers and operations teams to collaborate. 

Last but not least, OAM improves portability between various cloud environments by removing the underlying infrastructure and concentrating on the application layer. 

In general, OAM offers a more comprehensive approach to cloud-native application management that can assist organizations in enhancing their IT operations’ efficiency, agility, and resilience.

How does the Open Application Model work?

OAM working

The architecture of OAM comprises two main components: the Application Configuration Controller and the Application Component Controller. The Application Configuration Controller manages the overall application configuration, while the Application Component Controller manages the individual components that make up the application. These elements could include the microservices, containers, and other resources needed to run the application.

The ability for developers to define applications declaratively is one of the main advantages of using OAM. Developers may specify the number of replicas that should be active for each component as well as the resources needed by each replica, for instance. This simplifies managing and scaling applications and guarantees that they always operate in the desired state.

OAM will likely become a crucial tool for any developer in this field as it continues to develop and gain traction in the cloud-native community.

Benefits of using the Open Application Model

Advantages of using the Open Application Model (OAM) in managing cloud-native applications:

  1. Improved efficiency: OAM enables developers to declaratively define applications and specify their requirements and dependencies, speeding up the development and deployment process and cutting down on the time and effort needed to bring applications to market.
  1. Reduced complexity: OAM provides a framework for defining and deploying applications considering their dependencies, configurations, and other factors. This simplifies the management of complex, cloud-native applications. Reducing management complexity may make these applications simpler to scale and maintain over time.
  1. Easier application portability: OAM is based on a standard specification, making applications more adaptable to various cloud environments and platforms. This enables businesses to benefit from cloud-native architecture without relying on a single vendor or platform.
  1. Greater consistency and standardization: OAM provides a standardized way of defining and deploying applications, which can help organizations achieve greater consistency and standardization in their application deployments, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall application reliability and performance.
  1. Improved collaboration between developers and operators: OAM gives developers and operators a common language and framework to work within, making it simpler to collaborate on the creation and deployment of applications and guaranteeing that they are deployed and managed in a uniform and standardized way.
  1. Simplified Application Development and Deployment: Another benefit of using OAM is that it provides a higher-level abstraction for defining applications. Therefore, rather than worrying about the specifics of how their applications will function on a particular platform, developers can concentrate on the business logic of their applications. The development and deployment of applications across various platforms and environments are made more straightforward.

Challenges and considerations

The requirement for specialized skills to successfully implement and manage OAM-based applications is one of the most significant challenges. For your team to have the knowledge required to use OAM effectively, investing in additional training and resources might be necessary.

The potential compatibility problems that might develop when integrating OAM into current systems should also be considered. It might be challenging to fully integrate OAM without upsetting existing systems, depending on your current infrastructure’s complexity.

Understanding your organization’s needs and objectives is crucial when implementing OAM to overcome these difficulties. Doing so allows you to develop risk-mitigation strategies and identify potential compatibility problems before implementation.

Working with a certified OAM service provider or consultant is another option to consider. They can assist you with the implementation process and ensure your team has the knowledge and tools necessary to use OAM effectively.

The Synergy of Open Application Model and DevOps

The Open Application Model (OAM) and a DevOps platform have a complementary relationship. An established method for describing and deploying cloud-native applications is defined by the OAM specification. With its declarative approach to application deployment, it enables programmers to define the desired state of a given application without revealing the specifics of the underlying infrastructure.

On the other hand, a DevOps platform is a group of instruments, procedures, and procedures that enables organizations to automate and streamline their software development and delivery procedures. It ensures quicker and more reliable application deployments as well as improved collaboration between the development and operations teams.

The effectiveness and consistency of application deployments can be improved by combining an OAM and a DevOps platform like Ozone. The OAM offers a uniform language for describing the relationships between application components, and a DevOps platform like Ozone standardizes and automates deployments based on those specifications. Through this integration, businesses can improve the scalability, maintainability, security, and agility of their application development and deployment lifecycles.

Ozone is focused on eliminating every complexity of a DevOps team. It simplifies and automates containerized and decentralised application deployments across hybrid cloud and diverse blockchain networks. Ozone integrates seamlessly with major tools across CI, CD, analytics and automation to support your software delivery end to end for even the most complex scenarios.

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