How Apple Uses Plugins for Continuous Deployment Success

Dec 7, 2022 by Anna Daugherty

Reaction to Apple’s Spinnaker Summit 2022 Talk

At the most recent Spinnaker Summit, Joe Cavanagh and Benjamin Powell from Apple discussed how they maximize code reuse, eliminate repository maintenance, and unify their CI/CD process across many plugins. They also discussed the mutual benefits of a well-maintained organizational plugin ecosystem for Spinnaker users, developers, and operators. 

Check out their talk below to learn about how they accelerate plugin development at their organization.

Accelerating Collaborative Plugin Development – Joe Cavanagh & Benjamin Powell, Apple, Inc., Delivered at Spinnaker Summit 2022

Apple + Plugins = Why Does it Matter? 

Apple is a mature organization that—like most large organizations—tries to operate with as little risk as possible. Theoretically, choosing to use plugins could open up their environments to outside threats and challenges.

And yet, as indicated in this talk, they have been having success reliably and securely implementing plugins. It’s a great lesson for mature and emerging companies alike; if Apple can work out the threats and fully capitalize on usings plugins for their business, you probably can, too. 

What Does Apple Recommend for Spinnaker Plugins?

In their talk at Spinnaker Summit 2022, Joe and Ben relayed the following pieces of advice.

  • Security, Security, Security – consider plugin code to be exactly as privileged as the main application code. Always undergo thorough security reviews and evaluate for malicious behavior.
  • Test and vet. Then test again. – all plugins must be tested and vetted before they can be trusted since they have access to all Kubernetes clusters and external systems that Spinnaker has access to.
  • Create Solutions and Empower Devs – utilize Spinnaker plugins to solve problems without needing to fork Spinnaker itself and enable experts to build their own tools

What is the Spinnaker Plugin Framework?

The Spinnaker Plugin Framework, developed by Armory and Netflix, allows developers to extend Spinnaker’s capabilities and add new features using a simple set of APIs and tools. These APIs allow developers to easily integrate new features into their applications without having to write code from scratch. 

The Spinnaker Plugin Framework provides developers with an easy way to create custom plugins for their specific needs. It enables developers to create custom plugins that can be integrated with existing Spinnaker services, such as cloud providers, infrastructure providers, and artifact repositories. 

Spinnaker’s plugin framework can significantly benefit an organization by empowering technical users to solve their own problems. And in today’s world of fast-paced innovation, companies need to be able to solve their own problems and deploy applications quickly and easily.

For tech giants like Apple, this is especially true. And their learnings from working with plugin frameworks can help other organizations conquer these challenges head-on.

Learn More about the Spinnaker Plugin Framework:

Read the Spinnaker Plugin Documentation:

Scale Agent Success Story

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