Google’s open source developer tool for Kubernetes available now

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Google has announced the first generally available release of Skaffold, the open source build and development tool designed to help developers advance their work with Kubernetes.

Helping developers working with Kubernetes

According to Google, Skaffold simplifies operational tasks within Kubernetes development and allows developers to focus on their code changes and see them rapidly reflected in the cluster. Kubernetes is a developer tool and foundation of Cloud Code.

Skaffold automates most of the development workflow from source to deployment and natively supports the most common image-building and application deployment strategies. Skaffold also operates on the client-side, with no required components on the developers cluster, Google says.

When it comes to speeding up development, Skaffold comes with workflows for local and remote deployment to enable users to develop against local Kubernetes clusters like Minikube or Kind, as well as any remote Kubernetes cluster.

Skaffold’s dev loop also automates typical developer tasks. It automatically tails logs from deployed workloads, and port-forwards the remote application to a machine to iterate directly against service endpoints.

Other features include production ready CI/CD pipelines and on-cluster application debugging.

Working with the open source community

Since 2017, the tool has been in its beta testing and development phase. During this time, the solution is said to have had 40 different releases and include more than 5,000 contributions from nearly 150 contributors.

“We set out to create a tool to automate these tasks, helping them focus on writing and maintaining code rather than managing the repetitive steps required during the edit-debug-deploy ‘inner loop’. From this observation, Skaffold was born,” wrote Google software engineer Nick Kubala and product manager Russell Wolf in a blog post.

“By taking care of the operational tasks of iterative development, Skaffold removes a large burden from application developers and substantially improves productivity,” they write.

According to Google, the plan is to continue to develop the tool with the help of the broader open source community.

Kubala and Wolf write, “With the Kubernetes development ecosystem still in a state of flux, we’ll prioritise features that will have the most impact on Skaffold’s usefulness and usability. We’re also working closely with the Cloud Code team to surface Skaffold’s capabilities inside your IDE.”