In this blog post, I will discuss  how developers can work together using the integrated development environment. Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces uses Kubernetes and containers to provide any member of the development or IT team with a consistent, secure, and zero-configuration development environment. The experience is as fast and familiar as an integrated development environment on your laptop. Admins can define DevFile and developers can create workspace based on DevFile. 

Developers typically want to reduce the time to deliver the applications for business. But applications need to be flexible enough to work on any environment, from private on-prem to cloud and edge locations. 

The IT or Operations team, on the other hand, focuses on consistency, security, and cost. They are looking for tooling that provides visibility into the entirety of the company's IT footprint. 

What Is OpenShift Dev Spaces and Where Does It Fit in the Application Development Framework ?

Most developers like to write, validate, and debug code, and they typically do these things on their work machines. There is an inner loop, where developers focus on individual development workflow and catch bugs early in the development process. The outer loop is where the higher-level development cycle encompasses the entire process of code creation: testing, integration, deployment, and release. It focuses on collaboration, integration, and ensuring that the application as a whole functions well and meets business goals.


Source: Enterprise Development Workflows

This inner loop is where Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces sit. It is a Web-based IDE, so you only need a browser to build containerized applications. 

Once the code is written, it is pushed into a central repo such as github, where it can be shared with others and be part of the testing, staging, and CI/CD process. The outer loop, also known as the CI/CD pipeline or the software development lifecycle, is a sequence of stages and processes that span from the initial code commit to the Source Code Management (SCM) system and all the way to the deployment of a stable and tested application in production. It encompasses various practices and tools to ensure code quality, collaboration, testing, deployment, and release. 

The outer loop is where managed OpenShift offerings like Red Hat OpenShift service on AWS(ROSA) or Azure Red Hat OpenShift(ARO). This managed service offering from Red Hat  is a turnkey application management platform that runs on cloud infrastructure. It reduces complexity for IT teams that build and manage their own application platforms. Red Hat OpenShift Dev space can be installed on managed openshift offering 

How Does Red Hat OpenShift Dev Space Work?


As explained in the video, typically one can install Dev Space operators on top of any managed offering like ROSA or ARO, and when you spin it, it creates: 

  • A workspace which is a containerized instance of the development environment to a single user. It has all the necessary build tools, runtimes, binaries and browser based editor and plug-ins.
  • DevFile, which is a template to customize your dev environment in OpenShift. It can be used to capture the instructions for configuring and running your development environment in terms of text-based YAML. It brings consistency for all developers, with an option to select your own IDE. For more, read this  blog post, which discusses using DevSpaces with VSCode.
  • Each workspace is a pod. DevFile consists of projects, components, commands, events and registries. The component section defines the containers that are part of the workspace. Each component is defined as a container image with its own set of dependencies and tools. For example you can define an editor container with Visual Studio Code extensions and  tools container with database dependency. It uses PV for the source code, as well as endpoints to expose the applications and tools. The single pod enables developers to code, deploy and test within an OpenShift cluster. 
  • Developers need a browser to do the day to day development work. 

Some other developer tools that can work with Dev Spaces include:

Red Hat OpenShift builds that allow you to turn your source code into a container image and deploy it directly to OpenShift. 

Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines enables developers to build container images and push them to the registry. You can manage CI/CD workflows as code. This allows automated, repeatable, and consistent application deployments. Pipelines can be defined using a YAML file which describes the steps and tasks required to build tests and deploy applications.

Red Hat OpenShift GitOps helps with a single source of truth. Teams can use GitOps to implement declarative infrastructure management and continuous delivery; it notices the changes, updates a manifest, and deploys different versions of manifest v1 and v2. 

 Red Hat Service mesh provides platform services like traffic management and telemetry so different parts of your application can interact with no downtime.

Why Development Teams Should Consider Using OpenShift Dev Spaces 

This web-based IDE is made up of client applications, JavaScript running in your browser, a server backend and a database running in or outside of OpenShift. Most IDEs are client applications a developer can install on their workstation, which have some drawbacks.

When a large number of developers are working within a project or in an organization, the demand on resources, including infrastructure, time, and effort, tends to be high.. Dev Spaces minimizes developers installing redundant tools and over-provisioning of infrastructure while providing a consistent workflow and  encouraging code-sharing and peer review to prevent redundant development efforts.

There are many inconsistencies between development and production  environments, and we've all heard developers say, "It works on my machine." Dev Spaces brings the development environment closer to target production, which helps teams discover problems early.

There is a lot of risk when code is on one person’s machine. Dev Spaces code is in a central repository reducing security risk, enforcing security standards for developers. By providing a controlled and standardized environment for code management, development teams can enhance security, collaborate more effectively, and reduce the potential for security vulnerabilities.

Developers can  easily share workspaces. The entire development workspace and source code access are secured using the same access tools used across the rest of the organization.

Learn More

Learn more about Red Hat OpenShift Dev Spaces on managed cloud services here.

Start coding today and try out OpenShift Dev Spaces with our free Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift