All configuration data is stored entirely as structured documents, for which schemas must be registered. Documents satisfy the following use cases:

  • layering - helps reduce duplication in configuration while maintaining auditability across many sites
  • substitution - provides separation between secret data and other configuration data, while allowing a simple interface for clients
  • revision history - improves auditability and enables services to provide functional validation of a well-defined collection of documents that are meant to operate together
  • validation - allows services to implement and register different kinds of validations and report errors

Detailed documentation for Document Layering, Document Substitution, Revision History and Document Validation should be reviewed for a more thorough understanding of each concept.

Document Format

The document format is modeled loosely after Kubernetes practices. The top level of each document is a dictionary with 3 keys: schema, metadata, and data.

  • schema - Defines the name of the JSON schema to be used for validation. Must have the form: <namespace>/<kind>/<version>, where the meaning of each component is:
    • namespace - Identifies the owner of this type of document. The values deckhand and metadata are reserved for internal use.
    • kind - Identifies a type of configuration resource in the namespace.
    • version - Describe the version of this resource, e.g. v1.
  • metadata - Defines details that Deckhand will inspect and understand. There are multiple schemas for this section as discussed below. All the various types of metadata include a field which must be unique for each document schema.
  • data - Data to be validated by the schema described by the schema field. Deckhand only interacts with content here as instructed to do so by the metadata section. The form of this section is considered to be completely owned by the namespace in the schema.

At the database level, documents are uniquely identified by the combination of:

  2. schema
  3. metadata.layeringDefinition.layer

This means that raw revision documents – which are persisted in Deckhand’s database – require that the combination of all 3 parameters be unique.

However, post-rendered documents are only uniquely identified by the combination of:

  2. schema

Because collisions with respect to the third parameter – metadata.layeringDefinition.layer – can only occur with Document Replacement. But after document rendering, the replacement-parent documents are never returned.

Below is a fictitious example of a complete document, which illustrates all the valid fields in the metadata section:

schema: some-service/ResourceType/v1
  schema: metadata/Document/v1
  name: unique-name-given-schema
  storagePolicy: cleartext
    genesis: enabled
    master: enabled
    abstract: true
    layer: region
      required_key_a: required_label_a
      required_key_b: required_label_b
      - method: merge
      - method: delete
    - dest:
        schema: another-service/SourceType/v1
        name: name-of-source-document
        path: .source.path
            foo: bar
            data: here
    target: null

Document Metadata

There are 2 supported kinds of document metadata. Documents with Document metadata are the most common, and are used for normal configuration data. Documents with Control metadata are used to customize the behavior of Deckhand.

schema: metadata/Document/v1

This type of metadata allows the following metadata hierarchy:

  • name - string, required - Unique within a revision for a given schema and metadata.layeringDefinition.layer.
  • storagePolicy - string, required - Either cleartext or encrypted. If encyrpted is specified, then the data section of the document will be stored in a secure backend (likely via OpenStack Barbican). metadata and schema fields are always stored in cleartext. More information on document encryption is available here.
  • layeringDefinition - dict, required - Specifies layering details. See the Layering section below for details.
    • abstract - boolean, required - An abstract document is not expected to pass schema validation after layering and substitution are applied. Non-abstract (concrete) documents are.
    • layer - string, required - References a layer in the LayeringPolicy control document.
    • parentSelector - labels, optional - Used to construct document chains for executing merges.
    • actions - list, optional - A sequence of actions to apply this documents data during the merge process. * method - string, required - How to layer this content. * path - string, required - What content in this document to layer onto parent content.
  • substitutions - list, optional - A sequence of substitutions to apply. See the Substitutions section for additional details.
    • dest - dict, required - A description of the inserted content destination.
      • path - string, required - The JSON path where the data will be placed into the data section of this document.
      • pattern - string, optional - A regex to search for in the string specified at path in this document and replace with the source data
    • src - dict, required - A description of the inserted content source.
      • schema - string, required - The schema of the source document.
      • name - string, required - The of the source document.
      • path - string, required - The JSON path from which to extract data in the source document relative to its data section.

schema: metadata/Control/v1

This schema is the same as the Document schema, except it omits the storagePolicy, layeringDefinition, and substitutions keys, as these actions are not supported on Control documents.

The complete list of valid Control document kinds is specified below along with descriptions of each document kind.

Document Abstraction

Document abstraction can be compared to an abstract class in programming languages: The idea is to declare an abstract base class used for declaring common data to be overridden and customized by subclasses. In fact, this is the predominant use case for document abstraction: Defining base abstract documents that other concrete (non-abstract) documents can layer with.

An abstract document is a document whose metadata.abstract property is True. A concrete document is a document whose metadata.abstract property is False. Concrete and non-abstract are terms that are used interchangeably.

In Deckhand, document abstraction has certain implications:

  • An abstract document, like all other documents, will be persisted in Deckhand’s database and will be subjected to Revision History.
  • However, abstract documents are not returned by Deckhand’s rendered-documents endpoint: That is, rendered documents never include abstract documents.
  • Concrete documents can layer with abstract documents – and this is encouraged.
  • Abstract documents can layer with other documents as well – but unless a concrete document layers with or substitutes from the resultant abstract document, no meaningful data will be returned via rendering, as only concrete documents are returned.
  • Likewise, abstract documents can substitute from other documents. The same reasoning as the bullet point above applies.
  • However, abstract documents cannot be used as substitution sources. Only concrete documents may be used as substitution sources.