Services Overview

This documentation is intended for end users of Cloud Foundry and covers provisioning of service instances and integrating them with applications that have been pushed to Cloud Foundry. If you are interested in building Services for Cloud Foundry and making them available to end users, see the Custom Services documentation.

Services and Service Instances

Cloud Foundry offers a marketplace of services, from which users can provision reserved resources on-demand. Examples of resources services provide include databases on a shared or dedicated server, or accounts on a SaaS application. These resources are known as Service Instances and the systems that deliver and operate these resources are known as Services. Think of a service as a factory that delivers service instances.

For documentation on provisioning service instances and other lifecycle operations, see Managing Service Instances.

Note: For a service to be available in the marketplace, it must be integrated with Cloud Foundry by way of APIs. If you are interested in building Services for Cloud Foundry and making them available to end users, see the Custom Services documentation.

User-Provided Service Instances

Cloud Foundry enables users to integrate services that are not available in the marketplace with their applications using a feature called User-Provided Service Instances (UPSI).

Service Binding

Cloud Foundry enables users to automatically provision credentials an application needs to reach a service instance, and delivers these credentials to the application runtime in an environment variable. This operation is called Binding.

Note: Not all services support application binding. Some services provide business value directly to users, rather than through integration with applications.

Service Binding Specifics for Development Frameworks

For details on binding and credentials specific to your application development framework, refer to the Service Binding section in the documentation for your framework’s buildpack..

Streaming Applications Logs to Log Management Services

To learn how your application logs can be streamed to third-party log management services, see Log Management Services.

User-provided service instances can be used to drain applications logs to a service not available in the marketplace. This is also known as setting up a syslog drain. We’ve documented instructions for a few providers at Configuring Selected Third-Party Log Management Services.

Database Migrations

If your application relies on a relational database, you will need to apply schema changes periodically. For guidance on how to do database migrations on Cloud Foundry-managed services, see Migrating a Database in Cloud Foundry.