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 Instance Credentials

Cloud Foundry enables users to automatically provision credentials needed to reach a service instance. These credentials can be managed automatically for use by applications on Cloud Foundry, or managed manually for use by external and local clients.

Note: Not all services support automated generation of credentials. Some services support credentials through application binding only.

Application Binding

Service instance credentials can be delivered automatically to applications running on Cloud Foundry in an environment variable. For more information, see Binding Applications to Service Instances.

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

Service Keys

Credentials managed manually are known as Service Keys. For more information, see Managing Service Keys.

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 in the Service-Specific Instructions for Streaming Application Logs topic.

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.