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Config Templates

You can create customized templates for actions, workflows and modules, and render them using kind: RenderTemplate resources. These templates allow you to define your own schemas and abstractions, that are then translated at runtime to one or more resources.
This provides a powerful yet easy-to-use mechanism to tailor Garden's functionality to your needs, improve governance, reduce boilerplate, and to provide higher-level abstractions to application developers.
These templates can be defined within a project, or in a separate repository that can be shared across multiple projects (using remote sources).
This feature has been updated in 0.13 to support actions and workflows, in addition to modules. The ModuleTemplate resource kind has been renamed to ConfigTemplate, and instead of templated Modules, there is now a specific RenderTemplate kind to render the templates. The older declarations will still work until version 0.14, and are converted at runtime.

How it works

We'll use the templated-k8s-container example to illustrate how templates work. This example has a k8s-container template, that generates one Build action of type container for building an image, and one Deploy action of type kubernetes for deploying that image. A template like this is useful to customize the Kubernetes manifests for your services, but of course it's just one simple example of what you could do.
The template is defined like this:
kind: ConfigTemplate
name: k8s-container
inputsSchemaPath: schema.json
​
configs:
- kind: Build
type: container
name: ${parent.name}-image
description: ${parent.name} image
​
- kind: Deploy
type: kubernetes
name: ${parent.name}
description: ${parent.name} manifests
​
dependencies:
- build.${parent.name}
​
manifests:
...
And it's used like this:
kind: RenderTemplate
template: k8s-container
name: my-service
inputs:
containerPort: 8080
servicePort: 80
First off, notice that we have a kind: ConfigTemplate, which defines the template, and then a kind: RenderTemplate which references and uses the ConfigTemplate via the template field. You can have any number of instances referencing the same template.
The sections below describe the example in more detail.

Defining actions and workflows

Each template can include one or more actions (Build, Deploy, Test or Run) or workflows (kind: Workflow) under the configs key. The schema for each action or workflow is exactly the same as for normal actions or workflows with just a couple of differences:
  • In addition to any other template strings available when defining modules, you additionally have ${parent.name}, ${template.name} and ${inputs.*} (more on inputs in the next section). It's important that you use one of these for the names of the actions, so that every generated action has a unique name..
  • You can set a path field on each config to any subdirectory relative to the directory where the RenderTemplate config is placed.

Defining and referencing inputs

On the ConfigTemplate, the inputsSchemaPath field points to a standard JSON Schema file, which describes the schema for the inputs field on every action and module that references the template. In our example, it looks like this:
{
"type": "object",
"properties": {
"containerPort": {
"type": "integer"
},
"servicePort": {
"type": "integer"
},
"replicas": {
"type": "integer",
"default": 3
}
},
"required": [
"containerPort",
"servicePort"
]
}
This simple schema says the containerPort and servicePort inputs are required, and that you can optionally set a replicas value as well. Any JSON Schema with "type": "object" is supported, and users can add any parameters that templated actions and modules should specify. These could be ingress hostnames, paths, or really any flags that need to be customizable per action or module.
These values can then be referenced using ${inputs.*} template strings, anywhere under the configs and modules fields.
Note that special care needs to be taken when using template strings in the inputs field in a RenderTemplate config. Fields in the resulting configs from the template may need to be resolvable at different times, and using e.g. action references in input values may not work in all cases.

Escaping template strings

Sometimes you may want to pass template strings through when generating files, instead of having Garden resolve them. This could for example be handy when templating a Terraform configuration file which uses a similar templating syntax.
To do this, simply add an additional $ in front of the template string, e.g. $${var.dont-resolve-me}.

Action references within a templated action

In many cases, it's important for the different actions in a single template to depend on one another, and to reference outputs from one another. You do this basically the same way as in normal actions, but because action names in a template are generally templated themselves, it's helpful to look at how to use templates in action references.
Here's a section from the manifests in our example:
...
containers:
- name: main
image: ${actions.build["${parent.name}"].outputs.deployment-image-id}
imagePullPolicy: "Always"
ports:
- name: http
containerPort: ${inputs.containerPort}
Notice the image field above. We use bracket notation to template the action name, whose outputs we want to reference: ${actions.build["${parent.name}"].outputs.deployment-image-id}. Here we're using that to get the built image ID of the ${parent.name} Build in the same template.
Note that for a reference like this to work, that action also needs to be specified as a dependency.

Sharing templates

If you have multiple projects it can be useful to have a central repository containing action and module templates, that can then be used in all your projects.
To do that, simply place your ConfigTemplate configs in a repository (called something like garden-templates) and reference it as a remote source in your projects:
apiVersion: garden.io/v1
kind: Project
...
sources:
- name: templates
repositoryUrl: https://github.com/my-org/garden-templates:stable
Garden will then scan that repo when starting up, and you can reference the templates from it across your project.

Defining modules

Modules are deprecated and this feature will be removed in version 0.14.
Each template can include one or more modules under the modules key. The schema for each module is exactly the same as for normal Modules with just a couple of differences:
  • In addition to any other template strings available when defining modules, you additionally have ${parent.name}, ${template.name} and ${inputs.*} (more on inputs in the next section). It's important that you use one of these for the names of the modules, so that every generated module has a unique name..
  • You can set a path field on the module to any subdirectory relative to the templated module directory. The module directory will be created if necessary.

Generating files

You can specify files that should be generated as modules are resolved, using the modules[].generateFiles field. These files can include any of the same template strings as when defining modules.
Note: It's usually advisable to add the generated files to your .gitignore, since they'll be dynamically generated.
In our example, we render a set of Kubernetes manifests. Here's the relevant section in the template:
...
generateFiles:
- sourcePath: manifests.yml
targetPath: .manifests.yml
This reads a source file from template/manifests.yml (the sourcePath is relative to the location of the template), and writes it to module/.manifests.yml (targetPath is relative to the templated module).
Instead of specifying sourcePath, you can also specify value to provide the file contents directly as a string.

Module references within a templated module

In many cases, it's important for the different modules in a single template to depend on one another, and to reference outputs from one another. You do this basically the same way as in normal modules, but because module names in a template are generally templated themselves, it's helpful to look at how to use templates in module references.
Here's a section from the manifests file in our example:
...
containers:
- name: main
image: ${modules["${parent.name}-image"].outputs.deployment-image-id}
imagePullPolicy: "Always"
ports:
- name: http
containerPort: ${inputs.containerPort}
Notice the image field above. We use bracket notation to template the module name, whose outputs we want to reference: ${modules["${parent.name}-image"].outputs.deployment-image-id}. Here we're using that to get the built image ID of the ${parent.name}-image module in the same template.
Note that for a reference like this to work, that module also needs to be specified as a build dependency.

Further reading

Next steps

Take a look at our Guides section for more of an in-depth discussion on Garden concepts and capabilities.