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App Launchpad brings application PaaS to VMware Cloud Director

App Launchpad enables Service Providers to offer a marketplace of single-VM applications on VMware Cloud Director. It is a UI plug-in and API extension for VMware Cloud Director (VCD) that provides a marketplace GUI to easily access and launch single-VM applications from VCD catalog content. Using App Launchpad, developers are able to launch applications to VCD in seconds.

App Launchpad - Tenant UI

The following types of applications can be displayed in the App Launchpad marketplace UI:

  • Bitnami – Bitnami offers pre-configured, tested, and supported open source applications. Service Providers that subscribe to the Bitnami Community Catalog can access these applications from the VMware Cloud Marketplace. App Launchpad integrates with the VMware Cloud Marketplace to create an optimal experience for Bitnami customers.
  • Apps from VMware Cloud Marketplace – VMware Cloud Marketplace offers a range of ISV applications that can be added to VCD and made available in App Launchpad.
  • In-house single-VM apps – VCD vApp Templates that are installed by the provider may be shown in App Launchpad.

App Launchpad is available with the release of VMware Cloud Director 10.1, but it is compatible with vCD version 9.7 or newer.

For detailed information about App Launchpad and a demonstration of provider and tenant experience, see this video:

VMware Cloud Marketplace and Bitnami

App Launchpad is optimized for Bitnami applications provided by the VMware Cloud Marketplace. A service provider can subscribe to items in the marketplace, these will be synchronized to a catalog in Cloud Director. This catalog then can be used in App Launchpad.

VMware Cloud Marketplace now allows to use provider credentials for the login to Cloud Director, and supports multiple catalogs. This gives the service provider more flexibility for catalog management.

For more details on VMware Cloud Marketplace see this article https://blogs.vmware.com/cloudprovider/2019/12/bitnami-community-catalog-for-vcpp-through-vmware-cloud-marketplace-is-now-ga.html and the documentation at https://docs.bitnami.com/vmware-marketplace/get-started-vcloud-director/

To access the app descriptions and logos App Launchpad needs network access to VMware Cloud Marketplace and the logo files on S3.

In-house Applications in App Launchpad

Service Providers can use App Launchpad to publish in-house applications, without the need to use VMware Cloud Marketplace or Bitnami apps. This allows a service provider to use single-VM vApp templates in App Launchpad. After the installation of App Launchpad and the provider on-boarding, as provider admin you can create a new catalog and import single-VM templates. Then you can run some calls to the App Launchpad REST API, to provide the metadata for the item in App Launchpad:

  • Name
  • Logo
  • Summary
  • Description

Examples for the REST API calls to App Launchpad can be found here, in form of a ready-to-use collection for the well-known Postman REST client: https://code.vmware.com/samples?id=7090

Summary

App Launchpad provides an easy application deployment experience for tenants on top of VMware Cloud Director. It can be used to create a application catalog experience using Bitnami images from VMware Cloud Marketplace, but also to publish in-house provider managed single-VM vApp templates. Tenant users can deploy these applications even without any knowledge of Cloud Director concepts. This allows service providers to increase adoption of the VMware Cloud Director platform.