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Quickstart

What is Port?​

Port is a Developer Platform made to make life easier for developers and DevOps in an organization, by creating a single platform that acts as a single source-of-truth for all of the infrastructure assets and operations existing in the organization's tech stack.

Port then allows engineers to perform actions on these assets in a self-service fashion. From provisioning a dev environment, understanding who is the owner of a microservice, or any unique use case DevOps want to self-serve and automate.

Port helps you to:​

  • Create a comprehensive Software Catalog by mapping all your software and infrastructure components in one place: microservices, monoliths, deployments, repos, databases, and more.
  • Let your developers provision, terminate and perform day 2 operations on any asset exposed (microservice or not) in your catalog, within the policies and guardrails you’ve set, ensuring unified standards and governance over the processes inside your organization.

Port's three core building blocks are Blueprints, Entities and Relations. This tutorial will walk you through your first steps on the platform and get you started on your Developer Portal journey!🚢

Define a Blueprint​

Blueprints are used to model data in Port. A Blueprint allows us to define what properties and fields an Entity will contain.

Architectures and deployments vary greatly, and so do preferences and standards for data representation and asset structure. Therefore, in Port, You have full control of the way data is presented using any data format you desire, so that the Software Catalog truly represents all you need for the developer portal.

But for now, let's start with a simple example:

Your organization uses a microservice architecture; different microservices use packages to manage code reused by various microservices.

To create your Software Catalog, you need to to ingest and track your microservices, track which package (and which version) is used in which microservice, and which package is used in multiple microservices.

Let's head to Port and look at the Blueprints page, at the top right corner let's click on Add Blueprint and configure our first blueprint - Package as shown in the image below:

Developer PortalCreate New Blueprint

After clicking the button, you should see a creation form as shown below:

Developer Portal New Blueprint Text

Our package Blueprint is going to include the following properties:

  • Version - The package version
  • In-House - Whether the package was developed in house or externally

In addition, the version field will be marked as required, so we can make sure that our package has a version value.

note

Don't worry if you want to add more properties to the Blueprint, you can always go back and edit later.

In order to create a Blueprint using the properties, use the following JSON body:

{  "identifier": "package",  "title": "Package",  "icon": "Package",  "formulaProperties": {},  "relations": {},  "schema": {    "properties": {      "version": {        "type": "string",        "title": "Version",        "description": "The version of the package"      },      "inHouse": {        "type": "boolean",        "title": "In-House?",        "description": "Whether the package was developed in house"      }    },    "required": ["version"]  }}

Click on the save button, and you should see your new Blueprint in the Blueprints graph:

Developer Portal Blueprints graph with new Package Blueprint

Click on the expand button as shown in the image below:

Developer Portal Blueprints graph with new Package Blueprint And Expand Marked

You should see an expanded view of the blueprint you just created, with all of its properties listed alongside the types you provided:

Developer Portal Blueprints graph with new Package open

Congratulations! you have just created your first Blueprint! 🎉

In the next part, we will start creating Entities that match this new Blueprint, making the Software Catalog come together!

Create your first Entities​

Now that we have a Blueprint for package, we can add some Entities.

An Entity is an object that matches a type of a certain Blueprint. In our case, every Entity we create under the microservice Blueprint, is a microservice in our organization.

Let's create our first Entity to make things clearer.

Click on the packages page on the left sidebar:

Developer Portal Blueprints graph with new Package open and Packages page marked

On the packages page, click on the + Package button to start creating a new Entity:

Developer Portal Package Entity page with create entity button marked

After clicking the button a new package form will appear. Let's fill it up with the following details:

Title: RequestsTeam: - leave blank -# For identifier, click on the "Auto generate" toggle to enter a custom identifierIdentifier: requests-pkg-v2-28version: 2.28inHouse: false

After filling all of the above, your creation page should look like this:

Developer Portal Package Entity filled with create entity button marked

You can go ahead and press the Create button at the bottom right corner (as shown in the image above), and witness your new package appear in the packages page:

Developer Portal Package Entity page with first entity

Let's repeat that process again, add another package, but this time add an entity using JSON by clicking the JSON mode button:

Developer Portal Package Create Entity page with json mode marked

After clicking the button, a JSON editor will appear, similar to the one we saw in the blueprints page. Paste in the following content:

{  "identifier": "sqlAlchemy_v1_4_39",  "title": "SQL Alchemy v1.4.39",  "properties": {    "version": "1.4.39",    "inHouse": false  },  "relations": {}}

Then click on the create button at the bottom right corner.

Now you should see your 2 packages displayed in the page as shown in the image below:

Developer Portal package Entity page with 2 Entities

Amazing! You have just created 2 awesome entities 🎉

To conclude your first steps with Port, we use Blueprints to define our data model, and Entities to store data objects that match the type of our Blueprints.

In the next part, we will look at our last building block - Relations. Let's get to it!

Create a Relation​

A Relation is a connection between two Blueprints and the Entities that are based on them. Using Relations you can create a connection graph between multiple Entities, the connection graph helps you understand the structure of your infrastructure and gain easier access to the data of related Entities.

Currently our Software Catalog only has packages, but everybody knows packages are just the building blocks for larger applications and services, so we'll now create a microservice Blueprint to represent the application that will make use of our packages. Our Microservice Blueprint will contain the following fields:

  • Repo - A URL to the source code repository storing the microservice code;
  • Slack Channel - A URL to the Slack Channel of the team responsible for the Microservice;
  • In addition, our Relation will list the packages used by the microservice.

so let's go ahead and create a Microservice Blueprint:

  • Go back to the Blueprints page;
  • Click on the Add Blueprint button;
  • Paste the content shown below and then click create:
{  "identifier": "Microservice",  "title": "Microservice",  "icon": "Microservice",  "schema": {    "properties": {      "repoUrl": {        "type": "string",        "format": "url",        "title": "Repository URL",        "description": "A URL to the Git repository of the microservice"      },      "slackChannel": {        "type": "string",        "title": "Slack Channel",        "description": "The channel of the microservice\\'s maintainers"      }    },    "required": []  },  "mirrorProperties": {},  "formulaProperties": {},  "relations": {}}
tip

Remember, if you are having trouble at any point, you performed the exact same steps with the Package Blueprint in the Define a Blueprint section, so feel free to go back for reference.

After you're done, your blueprints page should look like this:

Developer Portal Blueprints Page with microservice and package

Now we'll create our microservice to package Relation.

Microservice to package Relation​

Our goal is to know what packages are used in each microservice, therefore you will map that Relation between the Blueprints according to the following steps:

Go to the Blueprints page, hover over the microservice Blueprint and click on the pencil icon as shown below:

Developer Portal Blueprints page with Create Relation Marked

In the edit form that appears, you will notice a relations key that is currently empty, paste the following content inside it:

"packages": {    "title": "Package",    "target": "Package",    "description": "Package(s) used by the microservice",    "many": true,    "required": true}

Then click the save button at the bottom right corner.

Now your Blueprints graph should look like this:

Developer Portal Blueprints Graph With Package Microservice Relation

note

Look at the connection graph you have just created. You modeled the relationship between your Blueprints in a way that shows which Blueprint depends on the other.

Now that we have a relationship, it's time to use it to show which package is used in which microservice. To do that, you are going to create a new microservice Entity and specify the package Entities it uses:

Mapping Packages to Microservices​

You already have 2 packages Entities that you created - those are SQL Alchemy v1.4.39 and Requests v2.28.1.

You are now going to create a microservice Entity and map these packages to it using the Relation you created.

The microservice Entity you are going to create is for the notification service of your application, here is its JSON:

{  "identifier": "notification-microservice",  "title": "Notification Service",  "properties": {    "repoUrl": "https://www.github.com/User/notification",    "slackChannel": "#notification-service"  },  "relations": {    "packages": ["requests-pkg-v2-28", "sqlAlchemy_v1_4_39"]  }}

To create the microservice, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Microservices page;
  • Click the + Microservice button;
  • Type the values matching the JSON above (or just switch to JSON mode and paste);
  • Click the create button at the bottom right corner.
note

If you choose to type the values manually, in order to input the packages used by the microservice, click the expand icon next to the Package field, a new JSON form with an empty array ([]) will appear, you can type the identifiers of the package Entities you created there, the form will also auto-complete you and only show you legal package values:

Developer Portal Package Relation Array

Now you should see your new microservice Entity, and if you look at the package column, you will see multiple package values:

Developer Portal Microservice with multiple packages marked

Click on the Notification Service link in the marked column and you will see what we call the specific Entity page. This page allows you to see the complete details and dependency graph of a specific entity.

Microservice specific entity page after relation

info

In our case, the specific entity page for a microservice will also show us a tab with all of the Packages that it uses because that is the Relation we mapped.

Feel free to continue exploring the specific entity page and the Packages and microservices pages. Notice the filter, hide, sort and group by controls you can find at the top right of Port's table widgets.

What now?​

Congratulations! you just modeled your first environment in Port! 🎉🚢

This quickstart was used to teach you the basic building blocks Port provides. Now, you have all the tools you need to start cataloging and tracking your environment!

You can begin creating Blueprints that describe your services, applications, clusters and infrastructure resources.

Reuse or Restart?

Remember that the blueprints, entities and relations you created here were used as a basic example, but Port always allows you to go back and edit them until they match the infrastructure you want to catalog.

And, if you want to do something completely different, you can simply delete what you created here, and start mapping out Entities exactly the way you want them to be.

tip

These suggestions show the basic steps in creating your very own Developer Portal, if you want to learn more about Port before starting your Developer Portal journey, look at Diving deeper or Using the API below.

  1. Create Blueprints for your software and infrastructure components;
  2. Map out the Relations between your Blueprints;
  3. Ingest data to your catalog by creating Entities based on your Blueprints via Port's UI or using our API;
  4. Define Self-Service Actions that can be used by you and your developers.

Diving deeper​

If you want to learn more about Port's capabilities in a specific area, you can check out any of these resources:

Using the API​

If you want to make use of Port's REST API Interface, take a look at these resources: