Services Overview

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This documentation is intended for end users of Cloud Foundry and covers provisioning of service instances and integrating them with apps 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 app. 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 leverage services that are not available in the marketplace using a feature called User-Provided Service Instances (UPSI).

Service Instance Credentials

Cloud Foundry enables users to provision credentials needed to interface with a service instance. You can use app binding to automatically deliver these credentials to your Cloud Foundry app. For external and local clients, you can use service keys to generate credentials to communicate directly with a service instance.

App Binding

Service instance credentials can be delivered automatically to apps running on Cloud Foundry in an environment variable. For more information, see Delivering Service Credentials to an App.

For details on binding to a specific app 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. Use service keys when you want a set of credentials for use by clients other than the app in the same space. For instance, you can use service keys to connect to a service instance from a local client, or from an app in another space, or even from outside of Cloud Foundry.

For more information about creating a user-provided service instance with service keys, see the User-Provided Service Instances topic. For more information about service keys, see the Managing Service Keys topic.

Note: Not all services support service keys. Some services support credentials through app binding only.

Outbound IP Addresses

To allow an app to communicate with a service external to PAS, you may need to configure the service to accept connections from your app based on its outbound IP address.

In your external service configuration, you must do one of the following:

  • Whitelist the entire IP range for the Diego cell where the app is deployed.
  • Derive the app IP address from its DNS name using a command-line tool such as dig, host, or nslookup. In your external service configuration, whitelist the IP address or range of the app instance.

Stream App Logs to Log Management Services

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

User-provided service instances can be used to drain app 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 App Logs topic.

Manage App Requests with Route Services

To learn how marketplace services (and user-provided service instances) can be used to perform preprocessing on app requests, see Manage App Requests with Route Services.

Migrate a Database Schema

If your app relies on a relational database, you must apply schema changes periodically. To perform database schema migrations on Cloud Foundry-managed services, run a database migration task with the Cloud Foundry Command Line Interface (cf CLI) tool.

For more information about running cf CLI tasks, see Running Tasks.

Note: To run tasks with the cf CLI, you must install cf CLI v6.23.0 or later. See the Installing the cf CLI topic for information about downloading, installing, and uninstalling the cf CLI.

To perform a database schema migration with the cf CLI, do the following:

  1. Run the following command to push the app:

    $ cf push APP-NAME

    Where APP-NAME is the name of the app.

    Note: To run a task without starting the app, push the app with cf push -i 0 and then run the task. You can run the app later by scaling up its instance count.

  2. Run the following command to perform a database schema migration as a task on the app:

    $ cf run-task APP-NAME "bin/rails db:migrate" --name TASK-NAME
    Creating task for app APP-NAME in org jdoe-org / space development as
    Task 1 has been submitted successfully for execution.


    • APP-NAME is the name of the app.
    • TASK-NAME is the name of the task.