Types of Integration

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Integration Levels

A service can integrate with PCF at four levels, shown here in order of increasing integration. In general, user-experience and production-readiness improves as the integration level increases. But none of the higher levels is required. You can stop service integration and declare it complete (enough) after any of these:

When integrating third-party software with Cloud Foundry, the effort typically progresses through increasing levels of integration. Pivotal recommends this staged approach because it enables early feedback on the value and the design of the integration, which helps make better decisions about future stages.

For non-service integrations (such as applications or buildpacks), a similar staged integration approach is often possible and desirable.

Service Integration Stages

Level 1. User-Provided Service

The service runs external to PCF and has no service broker or tile. To use a service with an app, the developer creates a service broker by running cf create-user-provided-service from the Cloud Foundry Command-Line Interface (cf CLI).

Configuring, running, upgrading, and paying for a user-provided service are all up to the developer.

Level 2. Brokered Service

A brokered service runs external to PCF, but has a tile on Pivotal Network.

Pivotal Network designates brokered services by including “Service Broker for PCF” in the name.

Operators install, configure, and upgrade the tile through the Ops Manager Installation Dashboard. Developers can then see your service plans and create service instances in Apps Manager, or by running cf marketplace and cf create-service from the command-line.

The Brokered Service topic has more information about brokered service tiles and how to create them.

Level 3. Managed Service

With a managed service, both the service broker and the service itself run within PCF. This enables PCF to manage, monitor, and increase service performance.

As with the brokered service, the service has a service broker and a tile listed on Pivotal Network. Pivotal Network lists managed services as “for PCF,” without “Service Broker” in the name.

When the operator installs the tile, they allocate a block of VMs to run service instances and provisions their CPU and memory resources uniformly.

The Managed Service topic has more information about managed service tiles and how to create them.

Level 4. On-Demand (Dynamic) Service

As with a managed service, an on-demand service and broker both run within PCF, and Pivotal Network lists the service tile without “Service Broker” in the name. But unlike a managed service, an on-demand service does not limit the number of service instance VMs. The operator does not have to pre-allocate and provision VM resources for the service.

When a developer creates an instance of an on-demand service, they provision its resources (within an allowed range) and BOSH dynamically creates a new, dedicated VM for the instance.

The On-Demand Service topic has more information about On-Demand service tiles and how to create them.