An early visualization of Spatial Resources

If you’ve been paying close attention to our issues on GitHub you may have noticed a small flurry of activity around one specific issue: #1707 Spike: spatial resource flows.

What are Spatial Resources Flows (aka Space)?

The first reference to “spatial” resources came up in a proposal between Alex Suraci and Christopher Hendrix for Multi-branch workflows ( #1172). In that issue we focused specifically on one recurring problem: it’s a real pain to deal with the Git resource when you have multiple branches representing different streams of work.

Over time we researched similar build paradigms and thought deeply about generalized solutions that would fit nicely with the Concourse philosophy™:

Concourse makes it very easy to model changes over time. Resources do this for you; you point them at a given source of truth, and it’ll let you know everything that happened.Some workflows, however, can’t just be modeled as change over time. Multiple branches of a repo, or pull requests to a repository, are over space, not time. They are parallel pipelines, which today are hard to manage, and impossible to correlate (you cannot fan-in).
Build matrixes are another example of wanting to run over many spaces (i.e. versions of a product). This can be done today, within a pipeline, but results in a massive pipeline with every combination explicitly configured…
…(a spatial resource) introduces the ability to have arbitrary build matrixes within one pipeline, which should dramatically improve the experience for people testing many variations/combinations.

Would you like to know more?

There’s a few ways you can get involved as the Concourse team continues to build out spaces:

  1. Read the proposal for spatial resources on GitHub here. Join in on the discussion and ❤️ the proposal if you’re excited to see this happen!
  2. We’re building out some common pipeline use cases to test out spaces. You can see our current list of proposals in issue #1766. If you’d like to add your own personal experiences and pipeline use case, I’d encourage you to add your notes on the issue.
  3. Spaces will introduce a lot of new abstractions into the pipeline visualization. We’re still experimenting with the visualization of spaces in the pipeline view; and are looking for fresh new ideas on how to visualize this. If you have a sketch, a doodle, or even a simple recommendation; drop us a line on the proposal or on our Slack.