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Upbound Donates Upjet Code Generator Framework to CNCF’s Crossplane Project

A little over three years ago, Upbound donated its Crossplane framework to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation where it has thrived. On Tuesday, the company donated Upjet, a framework it’s designed to be used with Crossplane, to CNCF.

Crossplane project
Source: Crossplane Project

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation now has a new project to add as an enhancement to its Crossplane Project. On Tuesday the CEO of Upbound, Bassam Tabbara, announced during a keynote at a CNCF hosted event that his company is donating Upjet to CNCF’s Crossplane Project.

Crossplane is a framework for cloud native platform engineers to use to build control planes, those “panes of glass” that DevOps teams can use the make their job easier by bringing simplicity to the complicated. In Crossplane’s case, this is done by supplying a backend for orchestrating applications and infrastructure, whether being run on-premises or across multiple clouds, and a configurable frontend that lets the teams control the process.

The Upjet component that Upbound donated, is a code generator framework that developers can use to build code generation pipelines that generate Crossplane controllers.

Although Upjet was already open-source, Upbound developed it in-house as part of the company’s own downstream version of Crossplane. By moving it upstream, and making it a part of the official Crossplane project, developers can be assured that under CNCF’s proven community-driven governance model, the project will move in a direction that serves all users of Upjet and Crossplane instead of just meeting the needs of a few major players.

“Open source foundations like CNCF ensure there is a level playing field for all participants, vendors and users alike, which in turn helps promote a truly healthy, growing ecosystem,” Chris Aniszczyk, CTO at CNCF explained in a statement. “With Upbound’s contribution, the cloud-native ecosystem can trust that the Crossplane community remains a dependable and open platform to build upon.”

Upbound has been using Upjet’s capablilites to maintain its providers for the big public clouds, notably AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Starting today, according to Upbound, these cloud-based projects will also be moved to the official Crossplane project.

Upbound’s Crossplane History

Besides being a perfect fit, it makes sense that Upbound would place Upjet under the Crossplane Project’s and CNCF’s care and control. Like Upjet, the Crossplane framewark was originally developed and maintained in-house by Upbound, which donated it to CNCF in 2020. In 2021 Crossplane was removed from CNCF’s Sandbox, the opening status for any new project CNCF takes on, and moved to the next level, CNCF Incubator.

CNCF and Upbound pulled out all of the stops for Tuesday’s online event to announce the donation, which featured a dozen speakers. While a full half of them were folks from Upbound, the other six represented a cross section of Crossplane member companies, with representatives from AWS, Nokia, Switzerland-based VSHN AG – The DevOps Company, RedMonk, and Cruise. Also on board was well known open-source developer advocate, Kelsey Hightower.

“Upbound remains a critical maintainer and steward of the Crossplane project and we believe in supporting the provider ecosystem around Crossplane,” Tabbara said in a statement ahead of Tuesday’s event. “With this donation, we open up a path to the ecosystem to converge around providers all under the trusted governance of the Crossplane project and the CNCF.”

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