Docker Open Sources Compose for Amazon ECS and Microsoft ACI

Today we are open sourcing the code for the Amazon ECS and Microsoft ACI Compose integrations. This is the first time that Docker has made Compose available for the cloud, allowing developers to take their Compose projects they were running locally and deploy them to the cloud by simply switching context.

With Docker focusing on developers, we’ve been doubling down on the parts of Docker that developers love, like Desktop, Hub, and of course Compose. Millions of developers all over the world use Compose to develop their applications and love its simplicity but there was no simple way to get these applications running in the cloud.

Docker is working to make it easier to get code running in the cloud in two ways. First we moved the Compose specification into a community project. This will allow Compose to evolve with the community so that it may better solve more user needs and ensure that it is agnostic of runtime platform. Second, we’ve been working with Amazon and Microsoft on CLI integrations for Amazon ECS and Microsoft ACI that allow you to use docker compose up to deploy Compose applications directly to the cloud.

While implementing these integrations, we wanted to make sure that existing CLI commands were not impacted. We also wanted an architecture that would make it easy to add new backends and provide SDKs in popular languages. We achieved this with the following architecture:

Cli architecture

The Node SDK and Compose CLI parts of this diagram are what we have open sourced today. This architecture is not final and we plan to merge the Compose CLI with the existing CLI at a later time.

Depending on the Docker Context that the user selects, the Compose CLI switches which backend is used for the command or API call. This allows us to pass commands which use existing contexts to the existing CLI transparently. The backend interface abstraction allows the implementation of a backend for any container runtime so that users can get the same Docker CLI UX they know and love for it along with the new APIs and SDK.

The Compose CLI can serve a gRPC API to provide similar functionality to that of the CLI commands. We chose to use gRPC as this allows us to generate high quality SDKs in popular languages like Node.js, Python, and Golang. While we currently only provide a Node SDK that supports single container management on ACI, there are plans to add Compose support, extend it to ECS and other backends, and add other language SDKs in the near future. The Node SDK is already used by VS Code to implement its Docker experience on ACI.

This work wouldn’t have been possible without help from our partners at Microsoft and AWS who helped us build the best possible experience for their respective platforms. Our team has enjoyed working with all of you! From Microsoft we’d specifically like to thank Mike Morton, Karol Zadora-Przylecki, Brandon Waterloo, MacKenzie Olson, and Paul Yuknewicz. From AWS we’d like to thank Carmen Puccio, David Killmon, Sravan Rengarajan, Uttara Sridhar, and David Duffey.

These tools are currently in beta so feedback and pull requests are welcome!

To get started working with Compose in the Cloud you can download Docker Desktop here, get a free Hub account to deploy your images from here. Once you have you image saved to Docker Hub you will be able to deploy it to either ECS or ACI, to find out more about how to do this:


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