To help organizations that build and maintain distributed applications, Microsoft and Docker this week launched a new specification called Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB).

CNAB, developed in partnership with Docker, was designed from the ground up to work with Docker, Azure, on-premises runtime environments such as OpenStack, Kubernetes, and everything in between. It lets developers define the resources that can be deployed to a combination of platforms, including workstations, public clouds, offline networks, and IoT environments, and manage discrete resources in a distributed app as a single logical unit.

The CNAB project was founded by Microsoft and Docker a year ago. Bitnami and HashiCorp are also named as contributors on the project’s website. The first implementation of the spec is an experimental utility called Docker App, which Docker rolled out this week and eventually will fold into Docker Enterprise Edition. Docker App represents the company’s first foray into IT infrastructure software that manages VMs and serverless workloads alongside containers. Microsoft and Docker plan to donate CNAB to an open source foundation — to be named later — for public governance in 2019.

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