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Extending the API

This document describes the steps that need to be performed when changing the API. It provides guidance for API changes to both (Gardener system in general or component configurations).

Generally, as Gardener is a Kubernetes-native extension, it follows the same API conventions and guidelines like Kubernetes itself. This document as well as this document already provide a good overview and general explanation of the basic concepts behind it. We are following the same approaches.

Gardener API

The Gardener API is defined in pkg/apis/{core,extensions,settings} directories and is the main point of interaction with the system. It must be ensured that the API is always backwards-compatible. If fields shall be removed permanently from the API then a proper deprecation period must be adhered to so that end-users have enough time adapt their clients.

Checklist when changing the API:

  1. Modify the field(s) in the respective Golang files of all external and the internal version.
    1. Make sure new fields are being added as “optional” fields, i.e., they are of pointer types, they have the // +optional comment, and they have the omitempty JSON tag.
    2. Make sure that the existing field numbers in the protobuf tags are not changed.
  2. If necessary then implement/adapt the conversion logic defined in the versioned APIs (e.g., pkg/apis/core/v1beta1/conversions*.go).
  3. If necessary then implement/adapt defaulting logic defined in the versioned APIs (e.g., pkg/apis/core/v1beta1/defaults*.go).
  4. Run the code generation: make generate
  5. If necessary then implement/adapt validation logic defined in the internal API (e.g., pkg/apis/core/validation/validation*.go).
  6. If necessary then adapt the exemplary YAML manifests of the Gardener resources defined in example/*.yaml.
  7. In most cases it makes sense to add/adapt the documentation for administrators/operators and/or end-users in the docs folder to provide information on purpose and usage of the added/changed fields.
  8. When opening the pull request then always add a release note so that end-users are becoming aware of the changes.

Component configuration APIs

Most Gardener components have a component configuration that follows similar principles to the Gardener API. Those component configurations are defined in pkg/{controllermanager,gardenlet,scheduler},pkg/apis/config. Hence, the above checklist also applies for changes to those APIs. However, since these APIs are only used internally and only during the deployment of Gardener the guidelines with respect to changes and backwards-compatibility are slightly relaxed. If necessary then it is allowed to remove fields without a proper deprecation period if the release note uses the breaking operator keywords.

In addition to the above checklist:

  1. If necessary then adapt the Helm chart of Gardener defined in charts/gardener. Adapt the values.yaml file as well as the manifest templates.