»Introduction to Waypoint

Welcome to Waypoint! This introduction section covers what Waypoint is, the problem Waypoint aims to solve, and how Waypoint compares to other software. If you just want to dive into using Waypoint, head over to the getting started section.

»What is Waypoint?

Waypoint is a tool that enables developers to describe how to get their applications from development to production in a single file and deploy using a single command: waypoint up. After deployment, Waypoint provides tools such as logs, exec, and more to validate and debug any deployments. Waypoint is fully extensible based on a plugin system which allows Waypoint to work with any tools and platforms.

»Waypoint Goals

  1. Consistency of Workflows. Waypoint aims to provide an easy-to-use, consistent workflow for getting applications from development to production: waypoint up. We believe that fragmentation in workflow based on platform is a big challenge for teams that attempt to use multiple build, deploy, release tooling.

  2. Confidence in Deployment. The first thing any developer does after deploying is validate it works: open a browser, refresh the page, check logs, etc. Waypoint provides tools such as logs and exec to give you confidence that deployments succeed.

  3. Extensibility with the Ecosystem. Consistency is only useful if Waypoint works with all the tools and patterns you work with. Waypoint is fully extensible via a plugin system that allows you to bring in custom builders, deployment platforms, and more.

»Why Waypoint?

Waypoint was built for one simple reason: developers just want to deploy.

But the modern day developer is being inundated with complexity: containers, schedulers, YAML files, serverless, and more. This complexity has improved the capability of our applications in many ways, but the cost can be seen in the learning curve required to just get your first application deployed. Developers just want to deploy.

Another challenge we saw is that depending on where you want to deploy your application, the tool you use is often different. Docker and kubectl for Kubernetes, Packer and Terraform for VMs, custom CLIs for each serverless platform, etc. For the individual, this again poses a learning curve challenge. For teams, this poses a challenge in consistency.

On one hand, Waypoint was built to provide ease of use. You don't need to write Dockerfiles, YAML, etc. anymore. We have plugins to automatically detect your language, build an image, and deploy. Yes, you have to write some minimal configuration but we're talking around 15 lines of text for one tool versus hundreds of lines across different tools using different languages.

On the other hand, Waypoint was built to be consistent across any platform. Waypoint can be extended with plugins to target any build, deploy, release logic. For example, if you already have Dockerfiles, YAML, etc. written, we have plugins that are able to utilize that. Or, if you have projects that use a different paradigm such as VMs or Serverless, we have plugins for that.

Developers just want to deploy. Waypoint gets you there.