Mirantis Lens is arguably the most popular of all the Kubernetes Integrated Developer Environment (IDEs). Although it's not even a year old yet, Lens already has a community of over 83,000 users and 9.149 GitHub stargazers. Now, this open-source IDE's parent company has announced a new Extensions application programming interface (API).
This new API will enable programmers to rapidly create their own extensions for seamless integration with any Kubernetes integrated component, toolkit, or service. Mirantis and many popular Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects developers have already announced the first-generation of Lens extensions.
"Introducing an extensions API to Lens is a game-changer for Kubernetes operators and developers because it will foster an ecosystem of cloud-native tools that can be used in context with the full power of Kubernetes controls, at the user's fingertips," said Viswajith Venugopal, StackRox software engineer and developer of KubeLinter, a lint static analysis program for Kubernetes developers. "We look forward to integrating KubeLinter with Lens for a more seamless user experience," added Venugopal.
The Extensions API and the first batch of Extensions will be generally available around KubeCon Virtual North America 2020. The API and new extensions are already available for partners.
These Lens extensions partners include Kubernetes security vendors Aqua and Carbonetes; API gateway maker Ambassador Labs (formerly Datawire); and AIOps pioneer Carbon Relay. Other partners are actively building extensions. These are nCipher, hardware-based key management; Venafi, a Kubernetes cert-manager supporter; Tigera, Calico open-source networking and security; API gateway maker Kong; and container security solution provider StackRox.
Specifically, programmers can add custom visualizations and functionality to support their preferred cloud-native technologies. This will also speed up their development workflows. The extensions API provides numerous options for extension authors to plug directly into the Lens IDE. Finally, these new extensions can also be used in conjunction with services deployed from the Helm chart repository for a fully integrated experience.
"Extensions API will unlock collaboration with technology vendors and transform Lens into a fully-featured cloud-native development IDE that we can extend and enhance without limits," said Miska Kaipiainen, co-founder of Lens and Mirantis's senior director of Engineering. "If you are a vendor, Lens will provide the best channel to reach tens of thousands of active Kubernetes developers and gain distribution to your technology in a way that did not exist before. At the same time, the users of Lens enjoy quality features, technologies, and integrations easier than ever."
You can download Lens today. If you want to learn more about Lens and its newest features you can join the Lens conversation on Slack.