Microsoft and Docker have jointly announced a new project to create “an open-source, cloud-agnostic specification for packaging and running distributed applications,” according to Microsoft’s press notes.

A Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB), as it’s called, provides a standard way for developers to package and run containerized applications in many computing environments, from Docker on a workstation to Kubernetes in a cloud instance.

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CNAB’s specification describes “bundles,” or groups of resources that constitute an application. Bundles also describe how apps are to be installed, upgraded, or removed, and how they are to be moved between environments, even when the target environment isn’t online (e.g., an air-gapped system). Microsoft claims it will be possible to digitally sign and verify app bundles “even when the underlying technology doesn’t natively support it.” Bundles can be deployed within organizations or at large by way of existing distribution systems, such as Docker Hub and Docker Trusted Registry.

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