Getting started
Escape Inventory

 How Does Escape Work?

At its core Escape provides abstractions to work with packages and environments. A package is a collection of files, and some metadata to describe what can be done with it. Packages make all their configuration explicit and can depend, extend and consume other packages. This makes it possible to compose platforms out of them and deploy and promote them as single units across different environments.

At the moment the Escape Ecosystem, if you will, consists of two pieces to make this possible: the Escape command line tool and the Escape Inventory.

The Escape Inventory

The Escape Inventory is an artefact store. It’s used for:

  • storing and retrieving packages
  • resolving dependencies
  • auto-versioning packages (ie. working out what the next version of a package will be)
  • notifying downstream projects of updates to their dependencies

The Inventory is a server process that can be run locally, or somewhere central to enable teamwork.

The Escape Command Line Tool

The command line tool is used for building packages, pushing and pulling from the inventory, deploying to environments, running operational tasks against deployments, etc. It can be run from your laptop and is easily integrated into a CI/CD system.

One of the things that makes Escape different from other tools is that it gives you a way to explicitly state what configuration is needed and produced for each package. At deployment time these variables are checked, evaluated and persisted in a state file, which contains information about all the environments and their deployments. With this view of the world Escape is able to promote between environments, rollback, update, run operational tasks, etc. It knows where everything is, how it’s configured and what it’s produced.

Other tools do the actual build and deployment work (for example: terraform, kubectl, docker, …), but Escape does all the book-keeping of what’s where and how it’s configured. This abstraction over releases and their deployment state allows you to:

  • manage multiple environments
  • work with different tools but give them the same release process
  • make everything identifiable
  • make environments self-documenting
  • build ephemereal environments
  • run operational tasks

But you might wonder: isn’t this a bit like X? Maybe: