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Open Application Model Specification

Gitter License: MIT TODOs Follow on Twitter

Open Application Model (OAM) is a runtime-agnostic specification for defining cloud native applications and enable building application-centric platforms by natural.

Focused on application rather than container or orchestrator, Open Application Model brings modular, extensible, and portable design for modeling cloud native applications and enable building application-centric platforms on any runtime infrastructure like Kubernetes, cloud, or IoT devices.

Why Open Application Model?

Platforms without application context is hard:

  • Developers spend time on infrastructure details instead of applications - ingress, labels, iptables rules, DNS, etc, and learning how the platform is implemented.
  • Restricted platform capabilities - in-house APIs with opinionated abstractions and implementations, lack of interoperability.
  • Runtime lock-in - platform is tightly coupled with execution runtime, which heavily impact on how you configure, develop and operate your application.

In Open Application Model, we propose an app-centric approach instead:

  • Application first - build the platform around a self-contained app model, where operational features as part of app definition, free of infrastructure here.
  • Clarity and extensibility - an open standard to modularize your platform capabilities into reusable pieces, with freedom to bring your own abstractions and implementations.
  • Runtime agnostic - a consistent experience to deploy and operate your apps across on-prem clusters, cloud providers or even edge devices.

NOTICE: The current working draft of OAM specification (0.2.x release) is under pre-beta release, it's still under development but will keep backward compatibility for any further change.


"Developers think in terms of application architecture, not of infrastructure."

Open Application Model defines a series of standard but extensible abstractions to model micro-service applications, with operation features as part of the application definition. This enables platform builders to create runtime-agnostic systems around a unified model, by developing modularized components and traits, and essentially serve their customers (e.g. developers) with app-centric mindset by default.

How it works

Separation of Concerns

Open Application Model proposed a clear separation of concerns between the parts that developers are responsible for, and the parts that platform engineers are responsible for. For more details, see introduction.md.

Read the specification

Latest Release Working Draft
Core Specification:
OAM Specification v0.2.1 v0.2.2-WD

See it in action

  • KubeVela: the highly extensible application platform based on Kubernetes and OAM.



To get an overview of the milestones and their description please visit the Milestones page.


Triaging of items into milestones will occur during the bi-weekly community call. During this call, issues might be brought into milestones, removed from milestones or moved between milestones.


See the CONTRIBUTING guide for more information about submitting changes to the spec.

One of the easiest ways to contribute is to participate in discussions. There are several ways to get involved.

Item Value
Mailing List https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/oam-dev
Community meeting info Bi-weekly (Starting Oct 22, 2019), Tuesdays 10:30AM PST
Meeting link https://zoom.us/j/2847572020
APAC Friendly Community meeting Bi-weekly APAC (Starting May 19, 2020), Tuesdays 19:00PM GMT+8
Meeting link APAC Friendly meeting https://zoom.com.cn/j/2847572020
Meeting notes Notes and agenda
Meeting recordings OAM YouTue Channel
IM Channel https://gitter.im/oam-dev/
Twitter @oam_dev


Come find community blogs and conference talks about OAM in community talks and blogs.

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Open Application Model 是一个用来构建云原生应用的规范。它描述了一个模型,开发人员可以在其中定义应用程序组件。应用程序操作员负责创建这些组件的实例并为它们分配应用程序配置。基础架构运营商负责定义、安装和维护平台上可用的基础服务 spread retract


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