App Platform Glossary

App Platform is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that allows developers to publish code directly to DigitalOcean servers without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

This glossary defines the core concepts behind App Platform to help build your mental model of how App Platform work and understand what the documentation is referring to when it uses certain terminology.

A personal access token (PAT) lets a user authenticate to a service in order to access or act on protected resources. PATs can be an alterative to a password, often in automation and other programmatic use cases.
Access-Control-Allow-Origin is an HTTP response header stating whether the application or source requesting access is allowed to access the response content. This header is part of the Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) policy.
The application specification, or app spec, is a YAML manifest that declaratively states everything about your App Platform app, including each resource and all of your app’s environment variables and configuration variables.
A bucket is a public cloud storage resource or container that stores objects or data.
The build command is the command-line statement that compiles your app resource at build time.
A buildpack is an open-source script that compiles apps as container images for a given programming language.
A content delivery network, also known as a content distribution network or CDN, is a geographically-distributed network of servers that deliver static content to users.
A certificate authority (CA) issues and manages digital certificates used in public key infrastructures (PKI). CAs verify the authenticity of entities or identities requesting certificates. CA ensures data encryption, secure online transactions across networks, and protects users’ privacy and security.
Continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD) encompass several automated processes commonly performed in software development, such as building, testing, and deploying a software application. CI/CD reduces human intervention during the maintenance processes of software applications.
A cluster is a group of servers or nodes working together within a network as a system to perform specific tasks.
CNAME records, or Canonical Name records, map an alias name to a canonical domain name.
Connection pooling is a cache of database connections used for future requests to the database as required.
A connection string is a string of characters that provides necessary information and parameters to establish a connection between a software application and the database. Connection strings are considered sensitive information and we recommend handling them securely, such as by avoiding hardcoding the string into the application’s code or configuration files.
The console is an in-browser command-line terminal whose shell context is a running container instance for a given resource.
A container is a single running instance of a service, worker, or static site resource that you have shipped on App Platform, and is in essence a live, runtime instance of an image (the artifact produced by the build process).
Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) is a mechanism that permits loading resources on other origins, such as a domain, protocol, or port, via HTTP headers.
A central processing unit, also called a processor or CPU, is an essential piece of computer hardware that executes the instructions from a computer program.
Client URL (cURL) serves as a command-line tool and library for sending requests to and receiving responses from servers through network protocols. It is often used to troubleshoot or test responses from servers and APIs.
Databases come in two forms in App Platform: dev databases, which are not intended for production use, and managed databases, which are instances of a DigitalOcean managed database that you have created outside of App Platform and would like to use in production.
A Dockerfile is a text file that contains instructions and details required to build a Docker image, such as the environment and configuration parameters.
doctl (pronounced “dock-tul”, and short for “DigitalOcean Control”) is the official command-line interface for the DigitalOcean API.
An edge server or edge node is a network server located at the edge of a network, close to the end-user devices. An edge server processes data, analytics, and computations near the data source, resulting in reduced latency and faster response times.
An endpoint is a specific URL or network address that a client device or application uses to interact with a server or service. Most internet connected apps and websites communicate with endpoints to retrieve information, process user interactions, and perform other processes. For example, when you open a weather app on your phone, the weather app requests for the latest forecast information from a server endpoint.
An environment variable is a in-memory key/value pair that developers use to store configuration details about their app.
Ephemeral files are temporary files used for program execution and tasks.
Failover is a high availability (HA) mechanism that monitors servers for failures and reroutes traffic or operations to a redundant server when the primary server fails.
A gVisor container runtime sandbox is an environment of processes to run containers. Each sandbox has its own isolated instance of Sentry and Gofer.

A hash is a fixed-sized string created by applying a hash function to data. A hash can be used in many different applications for various purposes but are often used to encrypt SSH keys or create unique numerical values that can act as identifiers for data resources.

For example, hashes are used to reference code changes, called commits, in GitHub and other code repository services. DigitalOcean’s Container Registry also uses hashes to create digests for each version of an image stored in a registry. An example hash created with the SHA algorithm looks like this: 3479436528b6961f29e22576d76787b6e5262761

A health check is a scheduled HTTP or TCP request that you can configure to run on a repeating basis to ensure that a service is healthy.
High Availability (HA) is an approach to infrastructure design focusing on reducing downtime and eliminating single points of failure.
The HTTP port is the port at which your service is listening for incoming HTTP requests.
The HTTP route for a service is the publicly-accessible directory path that maps to the root of your service.
A container image, Docker image, or image, is a static file containing executable code that cannot be changed.
The Insights Dashboard in App Platform helps you monitor the resource usage for your app.
In App Platform, a job is a type of resource that is running server-side code written in a supported programming language, such as Python, Ruby, Go, Node.js, or PHP, and is not internet-accessible.
A load balancer distributes traffic across a backend pool of servers to improve the stability and responsiveness of an application.
Log forwarding is the process of transmitting log data from various sources towards a centralized log management system. DigitalOcean offers log forwarding for App Platform, Kubernetes, and Functions.
Logs are captures of the standard output stream that you can inspect for information about activity related to your app.
A main node is a unified endpoint within a cluster which oversees activity on each node.
A monorepo is a software development approach that organizes multiple projects or components into a single repository.
A name server is a Domain Name System (DNS) server that serves DNS records for a domain. DNS records are often used to specify server IP addresses for domains.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a type of cloud service that offers deployment platforms to build, deploy, and scale applications on a subscription basis.
Push-to-deploy support enables you to automatically deploy site live once code is pushed to the GitHub repository using GitHub Actions.
A region is a physical location in the world where DigitalOcean has a datacenter.
Relational database is a type of database that organizes data in tables with predefined relationships. These tables consist of rows (records) and columns (attributes).
A resource in App Platform is any deployable, billable, runtime software element in your app.
REST is an approach to building APIs with a set of architectural constraints that make them faster, simpler, and more standardized. RESTful APIs follow the principles built around unique URL and URI resources. RESTful APIs enable caching, scalability, and stateless communication with all of the necessary information in each request.
A runtime environment is an execution environment for deploying and running applications. Runtime environments contain the necessary applications, dependencies, and operating system to run an application. For example, when you create an app on App Platform, App Platform inspects the code and app resources, and then selects the appropriate runtime environment, such as Node, to run the app in.
Scaling is the process of adding more capacity to a resource in your app.
In App Platform, a service is a type of resource that is accessible via public or internal ports, and running server-side code written in a supported programming language, such as Python, Ruby, Go, Node.js, or PHP.
A standby node is a node that is set aside idling on hot standby.
Stateful systems or applications maintain and rely on state or data associated with previous interactions or events.
In App Platform, a static site is a type of resource that only consists of a build process that produces static assets.

syslog is a standardized protocol and message logging system that collects, transmits, and stores log messages from computer systems and network devices.

An open source tool, captainslog is a syslog protocol tool.

Tags are keywords associated with DigitalOcean resources. You can use tags to organize and manage resources.
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a security protocol focused on privacy and data security for communication across the internet.

Top-Level Domain (TLD) is the highest level within the hierarchical domain name system (DNS) structure, such as the .com portion of DigitalOcean supports most publicly recognized TLDs when adding a domain to your account.

App Platform does not support wildcard DNS records for any of the top-level domains (TLDs) listed on this DigiCert reference page.

FQDN has four components where one of the components is TLD.

TXT records, or text records, define text information about sources outside of a domain. Common use cases for TXT records include creating email security records (DKIM and SPF records) and providing additional information about a domain.
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a string of characters that identify and provide a means to access a resource on the Internet.
Wildcard records are DNS records that direct requests for non-existent subdomains to a specified resource or IP address.
In App Platform, a worker is a type of resource that is running server-side code written in a supported programming language, such as Python, Ruby, Go, Node.js, or PHP, and is not internet-accessible.