Rafts are an advanced feature. If you are just getting started with Otter, you should revisit this topic once you've familiarized yourself with the other components.
Plans and Assets are essentially just files, and to make sharing, versioning, branching, etc. possible, Otter uses a raft to store these files. A raft is sort of abstracted file system, specifically designed for Otter plans and assets.
Because you likely won't need multiple rafts right away, a raft named "Default" is automatically created when you install Otter. This is a Database raft and is backed up when you do a regular Back-up of Otter.
If you only have a single raft configured, and that raft is named "Default", then the ability to filter or select rafts will not be exposed in on plan, job, asset, server, etc. pages.
You can create, manage, and download a raft as a zip file by going to Admin > Global Components > Rafts.
When a raft is associated with an Environment, access to contents within the raft will be restricted in two ways:
Both Servers and Server Roles may be associated with a raft. When a raft is specified, the corresponding configuration plan will be persisted within that raft. If no raft is specified, then the "Default" raft (if one is named that) is used.
Because rafts can be modified external to Otter, it's possible to create "orphaned" Configuration Plans that are not associated with a server or server role in Otter. Those are simply ignored, but are still displayed on the configuration plans page.
Rafts rely on an Extensible Raft Provider to retrieve and store raft data. There are three built-in raft types:
Because we already have a lot of Source Control Integrations in BuildMaster, our application release automation product, it's relatively easy for us to develop repositories for other source control managers like TFS, Subversion, etc. Let us know if that's an important feature for your organization, and we can add it to our Roadmap.
And since these are extensible, you can build them yourself. See the Extensions Documentation to learn more.
When stored on disk, in source control, or exported as a zip file, rafts are laid-out as follows.
|Orchestration Plans||Files (
|Server Plans||Files (
|Server Role Plans||Files (
|Variables||An OtterScript stored in the
|Assets||Files within the
Variables persisted within a raft are not currently displayed anywhere in the UI, and are intended to be used for storing default or fallback values for plans stored in a portable/reusable rafts. They are the lowest scope, and are only used if a Configuration Variable of the same name does not exist