APPC Deployment Guidelines


The Application Controller (APPC) is one of the components in the ONAP Platform. Its main function is to perform functions to control the lifecycle of Virtual Functions (VNFs) as well as the components that make up these functions. Therefore, this allows the cloud to be abstracted from Virtual Functions in order to enable repeatable actions, as well as enabling automation and a dynamic configuration approach.

ONAP APPC is delivered either as as a Kubernetes based Cloud Native deployment or as an OpenStack deployment with 4 Docker Containers, which are deployed using Docker Images already containing the APPC Framework Suite.

Deployment Mode for APPC

The docker containers described above are set up to be deployed on the same Virtual Machine. Docker Compose is Docker’s deployment tool that allows to configure and deploy multiple containers at once.

Deploying APPC

Appc runs on a series of Docker containers. In production, these Docker containers are run as part of a Kubernetes cluster using Helm charts, but the Docker containers can be brought up without using Kubernetes (using docker-compose), for the purposes of testing.

APPC Docker Containers

Pre-built ONAP APPC docker images are stored on the LF Nexus 3 server ( Snapshot docker images contain snapshot versions of appc components. They are updated daily. These can be found in the snapshots repository on Nexus 3. The release docker images contain only released versions of appc components, and once a release docker image is created, it will not change. These can be found in the releases repository of Nexus 3.

The following Docker images are the actual deployment images used for running APPC:

  • APPC Container: This Docker container carries the APPC Core Framework (OpenDaylight, Karaf, OSGI Bundles, ODL Functions/APIs, and APPC specific features). This image is built on top of the SDN-C Docker Image, which contains core features (such as dblib as the Database Connector, SLI - the Service Logic Interpreter, and the Active & Available Inventory (A&AI) Listener). Some of these inherited SDN-C features/artifacts are necessary dependencies to build and compile APPC features/artifacts.
  • APPC CDT Container: This docker container hosts the CDT front-end gui using nodejs. The artifacts that are contained in this docker container come from the appc/cdt repository.
  • Maria DB Container (Version 10.1.11): This is the database for APPC. It’s made by the original developers of MySQL and guaranteed to stay open source.
  • Ansible Server Container: This ansible server is for VNF owner to write playbook using APPC to send LCM API command.
  • Node Red / DGBuilder: This container has the visual tool used to assemble DGs in order to put together flows or services used to serve Virtual Functions. NOTE: This container is deployed using a Docker Image that is managed and supported by the SDN-C component.

Running APPC Containers

The following steps are needed to deploy and start ONAP APPC:

Preparing your Docker environment

  • The VM where APPC will be started needs to have Docker Engine and Docker-Compose installed (instructions on how to set Docker Engine can be found here).

  • The Nexus repository certificate must be added to the /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ path

  • You must login to the Nexus repository using this command:

    docker login

Downloading the Docker Compose File

The docker-compose file is needed to setup and start the docker containers. This file, “docker-compose.yml”, is located in the “docker-compose” directory of the appc/deployment repository.

You can clone this repository to your docker host:

git clone ""

Downloading the APPC Docker Images

Several images need to be dowloaded from nexus for the full appc install: appc-image, appc-cdt-image, ccsdk-dgbuilder-image, and ccsdk-ansible-server-image.

The command to pull an image is:

docker pull<image name>:<image version>

You can find the versions of the images that you want to download in Nexus,
then download them with the above command.

Re-Tagging the Docker Images

The docker images that you downloaded from nexus will need to be re-tagged to match the image names that the docker-compose file is looking for. If you open the docker-compose.yml file, you’ll see the image names, for example “onap/appc-image:latest”.

First, check the list of images you have downloaded:

docker images

Find the version of the image you want to tag in the output and note the image id. Run this command to tag that image. In this example, we are tagging a version of the “appc-image”.

docker tag <image-id> onap/appc-image:latest

Repeat this process for the other images in the docker-compose file that you want to bring up.

Starting the Docker Containers

In order to run docker-compose commands, you need to be in the same directory that your docker-compose.yml is located in.

In order to create and start the appc Docker containers, run this command:

docker-compose up -d

You can see the status of all Docker containers on your host with this:

docker ps -a

You can check the progress of the appc container start-up by viewing the Docker logs:

docker-compose logs

When you see “Total Appc install took:” in the log, the appc install has finished.

Stopping the Docker Containers

A Docker container can be stopped with this command:

docker stop <container name or id>

The container can be deleted with this command:

docker rm -v <container name or id>

(make sure you use the -v parameter or the volume will not be removed)

Other Useful Docker Management Commands

# Check out docker container's current details
docker inspect <DOCKER_CONTAINER>

# Verbose output during docker-compose commands
docker-compose --verbose <DOCKER_COMPOSE_CMD_ARG>

#Stop all running docker containers
docker ps | while read a b c d e f g; do docker stop $a; done

#Remove all docker containers (but not the images you have downloaded)
docker ps -a | while read a b c d e f g; do docker rm -v $a; done

ONAP Heat Template

A Heat template that can be used on RackSpace to spin up the APPC Host VM as well as the other ONAP Components is available in gitlab. This template would orchestrate the deployment of all ONAP components, which will trigger docker instantiation techniques to start up the containers (either standard docker or docker-compose - depending on how the component’s containers get spun up).

Validating APPC Installation

The Appc application runs as a series of OSGI features and bundles in Opendaylight on the Appc docker container. You can confirm that Appc installed by making sure these features show up in the Opendaylight console.

Accessing docker containers

The following command is used to log in / access the Appc Docker container and start a shell session:

docker exec -it appc_controller_container bash

Checking if APPC Features are installed successfully

The following commands are used to check if the APPC Bundles and Features have been installed correctly in ODL (make sure to enter the APPC Docker Container shell session first):

# All commands are done inside the appc docker container

# Enter the ODL Karaf Console

# Check if features have been installed or not (the ones with an 'X' in the "Installed" column have been successfully installed)
feature:list | grep appc # filter appc features only

# Check if bundles have been loaded successfully (the ones with 'Active' in the "State" column have been successfully loaded)
bundle:list | grep appc # filter appc bundles only

# Check reason why bundle failed to load
bundle:diag <bundle id>

Accessing the API Explorer

The API Explorer is a GUI provided by OpenDaylight Open Source Framework. This GUI is very useful to send API calls from APIs that are either developed by APPC or SDN-C frameworks. In order to make these REST calls, some APIs use the RESTCONF protocol to make such calls.

In order to access this GUI, you need to go to the following website which will prompt for ODL user credentials in order to authenticate (more details on generic API Explorer here):

APPC Configuration Model

APPC Configuration model involves using “” files (which are usually located in each of the APPC Features - ..//src//resources/org/onap/appc/ for APPC Feature that have default (or null) property values inside the core APPC code. These default (or null) properties should be overwritten in the properties file called “” located in the APPC Deployment code (../installation/src/main/appc-properties/

Each APPC component depends on the property values that are defined for them in order to function properly. For example, the APPC Feature “appc-rest-adapter” located in the APPC Core repo is used to listen to events that are being sent and received in the form of DMaaP Messages through a DMaaP Server Instance (which is usually defined as a RESTful API Layer over the Apache Kafka Framework). The properties for this feature need to be defined to point to the right DMaaP set of events to make sure that we are sending and receiving the proper messages on DMaaP.

Temporary changes to the file can be made by entering the Appc Docker container and modifying the /opt/onap/appc/properties/ file. Then, from outside the Docker container, you should stop and then restart the Appc Docker container with these commands:

docker stop appc_controller_container

docker stop appc_controller_container

Additional Notes

  • For more information on a current list of available properties for APPC Features, please go to located in the installation directory path of the APPC Deployment Code.
  • More documentation can be found on the ONAP Wiki’s APPC Documentation Page and in ONAP’s Read the docs documentation site.