Adding a Template as a Composite Type

This page describes how to create a composite type with Deployment Manager. After creating a composite type, you can call that type in your configuration and create deployments.

A composite type is one or more templates configured to work together that have been added permanently to Deployment Manager. Once added, you can use a composite type like you would use a Google-owned type. To learn more about Types, read the Types Overview.

For example, you might create a set of templates that deploy a network load balanced managed instance group. You add those templates as a composite type to Deployment Manager and can then use the template in future configurations as you would use other types.

You might also be interested in Sharing Types Across Projects.

Before you begin

Components of a composite type

To create a composite type, you must have a top-level Jinja or Python template and optionally, a set of supporting files that eventually resolve to base types. Composite types can be made up of resources that are themselves other composite types. Deployment Manager will recursively expand these types during deployment.

A composite type is made up of:

  • A top-level template: The top-level Jinja or Python template executed during expansion when the type is called.
  • A schema: The JSON Schema file which describes information about the top-level template and any defined sub-imports.
  • Imported files: Any additional files necessary for execution, such as helper files, sub-templates, and relevant schemas for the sub-templates, if applicable. This is optional, however. Your composite type can also just contain a single top-level template.

Creating a composite type

You can create a composite type by registering the top-level template of a configuration and its associated imports and schema. Create a composite type using either gcloud or the API.

You might also be interested in the example describing how to create and call a composite type.


You must be in the directory where you have stored the top-level template and subtemplates that are part of this composite type, in order to run this command.

Using the gcloud tool, make a types create request, and specify the top-level template and the desired type name to call this composite type. Run this command in the local directory where you have your template files.

$ gcloud beta deployment-manager types create [TYPE_NAME] --template=[TOP_LEVEL_TEMPLATE]


  • [TYPE_NAME] is the name you want to call this type
  • [TOP_LEVEL_TEMPLATE] is the relative path to the top-level template describing this type.


In the API, make a POST request that contains the composite and name fields. In the composite field, define:

  • The top-level schema
  • The contents of your imported templates
  • The contents of your top-level template

The API request body has the following structure:


 "composite": {
  "files": {
   "schema": "[CONTENTS_OF_SCHEMA]",
   "imports": [
     "name": "[TEMPLATE_FILE]",
     "content": "[CONTENTS_OF_TEMPLATE_FILE]"
     "content": "[CONTENTS_OF_TEMPLATES]"
   "templateFileType": "[FILE_TYPE]"
 "name": "[TYPE_NAME]"

For an example on how to construct these requests, see Creating an autoscaled managed instance group composite type. For more information, see the documentation for the insert method.

Deploying a composite type

Types are a per-project resource and are accessible according to the permissions described on the Access Control documentation. That is:

  • Project editors and viewers, and type editors can create and use types available to that project.
  • Type viewers can get a list of types and use types available to that project.

You can also add another project as a type viewer so they can access your types. Read Sharing Types Across Projects.

Once you have registered a composite type, you can deploy that type in the same way you would call Google-managed types:

types: [PROJECT_ID]/composite:[TYPE_NAME]

For example:

- name: my example-resource
  type: example-project/composite:autoscaled-igm

Deploying a composite type directly with the command-line tool

Deployment Manager offers the ability to deploy a composite type directly with the gcloud command-line tool. Instead of creating a top-level configuration file, the gcloud tool will automatically generate a top-level configuration for you.

For example, the following command deploys a composite type called autoscaled-igm:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments create my-igm \
    --composite-type example-project/composite:autoscaled-igm

You can also set properties of your composite type using the --properties flag:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments create my-igm \
    --composite-type example-project/composite:autoscaled-igm \
    --properties zone:us-central1-a

Keep in mind that:

  • All values are parsed as YAML values. For example, version: 3 is passed in as an integer. If you want to specify it as a string, put escaped single quotes around the value, version: \'3\'.

  • Boolean values are case insensitive, so TRUE, true, and True are treated the same.

  • You must pass in all required properties defined by the composite type. You cannot provide just a subset of the properties. If certain properties have default values, you can omit the property from the command-line.

To specify multiple properties, provide comma-separated key:value pairs. It does not matter in what order you specify the pairs. For example:

gcloud deployment-manager deployments create my-igm \
    --composite-type example-project/composite:autoscaled-igm \
    --properties zone:us-central1-a,machineType:n1-standard-1,image:debian-8

After running this command, Deployment Manager creates a deployment using the composite type you provided. You can confirm that the deployment has been created using the Google Cloud Platform Console or the gcloud tool. For information on viewing a deployment, read Viewing a manifest.

Example: Creating a composite type

Deployment Manager offers many example configurations from the Deployment Manager GitHub repository that you could use as composite types. For this example, you will add a composite type that deploys a load balanced high-availability service to multiple zones in a single region. For more information, see the full example.

In this example, the top-level configuration file is the file. All sub-templates are imported in the schema files.

  1. Download the Python and schema files from the GitHub directory. Omit any files in a subdirectory and any diagram files.
  2. In the local directory where you downloaded all the files, run the following command to create a new composite type called ha-service-example:

    gcloud beta deployment-manager types create ha-service-example
  3. Get a list of types to confirm that the type was successfully created:

    gcloud beta deployment-manager types list --provider composite
  4. Describe your new type:

    gcloud beta deployment-manager types describe ha-service-example --provider composite
  5. Create a new configuration that deploys your type. Replace [PROJECT_ID] with your project ID:

    - name: ha-service-example
      type: [PROJECT_ID]/composite:ha-service-example
        - us-central1-b
        - us-central1-a

    Save the configuration as example-config.yaml. Notice that that you did not have to import any templates in your configuration.

  6. Deploy your new composite type:

    gcloud deployment-manager deployments create ha-service-deployment --config example-config.yaml

    The API returns with a list of resources created from the type:

    Waiting for create [operation-1488254932422-5498f5a950d71-2bd3b8c8-b13ddab5]...done.
    Create operation operation-1488254932422-5498f5a950d71-2bd3b8c8-b13ddab5 completed successfully.
    NAME                                            TYPE                             STATE      ERRORS  INTENT
    ha-service-deployment-lb-fr                      compute.v1.forwardingRule        COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-lb-hc                      compute.v1.httpHealthCheck       COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-lb-tp                      compute.v1.targetPool            COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-a-as   compute.v1.autoscaler            COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-a-igm  compute.v1.instanceGroupManager  COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-a-it   compute.v1.instanceTemplate      COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-b-as   compute.v1.autoscaler            COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-b-igm  compute.v1.instanceGroupManager  COMPLETED  []
    ha-service-deployment-service-us-central1-b-it   compute.v1.instanceTemplate      COMPLETED  []

Congratulations, you created your first composite type!

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