A collection of terms used in the Platform Working Group published papers.

See also


A platform aggregates capabilities to serve developers and operators in development and delivery of products, services and apps. In reference to the scenarios it aims to support, a platform may be named a “Developer Platform”, a “Delivery Platform”, an “App Platform” or even a “Cloud Platform.” The connotations of the older term “Platform-as-a-Service”, or PaaS, are also influential.

Platform capability providers

The projects and systems that provide the core capabilities offered by the platform. Providers can be maintained by either external organizations or internal teams, and capabilities can be infrastructure, runtime, or other supporting services.

Platform engineering

The practice of building and maintaining shared platforms and capabilities and presenting them to end users. Emerging from the DevOps movement’s goal of cooperation between application developers and operators, platform engineering proposes using common platforms as the foundation of that cooperation. The decision to use shared platforms impacts not only the technology but also the people, processes, policies and expected business outcomes at an organization.

Platform engineers

The role focused on developing and maintaining interfaces and tools to enable provisioning and integration of platform capabilities in applications, according to the requirements and instructions provided by platform product managers. Platform developers are usually grouped in platform teams.

Platform product managers

The role chiefly responsible for understanding the experience of platform users, building a roadmap that addresses platform product gaps, requirements, and opportunities, and managing platform teams as a part of daily work.

Platform teams

A cross-functional team that develops and maintains interfaces to and experiences with platform capabilities - like Web portals, custom APIs, and golden path templates.

Platform teams are managed by platform product managers and involve platform developers. As the platform evolves and become more advanced, other roles can become part of a platform team, including, but not limited to, operators, QA analysts, UI/UX designers, technical writers, developer advocates.

Platform users

The target audience for a platform which includes but is not limited to app developers and operators, data scientists, COTS software operators, and information workers - whoever runs software on the platform or uses platform provided capabilities.

Thinnest Viable Platform (TVP)

A concept originally defined in the book Team Topologies by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. The definition says: “A TVP is a careful balance between keeping the platform small and ensuring that the platform is helping to accelerate and simplify software delivery for teams building on the platform.”