Set up the containers and services managed by an app

The topic describes how to set up the containers and services for a Snowflake Native App with Snowpark Container Services.

Create an image repository

To manage containers with a Snowflake Native App, providers must create an image repository in the provider account to store the images required by the app.

The image repository must exist within a database and schema. The following example shows how to create an an image repository using the CREATE IMAGE REPOSITORY command.

CREATE DATABASE provider_db;
CREATE SCHEMA provider_schema;


Snowflake recommends that providers create the image repository outside the application package.

If the application package is attached to a listing and the listing is configured to use Cross-Cloud Auto-Fulfillment an image repository within the application package would be replicated and additional costs incurred.

The images uploaded to this repository are accessible to the application package when adding a version definition. The app has can only access the images in this repository that are specified in the manifest file of the application package.

The following consideration apply to image repositories in the context of an app with containers:

  • External image repositories are not supported. Image repositories that are outside Snowflake cannot be referenced by any services within the container. This is applicable to services that exist in or outside of the app.

  • Providers cannot directly share an image repository with an app. For example, providers cannot use the GRANT TO SHARE IN APPLICATION PACKAGE command.

  • Providers can store multiple container images in an image repository. However, container images that are not explicitly listed in the manifest are not accessible by the app in the consumer’s account.

  • When a provider adds a version definition to an application package the container images included in that version cannot be modified. The images for that version are immutable and persist throughout the life cycle of the version. To alter the containers within an app, providers must use a new version.

Upload container images to the image repository

After creating an image repository, providers use Docker commands to upload the container images required by the app to the image repository. The specific commands required depend on the provider’s environment. However, the general workflow is:

  1. docker login

  2. docker build

  3. docker tag

  4. docker push

The following shows a typical example of how to use these commands:

$ docker login
$ docker build --rm --platform linux/amd64 -t service:1.0 .
$ docker tag service:1.0
$ docker push org-provider-account.registry.snowflakecomputing.comprovider_db/provider_schema/provider_repo/service:1.0

Create the service specification file

The service specification is a YAML file that Snowpark Container Services uses to configure and run a service. See Service specification reference for general information on the syntax of this file.

The following example shows the fields in the service specification file that are required by an app with containers.

  - image: /provider_db/provider_schema/provider_repo/server:prod
    name: server
  - image: /provider_db/provider_schema/provider_repo/web:1.0
    name: web
  - name: invoke
    port: 8000
  - name: ui
    port: 5000
    public: true


The service specification file references container images using the original database, schema and image repository names. During installation or upgrade, a service is created from the service specification file..

Explicit registry URLs, for example are not supported and result in an error. The location of the image must always a full-qualified name in the provider account.