Describing Kyma in Relation to Kubernetes

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe briefly the Kyma open-source project
  • Compare the Kyma open-source project with SAP BTP, Kyma runtime
  • Explain how Kyma extends Kubernetes

What is Kyma?

Like Kubernetes, Kyma is an open-source project. It provides additional features that make it easier to develop and run applications on Kubernetes. In a nutshell, Kyma combines the power of Kubernetes with a set of best-in-class tools and open-source projects, that empowers developers to develop, run, and operate secure and scalable cloud-native applications.

The Kyma project was started in 2017 and is still under active development. The project is hosted on GitHub and is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. The main contributor is SAP.

Kyma is based on the Kubernetes Operator pattern. It is a Kubernetes controller that allows you to extend the Kubernetes API with your resources and controllers.

The open-source Kyma project can be installed on any Kubernetes cluster. However, Kyma is also available as a managed service on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). The managed service is called SAP BTP, Kyma runtime. Compare both options in the SAP Help Portal here.
In fact, Kyma also comes with its own command line interface (CLI) called Kyma CLI. However, this CLI is not used in this specialization, since all major tasks can be done with the kubectl CLI as well.

Additional Features Provided by Kyma

Let's take a closer look at the components that are installed with Kyma.

Click on each component to find out more:

Comparing Open-Source Kyma and SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime

Move the slider below to find out which features are available in SAP BTP. Kyma runtime.

When comparing the open-source Kyma project with the managed service SAP BTP, Kyma runtime, you can see that the managed service has some limitations. However, the SAP BTP, Kyma runtime is a managed Kubernetes and managed Kyma environment. This means that you don't have to worry about the installation and maintenance of the Kubernetes cluster and Kyma. You can focus on developing and running your applications. On top of that, you also get service level agreements (SLAs) for the managed Kubernetes and managed Kyma environment and a centrally hosted Kyma Dashboard.

We do not cover the two unavailable components (as shown in the picture above) in this course. Instead, we focus on the available components of the SAP BTP, Kyma runtime. Jeager and Kiali are both open-source projects, which have their own documentation. You can find the documentation for Jeager here and for Kiali here.


You learned about the Kyma project and its additional features, which extend Kubernetes. You also gained insights into the components which come with the installation of Kyma. Furthermore, you got an understanding of the differences between the open-source Kyma project and the managed service SAP BTP, Kyma runtime.

Further Reading: Kyma in an Overview

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