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To improve the sharing of ServerTemplates, RightScale has introduced the primary and alternate namespaces. The primary namespace is similar to Chef Server in that you can only have one instance of a given cookbook version in the primary namespace (e.g. only one instance of "php 1.0.0"). The alternate namespace is primarily used for importing cookbooks from ServerTemplates and allows multiple instances of a given cookbook version (e.g. a "php 1.0.0" cookbook from RightScale and a "php 1.0.0" cookbook from Zend).
There are multiple differences in behavior between cookbooks in each namespace; use of the primary namespace is generally recommended for cookbooks that are being used in ServerTemplate design. When building ServerTemplates, RightScale reads cookbook dependency data from the cookbook metadata and will automatically resolve dependencies using cookbooks in the primary namespace only.
You can perform the following actions depending on which namespace your cookbook belongs to:
If you are using your own cookbooks to build ServerTemplates -- that is, you are pulling in cookbooks from an external repository -- you should be using the primary namespace. The primary namespace is similar to Chef Server in that you can only have one instance of a given cookbook version in the primary namespace (e.g. only one instance of "php 1.0.0").
Cookbooks in the primary namespace:
Cookbooks that have been brought into your account by importing a ServerTemplate from the Marketplace are placed in the alternate namespace to ensure that conflict with other existing cookbooks is avoided.
Cookbooks in the alternate namespace:
There are use cases in which the alternate namespace can be extremely useful. You may find that the development workflows in your organization require multiple developers to modify cookbooks without affecting others. For example, if you use Cookbook A and Cookbook B in your ServerTemplates, a developer may need to modify Cookbook A without affecting others. In this case, the developer could import Cookbook A into the alternate namespace, modify his/her ServerTemplate to use this cookbook, and then make any modifications and perform testing without impacting the "production" cookbook in the primary namespace. Once the changes are complete, the developer can bump the version if needed and then re-import the cookbook into the primary namespace making it available to all other users.
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