Create Different Images for Different Development Tasks

When implementing Docker to help you with your development work you need to create and run different images to carry out different parts of the development process. By having a number of different images you can be sure that you always use the right tools for the job, and that the images you use are optimized to carry out their particular tasks.

For example, if you are building a COBOL application you need to use an image that provides the support to enable you to do that, but if you only want to execute an application the image you use does not need to include the build functionality.

Working with different images for different purposes and basing images on other images are techniques used widely across the Docker community.

For instance, on Windows, Visual COBOL is provided as two base images. The smallest of the two is based on the microsoft/dotnet-framework image which does not have any build tools for .NET development but does include all relevant functionality for native COBOL development. The second, larger, image includes the extra build tools provided by the microsoft/dotnet-framework-build image (SDK). This image includes NuGet, .NET Framework profiles and File Tracker.

The images that include build tools all have the suffix -build in the repository name, which enables you to identify them as images ideally suited for building and testing.

Micro Focus uses similar naming and image layering schemes in the Docker demonstrations that are supplied with Visual COBOL and recommends that you adopt the same sort of conventions.

For example: