»Waypoint vs. Helm

Helm is a package manager for Kubernetes. Helm makes it easier to package, version, install, and upgrade a set of YAML files comprising the necessary resources within Kubernetes to run an application. Helm is a popular system used by Kubernetes users to deploy their applications.

Waypoint is not a package manager. Waypoint is a tool for describing how to build, deploy, and release applications and providing a consistent workflow on top of that: waypoint up.

Waypoint can use Helm to satisfy the "deploy" step. Helm also sometimes satisfies the "release" step incidentally since you can setup new Kubernetes resources for traffic management, but Helm doesn't have a built-in concept of released vs unreleased applications.

Helm does not provide a "build" step. You are expected to build your container images and provide them to Helm. Waypoint represents a build step since the goal of Waypoint is to get you from source to production. If you use Helm with Waypoint, Waypoint can orchestrate building an image and providing that image name to Helm.

Helm does not provide higher level features such as logs, exec, configuration, etc. Helm does make it easy to access the logs of software it deploys by relying on Kubernetes. Waypoint provides a consistent experience for logs across all platforms.

Helm is Kubernetes-specific. Waypoint is platform-agnostic.