A snapshot is a collection of specific component versions, usually versions that are known to work together. Typically, a snapshot is generated in an uncontrolled environment–meaning one without— approvals. When a snapshot is created, a picture of the application's current state is captured. As an application moves through different environments, snapshots can ensure that proper component versions are used.

Snapshots help manage complex deployments—deployments with multiple tiers and development teams. For example, after testing and confirming that team A's component works with teams B's, a snapshot can be taken. Then, as development progresses, additional snapshots can be taken and used to model the effort and drive the entire deployment, coordinating versions, configurations, and processes.