Let me answer each your question in parts.
What the point is?
As per Orbs Introduction:
orbs are shareable packages of configuration elements, including jobs, commands, and executors.
CircleCI provides certified orbs, along with 3rd-party orbs authored by CircleCI partners
The advantages of this approach are that an authorized package of jobs, commands, and executors is offered.
Assuming hundreds of
orbs, it looks like a community-approved plugin/addon ecosystem. E.g.
Ansible roles or
Jenkins plugins or
orbs vs shell functions/script
then it can hardly be replaced by a simple combinations of shell commands/functions.
Seems like unnecessary lockin?
As for lock-in concerns: you are right.
It looks like lock-in. And it is lock-in.
But as I know, there isn't any portable solution than can be easily migrated from one
CI/CD system to another. E.g. try to convert
But lock-in's, as usual, tend to give you an advantage in speed or ease of deployment.
Since there are four executor types (
macos), it gives you more portable and cross-platform approach.