Can I deploy and use a Microservice in Entando without using the Entando Component Repository?

is the ECR the only way to deploy a microservice in Entando?

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Yep, you can deploy plugins outside of the lifecycle provided by the Entando Component Repository (ECR). The ECR provides automation and reuse and simplification of installing Entando components but everything the ECR does is available in Kubernetes via kubectl or in the App Builder for UI components.

You can learn more and see a tutorial on manual installation of a microservice plugin and micro frontends in the Entando docs.