What are the Most Important AWS Tools?

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Last updated on
11th Mar, 2021
Published
30th Sep, 2019
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What are the Most Important AWS Tools?

Below are some of the best AWS tools that are part of the AWS ecosystem: 

  • AWS code commit
  • CodeBuild
  • CodeDeploy
  • AWS CodeStar
  • AWS Cloud9

AWS code commit:

AWS CodeCommit is a control service provided by Amazon Web Services that allows the users to privately store and manage their assets in the cloud. It provides its users to maintain secure and reliable GIT repositories. Your assets may include anything ranging from documents, source code to binaries. The AWS CodeCommit works smoothly with your existing GIT tools since it works with the standard functionality of GIT. The benefits of CodeCommit are as follows:

  1. It is a fully managed service hosted by AWS: The users need not worry about managing their own hardware and software hence there are no hardware requirements for scaling and no requirement of server software, thus no requirements for updates and installations. Therefore it eliminates the service overhead providing highly durable service.
  2. Security: Your assets are encrypted while being delivered or used and also while unused. This provides high security.
  3. Limitless: CodeCommit is very flexible and does not impose any restrictions on the size of your repositories or the type of files being stored.
  4. Scalability: CodeCommit can be scaled up with an increased number of files, an increase in the size of the files, and a long revision history according to your development requirements.
  5. Integration with third-party services: In the AWS cloud, your repositories are maintained and stored close to your other development resources in order to allow easy and fast access and hence improve the speed of your development lifecycle.
  6. AWS commands and APIs: You can use your already existing GIT tools along with its own AWS commands and APIs.

Users who are familiar with GIT repositories can easily understand AWS CodeCommit but in case you are unaware of this, the process of learning is pretty simple. The CodeCommit provides a console for creating repositories and listing them down. The users can find the information related to any repository and can clone it to their own personal computers in a few easy steps. Users can work from the command line on their local machines or use a GUI-based editor.

CodeBuild

CodeBuild eliminates the need to manage, provision and build your own build servers. CodeBuild continuously runs builds simultaneously and continuously processes them so that your build processes need not wait in a queue. Therefore CodeBuild is a fully readymade service that runs tests, compiles source codes and builds packages that are ready to be deployed and function. You can use prepackaged build environment or you can use your own build tools in your own custom made environment and hence can get started with it easily. The benefits of CodeBuild are as follows:

  1. Fully managed: CodeBuild is a fully managed build service. There is no software or hardware to be installed or deployed. Hence you need not set up, update, patch, or manage your own build servers.
  2. Automatic scaling: CodeBuild continuously and automatically scales up or down according to your development requirements. It can handle a large number of build processes simultaneously. It immediately processes all the incoming builds so that they don't have to wait in the queue, which in turn increases the speed of your process.
  3. Pay as you go: In CodeBuild, you are charged per minute according to the resources you use. Hence you need to pay only for the time your build is being performed. This is cost-effective as you need not pay for the idle duration when you are not using the resources.
  4. Extensible: You can create a customized build environment that is supported by CodeBuild along with prepackaged build tools and runtimes which are customized according to your needs. CodeBuild is compatible and supports a wide range of tools and runtimes.
  5. It is secure: Your build artifacts are encrypted with customer-specific keys which are managed by the AWS key management service. You can assign user-specific permission to your build processes using AWS Identity and Access Management.

CodeDeploy

CodeDeploy automates code deployment to any instance. It includes instances such as EC2 instances and instances running on other premises, serverless lambda functions, and Amazon ECS services. You need not make changes to your original codes before using CodeDeploy hence it is very convenient to use. It can deploy application content that runs on servers and is stored in Bitbucket or Git repositories or  Amazon S3 buckets. CodeDeploy lets you deploy a wide variety of application content such as follows: 

  • Scripts
  • Packages
  • Multimedia files
  • Executable
  • Code
  • Web and configuration files
  • Serverless AWS Lambda function

CodeDeploy facilitates the following processes:

  • Updates your applications automatically hence eliminating the risks involved with manual deployments.
  • It avoids downtime during application deployment.
  • It rapidly releases and incorporates a new feature being introduced.
  • Update AWS lambda function versions.

The CodeDeploy service scales according to your infrastructure and can be scaled up and down according to your requirements so that you can easily deploy your application to one or more instances. CodeDeploy functions along with many systems for continuous integration and delivery, source control, continuous deployment, and configuration management. The CodeDeploy console also has a provision for performing search operations for your resources such as deployment applications, build projects, repositories and pipelines.

What are the Advantages of AWS CodeDeploy:

  1. Automated deployment: CodeDeploy automates code deployment to any instance. It includes instances such as EC2 instances and instances running on other premises, serverless lambda functions, and Amazon ECS services. In addition to this, it also scales up and down according to your development requirements in order to adjust a large number of instances.
  2. Minimize downtime: CodeDeploy helps maximize your application availability. If your application is using Amazon on-premise EC2 compute platform, CodeDeploy performs a continuous update across Amazon E2 instance. The number of instances that should be made available offline for updates can also be specified. The latest application revision is installed on replacement instances during a blue/green deployment process. Traffic is rerouted to these instances when they are selected or after your environment setup is complete. In both of these processes, CodeDeploy keeps a check on the health of your application in accordance with the rules that you set up.
  3. Stop and rollback: You can manually or automatically stop your deployment and reverse the deployment process in case any error occurs.
  4. Easy to adopt: CodeDeploy is platform-independent. Hence you can use it with any application. You can reuse your setup code. CodeDeploy can also be integrated with your software process and continuous delivery toolchain.
  5. Centralized control: There is a provision for centralized control through CodeDeploy console or the AWS CLI through which you can launch and track the status of your deployment. A list is maintained which mentions when each application revision was deployed and to which EC2 instance. This report is returned and can be used to keep a track.

CodeDeploy can deploy applications to three computer platforms which are as follows:

  • AWS lambda
  • EC2/On premises
  • Amazon ECS

There are two deployment options in CodeDeploy:

  • In-place deployment: In this method, the latest application is installed, the new version is started and validated. The current application on each instance in the deployment group is stopped. A load balancer can be incorporated to achieve this. Only deployments that use the EC2/On-Premises compute platform can use in-place deployments.
  • Blue/green deployment: This depends on the computing platform that you use: 
  • Blue/green deployment on EC2/ on-premises compute platform: The instances in the original deployment environment are replaced with a different set of replacement instances.
  • Blue/green on an AWS lambda compute function: In this deployment process, the traffic is redirected to the environment with your updated lambda versions from your current serverless environment. 
  • Blue/green on an Amazon ECS compute platform: The traffic is redirected to a replacement task set from the task set with the original version in an Amazon ECS service.

AWS CodeStar

AWS CodeStar provides a unified user interface that allows users to develop, build and deploy applications on AWS quickly. All the software management activities can be controlled from one place. You can set up your entire continuous delivery toolchain with AWS CodeStar. It facilitates the entire team to work together as the cooperation is taken care of. You can easily manage access and add viewers, owners, and contributors to your project. An AWS CodeStar project is equipped with a project management dashboard with an issue tracking capability tool provided by JIRA software. You only need to pay for the resources that you are using in your development hence there are no additional charges for AWS CodeStar.

The benefits of AWS CodeStar are as follows:

  1. Easy coordination: You can manage your software delivery in one place. It provides a centralized and unified user interface hence you can easily coordinate your day to day major and minor development tasks and keep updated without having to switch among various consoles. AWS CodeStar integrated Atlassian’s JIRA software which helps you to easily track your any issues including related to the development process. It is an excellent tool that allows project management directly in the AWS JIRA dashboard. It lets you keep a record of all the application activity and keep a track of the progress across all stages of your development process from a common centralized place including code updates, commit, build and so on.
  2. Easy to set up: It is very user-friendly and you can quickly get started with setting up your environment and continuous delivery toolchain for developing, testing, and building your application code. You can start with the various templates provided for Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Lambda. You can also make changes to your original source code using one of the many options available like Microsoft Visual Studio, AWS Cloud9, and Eclipse.
  3. Facilitates teamwork: All the software management activities can be controlled from one place. You can set up your entire continuous delivery toolchain with AWS CodeStar. It facilitates the entire team to work together as the cooperation is taken care of. You can easily manage access and add viewers, owners, and contributors to your project. An AWS CodeStar project is equipped with a project management dashboard with an issue tracking capability tool provided by JIRA software. Hence you can easily collaborate with your team across your project in a safe and secure manner. You can easily manage access without the need to configure your own policy for each service. AWS CodeStar provides built-in role-based policies that follow AWS Identity and Access Management best practices so that you can easily assign project access to the team members.
  4. Variety of project templates: There is a wide variety of project templates for you to choose from which you can use to develop many applications including web applications, web services, websites, and even Alexa skills. AWS CodeStar project templates support many programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, Python, JAVA, and C#.

AWS Cloud9

AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based and browser-based integrated development environment (IDE) that makes it easy for users to write, run, and debug their applications. These operations can be performed from any machine since it is cloud-based and also using any browser. Cloud9 is equipped with software and tools needed for commonly used dynamic programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, and C++. This eliminates the effort and time required to install and configure your development machine. Cloud9 is also integrated with AWS CodeStar discussed above which helps in easy and successful deployment of your applications to various instances including AWS.

What are the Benefits of Cloud9:

  1. Easy collaboration: You can easily share your development environments with your team members and work which lets you see the changes made by them in real-time while they type. It also has a provision for chatting from within the IDE.
  2. Code with just a browser: You can write code, run and debug it using just a browser without the need to install or maintain a local IDE. The Cloud9 code editor is equipped with features like code completion, step-through debugging, and code hinting.
  3. Build serverless applications: It is easy to write, run, and build serverless applications using AWS Cloud9. It facilitates this by preconfiguring the development environments with all the SDKs, libraries, and plug-ins required for the serverless applications.
  4. Quickly start new projects: It is easy to start new projects using AWS Cloud9 since it is prepackaged with tooling for around 40 programming languages including Python, JAVA, Ruby, Go, C++, and other commonly used languages. This eliminates the need to install or configure files, libraries, SDKs, and plug-ins for your machine. You can also maintain multiple development environments to separate your project resources since it is cloud-based.

We hope that tools serve the purpose that you were looking for. There are several other tools that can help you optimize the development process and strengthen your business. With AWS, you can get all these benefits at an affordable cost. For more information on the AWS tools, check out the KnowledgeHut’s AWS Certification course.

Profile

Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.