How DevOps Teams Automate with AWS CodeStar

DevOps teams share one common goal: to increase the frequency and quality of application deployments. AWS CodeStar is described as the AWS service to "Quickly Develop, Build, and Deploy Applications on AWS”.  DevOps teams can use AWS CodeStar to quickly set up their entire continuous delivery toolchain in minutes for more reliable deployments in consistent environments, as well as less risk of error.  

 An AWS CodeStar project creates and integrates AWS services for the project development toolchain, lending DevOps teams advantages such as:

  • Ability to start immediate development on AWS in minutes
  • Help managing software delivery in one centralized location 
  • Support working securely across multiple teams

Maintaining application health can require many moving parts involving a variety of tools. AWS CodeStar provides a unified user interface, offering a centralized location to easily manage software development activities for entire DevOps teams. The service is offered at no additional charge, and users only pay for the AWS resources provisioned for developing and running applications (for example, Amazon EC2 instances).

Figure 1.1 A View of the AWS Codestar Dashboard

Automating the CI/CD Pipeline with AWS CodeStar

The CodeStar dashboard includes a view of each project, as well as the chain of services along the CI/CD pipeline including deployment automation, application build services, and code repositories. AWS CodeStar also integrates with other AWS tools, such as CodeCommit, to store code remotely, and CodePipeline for CI/CD pipeline creation. This view helps simplify DevOps processes popular when creating a CI/CD Pipeline. Teams can track the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) of each application with a single display tracking the status of each code commit, build result, infrastructure rollout and application release. 

Automating the CI/CD Pipeline with AWS CodeStar can help DevOps teams to:

  • Improve Code Quality
  • Incorporate security practices into the DevOps process
  • Improve productivity and collaboration across the entire team 
  • Monitor project activity and deadlines 

Figure 1.2 AWS CodeStar Ci/CD Pipeline setup:

You can craft a CI/CD Pipeline by simply creating an AWS CodeCommit repository and adding the code. CodeStar will create a dashboard for the project, along with a basic pipeline for building, testing, and deploying the project with AWS CodePipeline. Different parts of the pipeline interact with specific services and can also be configured for use with services such as Jenkins or GitHub.

Users can then navigate to AWS CodePipeline to view and change specific actions across their automated pipeline. One example is defining multiple stages being used, allowing for building, testing, and deployment to R&D. If everything succeeds, this process can be replicated for production.

Build with AWS CodeStar Templates 

AWS CodeStar offers DevOps teams a range of project templates to start developing applications on Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda.  The projects include the code for getting started on many popular programming languages including  PHP, Ruby, C#, Python, Java, and JavaScript. There are a number of templates available to help users deploy config rules, web applications, static web pages, web services and Alexa Skills with AWS CodeStar. 

To start utilizing templates, navigate to the Choose a project template page and choose your desired project type from the list of AWS CodeStar project templates. Users can narrow choices with the filter bar by checking boxes for the options applicable to them. For example, for a web application project written in Node.js to be deployed to Amazon EC2 instances, select the Web application, Node.js, and Amazon EC2 check boxes. From there, users can choose the template available to them in “options”. 

For help building serverless applications, the AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) simplifies packaging a serverless application deployed with CloudFormation. Using the CloudFormation template, users can generate and execute a change set defined in the CodePipeline provisioning in CloudFormation. Users can then navigate to sam-template.yml file to define a specific action such as an Alexa skill function that will then be transformed to the template. Gain access to all available templates using the SAM here

Devops teams can also automate deployments by integrating AWS CodeDeploy and Cloud Formation with AWS CodeStar to update code and deployment to AWS Lambda and EC2. This is key to maintaining a serverless production-ready application complete with automated testing, deployment, and monitoring.

Stay Agile with AWS CodeStar

AWS CodeStar provides the tools for DevOps teams to increase the frequency and quality of application deployments. With AWS CodeStar, development on AWS is possible immediately, with a breadth of tools available to help maintain application health. Start building on AWS CodeStar to take advantage of an environment that breeds innovation with increased collaboration, productivity and automation. 

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