AWS CodeStar Wants to Be Your Everything

AWS CodeStar

AWS CodeStar

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is basically the Internet, as it handles so much hosting that a brief outage can take out a multitude of popular Websites. In an effort to go all-in for developers, Amazon is now introducing CodeStar, a way to develop, build and deploy within AWS.

The unstated goal of AWS CodeStar is to get teams up and running quickly, then support their process through continuous integration (CI), all without linking to many of the most popular services or tools. It supports JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby and PHP, and leans heavily into existing AWS services. CodeStar also supports “any code editor that supports Git.” (It only lists Visual Studio and Eclipse; all other Git management is done from the command line.)

CodeStar still uses a top-down approach for new projects. An administrator must build a project, then invite team members to work on it. From there, the develop-build-deploy-update cycle begins without the explicit need for the manager to be involved in the process.

CodeStar also asks that you use templates, which it pulls from AWS services such as Lambda, EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk. The pre-configured templates serve as boilerplate jump-starters for new projects, and “can create software development projects like micro-services, Alexa skills, web applications and more.”

TaraWebProject lives inside CodeStar, serving as the resource management for each project. Managers can monitor commits, team membership (and allow outsiders to view a project), a project’s wiki and delivery pipeline. It dips into Jira for issue tracking.

CodeStar doesn’t work with GitHub because TaraWebProject is meant to replace it. Amazon doesn’t say as much, but the tooling it provides lets us know. If you use CodeStar, TaraWebProject has its own git management tools in a simple format.

AWS CodeStar even links to CloudWatch, Amazon’s built-in app monitoring service. While not as robust as most others, it does a good job of monitoring usage, an important metric for any cloud-hosted service. Additionally, CodeStar is free to use; you only pay for other AWS services.

This platform won’t be for everyone, despite its aim as a general-use tool. Continuous integration is most useful on the Web. For mobile, we’re starting to see platform providers crack down on tools used in CI. Amazon’s use of all-purpose languages like Python, Ruby and JavaScript only underscore its aim. Despite its headline-inducing outage, AWS keeps us up and running most of the time, so those building on it may want to give CodeStar a shot.

Image Credit: Amazon

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