AWS CodeStar – Quickly Develop, Build, And Deploy Applications

Amazon recently debuted AWS CodeStar. It is a platform that helps in developing and deploying applications quickly and easily. Amazon’s CTO, Werner Vogels introduced the new service in San Francisco at the recently concluded AWS Summit. According to him, with the help of this service “You can easily manage your software development activities in one place and set up your entire continuous delivery tool chain in minutes,” he summarised in his words.

Generally, there is a lengthy set up process developers have to go through before they can start coding on any project. It includes setting up of IDEs, finding right code repositories, identifying infrastructure needed for builds, tests and production, getting permissions and more. Collaborating with other stakeholders of the project remains another challenge. You need agile development techniques to build and deploy your applications on AWS quickly but most of the organizations don’t have the right resources to do that.

AWS CodeStar attempts to solve all these challenges. It simplifies the set up process for the development. The development teams working on CodeStar work on agile development workflow which improves collaboration and the project is on track by incorporating feedback from all the stakeholders. There is no need to keep track of code, configuration and libraries for each build too as AWS CodeStar handles it all for you.

Here are a few things you must know about AWS CodeStar.


  1. With CodeStar, the team doesn’t need lengthy set up time

This is true. With AWS CodeStar you can start coding and developing in a few minutes. You can set up your entire continuous delivery tool chain for coding, building, testing and deploying in a very short time. Team members can push in code and they are deployed automatically. You can start a project from a variety of templates available for Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Once you choose a template for your project, related AWS services are provisioned to you automatically and pretty soon you are all set to start coding on your project.

  1. You Can Choose Your Project Template

You can make different kinds of applications with the help of CodeStar. You can make web applications, different web services, websites, skills for Alexa and more. It supports several popular programming languages like Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Python and PHP. You can build applications which can be deployed on Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.  You can also choose a code editor of your choice – amongst others, there is Eclipse, Visual Studio or AWS Command Line interface available for you.

  1. Efficient Identity & Access Management

.CodeStar efficiently manages electronic identities and their access into the project. It is important to ensure that right individuals have right access to the project at right time. With an efficient IAM –Identity and Access Management System, you can provide secure access to everyone. Everyone gets permissions – guided by policies which specify the kind of access that can be given, the actions that can be performed, the resources on which the actions can be performed and any added conditions one would like to include. CodeStar provides built-in role based policies which follow AWS Security best practice.  With the help of CodeStar you can easily configure three kinds of access to your projects – Owner’s access, Contributor’s access and Viewer’s access, automatically. Projects thus are automatically configured with appropriate IAM access policies. AWS CodeStar’s central console thus helps you assign the roles and access to your project team members.

  1. Automated Continuous Delivery Pipeline

You can build and deploy your applications quickly. AWS CodeStar speeds up the release process with the help of AWS CodePipe line which is a CI/CD – Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery service. The CodePipe line enables you to define your pipeline structure through declarative JSON document which has details about your release workflow, its stages and actions. You can integrate third-party developer tools like GitHub or Jenkins into your release process at any stage with one click. Each project on CodeStar is pre-configured with an automated pipeline that builds, tests and deploys code with each commit continuously. AWS CodeStar uses AWSCodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS Code Pipeline and AWS CodeDeploy to make the automated continuous delivery pipeline.

  1. Central Project Dashboard

AWS CodeStar provides its users with a project dashboard. This dashboard is central to all the activities and it provides overall view of the project, important events and details about its toolchain. Users can know about the latest project activity, recent code commits and more. With the help of dashboard the users can track the status of code changes, centrally manage the activity for CI/CD pipeline, build results and go for deployments and take any remedial measures as and when needed.

The users get access to a project wiki which helps them in sharing team information such as project links, code samples and team notes. AWS CodeStar integrates with Atlassian JIRA Software which is a third party issue tracking and project management tool. It also integrates with Amazon Cloudwatch – an application monitoring service. With the help of these integrations, CodeStar users can monitor and manage application activity effectively.

  1. So, How Can You As A User Benefit From A Centralized Dashboard?

You can start new software projects on AWS in minutes using AWS CodeStar project templates for developing web applications, web services as all the project resources are configured to work together.

From the central dashboard console you as a user can assign project and roles to his or her team members without needing to create complex IAM policies so that they are able to access needed tools and resources.

A user can have the overall view of the project, the toolchain and important events from the dashboard. You can operate, visualize and collaborate on the project and investigate the issues related to a project from one place.

When your team members push code, the changes will be immediately deployed. Team members can keep track of the project and plan accordingly with issue tracking ability. It is easier for you and your team to work efficiently through the whole code lifecycle with the help of CodeStar.

  1. Available in Select Regions

The services of AWS CodeStar are not available everywhere. AWS CodeStar is available in US – East (Virginia), US-East (Ohio), US – West (Oregon) and EU – West (Ireland) regions.

  1. AWS CodeStar is Free

This is true. There is no additional charge on you for using AWS CodeStar. You only pay for the AWS resources you use. For example if you use EC2 instances or Lambda executions or S3 buckets in a project on AWS CodeStar, you would need to pay only for the said services. There is no extra or in any way hidden fees for CodeStar. It is free.

Wrapping Up

AWS CodeStar, the latest release from AWS stable is an important tool as it takes care of almost all the pain points for application developers. For developers who enter the world of AWS, the experience can be intimidating. They could get lost in the maze of documentations, endpoints, authentications and tokens. CodeStar therefore solves the problem by providing a set of preconfigured templates. It takes care of all the necessary authentications and permissions too.  It automates the process of building, testing and deploying applications on AWS to a great degree. You can find details on how to set up an AWS CodeStar account for you here. However if all this is too complicated for you, count on us to help you out. With excellent teams of Grade A professionals we can help you build and host the application, web page, web services, SaaS products and more. We use the latest tools and technologies. You will get quality at right cost.

And that will be all from my desk for now. Until next time, Adios.

Priyanka Garg

A writer, a wordsmith. Curious about the internet of everything. Interested in the cutting edge landscape of mobile apps and SAAS products. Blogs for OpenXcell - A Mobile App Development Company. Loves Jazz and Blues.