4 Essential AWS tools to improve workflow 2019

Written by neatly.io on 7th February 2019

People often refer to AWS as something that played a significant role in optimizing the processes and workflow in their operation. That sentiment can be misleading though, considering the fact that AWS is an umbrella term for a wide variety of different tools and programs. Whether you have just implemented a CI/CD pipeline and want further guidance, or you are a long term user of certain AWS software programs and you want to understand what else is out there, this article aims to shed some light on the various tools.

Understanding the Various AWS Tools Available to You

One thing that is worth mentioning before delving into this matter further, is the fact that the various AWS tools all come under different subscription packages. For instance, it isn’t a matter of simply paying for an overarching AWS account, but a case of paying individual monthly fees for various tools. With that considered, it is worth assessing precisely what tools will benefit your business and how before making the investment. Tools such as AWS Codecommit, AWS Code Build and AWS Code Deploy all have their own value to offer to your business and software development endeavours, but not necessarily all of them are right for you.

5 Essential AWS Tools to Improve Workflow

#1 Amazon S3 Storage

If there was an AWS tool that every Developer should have, Amazon S3 storage would be it. You can think of this AWS tool as cloud storage for coders. There are a few S3 best practices to follow in order to ensure that you get the most out of the tool, but the general concept is relatively simple.

In crude terms, Amazon S3 storage offers users the opportunity to store and access huge volumes of data from all over the web. In a practical sense, this can be things like big data analytics, data for mobile applications, data for web builds, etc. Not only is the data storage capacity huge, Amazon also protects data. This does a lot in improving workflow, in making all important data and files easily accessible in one central location, as opposed to having to trawl all around company drives and the internet to gather it all.

#2 AWS Code Pipeline

As far as running a CI/CD pipeline process through AWS goes, AWS Code Pipeline software can be considered as the backbone that is required for the entire operation. Every time a code change is pushed, the AWS Code Pipeline automatically conducts dozens of comprehensive tests on the code to ensure that no errors are caused as a result. Provided everything is okay, the tool moves the code into the CD stage.

Continuous Integration testing is something that you should absolutely be doing anyway, but from an AWS perspective, this is one of the most useful tools you will encounter. The benefits of testing through the AWS Code Pipeline certainly speak for themselves: saved time and resources as a consequence of automating testing rather than conducting manual code tests, in addition to a more thorough and reliable test method.

#3 AWS Cloud 9

Those looking for a simple way to create, test, run and debug codes will be delighted by how user friendly AWS’ Cloud 9 code creation tool is. Tools like the AWS Code Pipeline, Code Commit and Code Deploy are useful and all, but they are nothing without having the initial code to work on. AWS Cloud 9 is a cloud based IDE that enables users to create code from anywhere using just a browser. All of the handy tools and applications that you may need (such as PHP, Python, Java, etc) are already loaded onto the tool for easy access.

Optimizing the code creation process by making it more simple, promotes faster and more efficient working which in turn equates to a faster workflow.

#4 AWS Code Build  

So you have created your codes in AWS Cloud 9, you have tested them extensively in the AWS Code Pipeline and now you are good to go. With a perfect code, the next step is of course to push through to the build stage. AWS Code Build is an easy and effortless way to do that. The tool saves so much time and money as far as building and creating software applications goes. Instead of having to invest in, manage and constantly scale up your own build servers, the entire process can be centralized in this effective tool. This means a smooth, efficient workflow. By using AWS Code Build, you have no risk of encountering delays and bottlenecks as you may if you decide to utilize your own servers and hit capacity.

The AWS umbrella of tools offers a great many benefits to Coders and Developers. The important thing is to thoroughly research each of the tools available first, read up on all elements, and make a detailed plan on what could be beneficial to use and how to integrate it within your operation. If you are completely new to AWS, this is very much a learning curve. Though there is an element of upfront investment and retraining required, it will surely pay off in the long run when your processes and workflow are more automated, efficient, and run more smoothly.