CodeCatalyst Automatically Sets Up Developer Environments

Amazon has announced a preview release of CodeCatalyst, a unified software development and delivery service that the company says enables software teams to plan, build and deliver applications on AWS with reduced friction throughout the development lifecycle. At AWS re:Invent 2022 in Las Vegas, Amazon VP and CTO Werner Vogels detailed how CodeCatalyst offers a “single place” where developers can collaborate to create an app on Amazon Web Services. CodeCatalyst is designed to make it simple to marshal resources and toggle between different application development environments, Vogels explained from the stage at his Thursday keynote.

“You can populate a project with code and dependencies and you can use your favorite [integrated development environment],” TechCrunch reports Vogel said during a two-hour presentation.

Among the features offered in the 2022 preview of CodeCatalyst are blueprints that not only scaffold a project, but also set up shared project resources to support the application development lifecycle “in minutes,” and not just initial starter code.

Blueprints can create a source code repository “complete with initial sample code and AWS service configuration for popular application patterns, which follow AWS best practices by default,” the company explains in a blog post. For those who prefer an external Git repository, GitHub is supported.

The blueprint can also add an issue tracker, “but external trackers such as Jira can also be used,” according to Amazon, noting that blueprint also adds a “build and release pipeline” for CI/CD. At launch, customers can choose from blueprints with Typescript, Python, Java, .NET, Javascript for languages and React, Angular, and Vue frameworks, with more to come.

“It’s true that, with the widespread shift to digital begun during the [COVID-19] pandemic, app developers are facing increased pressure from clients to build faster,” but “disparate, disorganized tools appear to be getting in the way,” TechCrunch says, citing a 2022 Reveal survey of developers and IT professionals that indicates 36 percent of respondents said issues with project management were among the top challenges.

“Amazon CodeCatalyst uses a devfile to define the configuration of an environment that comes in four resizable instance options made up of two, four, eight or 16 virtual CPUs,” explains DevOps, going on to detail how “the devfile defines and configures all the resources needed to code, test and debug a project.”

Such functionality makes it possible to deploy sample code in mere minutes, DevOps writes, noting that “developers can work with the AWS Cloud9 integrated development environment (IDE) or use tools such as JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate, PyCharm Pro, GoLand and Visual Studio Code on their local machine.”

As of last week’s introduction, CodeCatalyst is being made available at no charge on the free AWS tier. That may change when the service transitions from preview to commercial general availability.

AWS Launches Application Composer, a Low-Code Tool for Building Serverless Apps, TechCrunch, 12/1/22
Amazon Announces Eventbridge Pipes, a Simpler Way to Connect Events from Multiple Services, TechCrunch, 12/1/22

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