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AWS Debuts New Tools for Cloud Developers

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) announced several new services for developers using its cloud platform during the keynote address of the AWS Summit that opened in New York today.

Among the announcements were: a device farm for mobile testing; an API Gateway for setting up back-end services for mobile, Web and other apps; a revision control service called CodeCommit; and a software release automation service called CodePipeline. Here's a rundown on each.

Available next week is the AWS Device Farm, which lets developers test the performance of Android and Fire OS apps on a cloud-based repository of real smartphones and tablets, similar to services such as the Perfecto Mobile Continuous Quality Lab and the Xamarin Test Cloud.

It lets developers upload their apps to the cloud, where they're tested against whatever devices they choose, and get back a report in minutes that details possible bugs and performance issues. It will be available July 13, sporting a free tier that comes with 250 device minutes, after which the charge is $0.17 per device minute. An unmetered plan charges a flat monthly rate of $250 per device.

"Developers can use AWS Device Farm to test real-world customer scenarios, fine-tuning test environments with a broad set of device configurations, including language, location, app data, and app dependencies," AWS said in a news release today. "AWS Device Farm also makes it easy for developers to focus on the most important issues by providing comprehensive, actionable reports as tests are completed. AWS Device Farm automatically identifies and groups identical errors across multiple devices, allowing developers to quickly and efficiently analyze data from potentially hundreds of tests."

The Amazon API Gateway is a new pay-as-you-go service that lets developers create and run back-ends for mobile, Web and other applications. It provides infrastructure services such as authorization, access control, traffic management, monitoring, analytics and version management, according to Barr.

"The API Gateway makes it easy for you to connect all types of applications to API implementations that run on AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), or a publicly addressable service hosted outside of AWS," Barr said.

Announced last November, generally available as of today is AWS CodeCommit, a managed revision control service that works with all Git tools. It hosts code repositories and can take care of the hosting, scaling or maintaining of source code control infrastructure.

"Behind the scenes, CodeCommit implements Git in a scalable, redundant, and durable fashion so that your code and other assets will be safe and accessible," Barr said. "CodeCommit stores your files in encrypted repositories and uses IAM roles to control developer and administrative access. All data that moves to and from your development environment goes across HTTPS or SSH connections. CodeCommit runs in the AWS Cloud and is a great fit for situations where your development team works from multiple locations or when you need to collaborate with vendors or other partners."

Also announced last fall was AWS CodePipeline, now available, which helps developers standardize and automate the release of software to make the process more reliable and efficient.

"CodePipeline is a continuous delivery service for software," Barr said. "It allows you to model, visualize and automate the steps that are required to release your software. You can define and then fully customize all of the steps that your code takes as it travels from check-in, to build, on to testing, and then to deployment.

"Your organization, like most others, probably uses a variety of tools (open source and otherwise) as part of your build process," Barr continued. "The built-in integrations, along with those that are available from our partners, will allow you to use your existing tools in this new and highly automated workflow-driven world. You can also connect your own source control, build, test, and deployment tools to CodePipeline using the new custom action API."

Though not so developer-centric, the AWS Service Catalog, also announced last year, is kind of a repository for IT departments that helps them provide functionality via services approved for AWS use. Those services range from virtual machine (VM) images and other software to servers and databases.

Administrators manage portfolios of these services and apply rules for user access, via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). Administrators can grant access to users, groups and roles. Users access a list of portfolios to which they have access via a portal and can launch the ones they want to use.

"We wanted to give large organizations the ability to support line-of-business applications and to deliver all sorts of services to their internal constituency, while giving them the templates, knobs, levers, and fences that they need to have in order to maintain consistency, regulate access, promulgate best practices, and manage their budget," Barr said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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