Tag Archives: AWS Cloud Development Kit

Refactoring to Serverless: From Application to Automation

Post Syndicated from Sindhu Pillai original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/refactoring-to-serverless-from-application-to-automation/

Serverless technologies not only minimize the time that builders spend managing infrastructure, they also help builders reduce the amount of application code they need to write. Replacing application code with fully managed cloud services improves both the operational characteristics and the maintainability of your applications thanks to a cleaner separation between business logic and application topology. This blog post shows you how.

Serverless isn’t a runtime; it’s an architecture

Since the launch of AWS Lambda in 2014, serverless has evolved to be more than just a cloud runtime. The ability to easily deploy and scale individual functions, coupled with per-millisecond billing, has led to the evolution of modern application architectures from monoliths towards loosely-coupled applications. Functions typically communicate through events, an interaction model that’s supported by a combination of serverless integration services, such as Amazon EventBridge and Amazon SNS, and Lambda’s asynchronous invocation model.

Modern distributed architectures with independent runtime elements (like Lambda functions or containers) have a distinct topology graph that represents which elements talk to others. In the diagram below, Amazon API Gateway, Lambda, EventBridge, and Amazon SQS interact to process an order in a typical Order Processing System. The topology has a major influence on the application’s runtime characteristics like latency, throughput, or resilience.

Serverless topology for an Order processing using AWS services

The role of cloud automation evolves

Cloud automation languages, commonly referred to as IaC (Infrastructure as Code), date back to 2011 with the launch of CloudFormation, which allowed users to declare a set of cloud resources in configuration files instead of issuing a series of API calls or CLI commands. Initial document-oriented automation languages like AWS CloudFormation and Terraform were soon complemented by frameworks like AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), CDK for Terraform, and Pulumi that introduced the ability to write cloud automation code in popular general-purpose languages like TypeScript, Python, or Java.

The role of cloud automation evolved alongside serverless application architectures. Because serverless technologies free builders from having to manage infrastructure, there really isn’t any “I” in serverless IaC anymore. Instead, serverless cloud automation primarily defines the application’s topology by connecting Lambda functions with event sources or targets, which can be other Lambda functions. This approach more closely resembles “AaC” – Architecture as Code – as the automation now defines the application’s architecture instead of provisioning infrastructure elements.

Improving serverless applications with automation code

By utilizing AWS serverless runtime features, automation code can frequently achieve the same functionality as your application code.

For example, the Lambda function below, written in TypeScript, sends a message to EventBridge:

export const handler = async (event: APIGatewayProxyEvent): Promise<APIGatewayProxyResult> => { 
    const result = // some logic
    const eventParam = new PutEventsCommand({
        Entries: [
              Detail: JSON.stringify(result),
              DetailType: 'OrderCreated',
              EventBusName: process.env.EVENTBUS_NAME,
    await eventBridgeClient.send(eventParam);     return {
       statusCode: 200,
       body: JSON.stringify({ message: 'Order created', result }),

You can achieve the same behavior using AWS Lambda Destinations, which instructs the Lambda runtime to publish an event after the completion of the function. You can configure Lambda destinations via below AWS CDK code, also written in TypeScript:

import {EventBridgeDestination} from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-lambda-destinations"

const createOrderLambda = new Function(this,'createOrderLambda', {
    functionName: `OrderService`,
    runtime: Runtime.NODEJS_20_X,
    code: Code.fromAsset('lambda-fns/send-message-using-destination'),
    handler: 'OrderService.handler',
 onSuccess: new EventBridgeDestination(eventBus)

With the AWS CDK, you can use the same programming languages for both application and automation code, allowing you to switch easily between the two.

The Lambda function can now focus on the business logic and doesn’t contain any reference to message sending or EventBridge. This separation of concerns is a best practice because changes to the business logic do not run the risk of breaking the architecture and vice versa.

export const handler = async (event: APIGatewayProxyEvent): Promise<APIGatewayProxyResult> => {
    const result = //some logic
    return {
        statusCode: 200,
        body: JSON.stringify({ message: 'Order created', result }),

Instructing the serverless Lambda runtime to send the event has several advantages over hand-coding it inside the application code

  • It decouples application logic from topology. The message destination, consisting of the type of the service (e.g., EventBridge vs. another Lambda Function) and the destination’s ARN, define the application’s architecture (or topology). Embedding message sending in the application code mixes architecture with business logic. Handling the sending of the message in the runtime separates concerns and avoids having to touch the application code for a topology change.
  • It makes the composition explicit. If application code sends a message, it will likely read the destination from an environment variable, which is passed to the Lambda function. The name of the variable that is used for this purpose is buried in the application code, forcing you to rely on naming conventions. Defining all dependencies between service instances in automation code keeps them in a central location, and allows you to use code analysis and refactoring tools to reason about your architecture or make changes to it.
  • It avoids simple mistakes. Redundant code can lead to mistakes. For example, debugging a Lambda function that accidentally swapped day and month in the message’s date field took hours. Letting the runtime send messages avoids such errors.
  • Higher-level constructs simplify permission grants. Cloud automation libraries like CDK allow the creation of higher-level constructs, which can combine multiple resources and include necessary IAM permissions. You’ll write less code and avoid debugging cycles.
  • The runtime is more robust. Delegating message sending to the serverless runtime takes care of any required retries, ensuring the message to be sent and freeing builders from having to write extra code for such undifferentiated heavy lifting.

In summary, letting the managed service handle message passing makes your serverless application cleaner and more robust. We also like to say that it becomes “serverless-native” because it fully utilizes the native services available to the application.

Refactoring to serverless-native

Shifting code from application to automation is what we call “Refactoring to Serverless”. Refactoring is a term popularized by Martin Fowler in the late 90s to describe the restructuring of source code to alter its structure without changing its external behavior. Code refactoring can be as simple as extracting code into a separate method or more sophisticated like replacing conditional expressions with polymorphism.

Developers refactor their code to improve its readability and maintainability. A common approach in Test-Driven Development (TDD) is the so-called red-green-refactor cycle: write a test, which will be red because the functionality isn’t implemented, then write the code to make the test green, and finally refactor to counteract the growing entropy in the codebase.

Serverless refactoring takes inspiration from this concept but augments it to the context of serverless automation:

Serverless refactoring: A controlled technique for improving the design of serverless applications by replacing application code with equivalent automation code.

Let’s explore how serverless refactoring can enhance the design and runtime characteristics of a serverless application. The diagram below shows an AWS Step Functions workflow that performs a quality check through image recognition. An early implementation, shown on the left, would use an intermediate AWS Lambda function to call the Amazon Rekognition service. Thanks to the launch of Step Functions’ AWS SDK service integrations in 2021, you can refactor the workflow to directly call the Rekognition API. This refactored design, seen on the right, eliminates the Lambda function (assuming it didn’t perform any additional tasks), thereby reducing costs and runtime complexity.

Replacing Lambda with Service Integration in Step Function workflow

See the AWS CDK implementation for this refactoring, in TypeScript, on GitHub.

Refactoring Limitations

The initial example of replacing application code to send a message to SQS via Lambda Destinations reveals that refactoring from application to automation code isn’t 100% behavior-preserving.

First, Lambda Destinations are only triggered when the function is invoked asynchronously. For synchronous invocations, the function passes the results back to the caller, and does not invoke the destination. Second, the serverless runtime wraps the data returned from the function inside a message envelope, affecting how the message recipient parses the JSON object. The message data is placed inside the responsePayload field if sending to another Lambda function or the detail field if sending to an EventBridge destination. Last, Lambda Destinations sends a message after the function completes, whereas application code could send the message at any point during the execution.

Lambda Destination Execution

The last change in behavior will be transparent to well-architected asynchronous applications because they won’t depend on the timing of message delivery. If a Lambda function continues processing after sending a message (for example, to EventBridge), that code can’t assume that the message has been processed because delivery is asynchronous. A rare exception could be a loop waiting for the results from the downstream message processing, but such loops violate the principles of asynchronous integration and also waste compute resources (Amazon Step Functions is a great choice for asynchronous callbacks). If such behavior is required, it can be achieved by splitting the Lambda function into two parts.

Can Serverless Refactoring be Automated?

Traditional code refactoring like “Extract Method” is automated thanks to built-in support by many code editors. Serverless refactoring isn’t (yet) a fully automatic, 100%-equivalent code transformation because it translates application code into automation code (or vice versa). While AI-powered tools like Amazon Q Developer are getting us closer to that vision, we consider serverless refactoring primarily as a design technique for developers to better utilize the AWS runtime. Improved code design and runtime characteristics outweigh behavior differences, especially if your application includes automated tests.

Incorporating refactoring into your team structures

If a single team owns both the application and the automation code, refactoring takes place inside the team. However, serverless refactoring can cross team boundaries when separate teams develop business logic versus managing the underlying infrastructure, configuration, and deployment.

In such a model, AWS recommends that the development team be responsible for both the application code and the application-specific automation, such as the CDK code to configure Lambda Destinations, Step Functions workflows, or EventBridge routing. Splitting application and application-specific automation across teams would make the development team dependent on the platform team for each refactoring and introduce unnecessary friction.

If both teams use the same Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) tool, say AWS CDK, the platform team can build reusable templates and constructs that encapsulate organizational requirements and guardrails, such as CDK constructs for S3 buckets with encryption enabled. Development teams can easily consume those resources across CDK stacks.

However, teams could use different IaC tools, for example, the infrastructure team prefers CloudFormation but the development team prefers AWS CDK. In this setup, development teams can build their automation on top of the CFN Modules provided by the infrastructure team. However, they won’t benefit from the same high-level programming abstractions as they do with CDK.

Collaboration in a split-team model

Continuous Refactoring

Just like traditional code refactoring, refactoring to serverless isn’t a one-time activity but an essential aspect of your software delivery. Because adding functionality increases your application’s complexity, regular refactoring can help keep complexity at bay and maintain your development velocity. Like with Continuous Delivery, you can improve your software delivery with Continuous Refactoring.

Teams who encounter difficulties with serverless refactoring might be lacking automated test coverage or cloud automation. So, refactoring can become a useful forcing function for teams to exercise software delivery hygiene, for example by implementing automated tests.

Getting Started

The refactoring samples discussed here are a subset of an extensive catalog of open source code examples, which you can find along with AWS CDK implementation examples at refactoringserverless.com. You can also dive deeper into how serverless refactoring can make your application architecture more loosely coupled in a separate blog post.

Use the examples to accelerate your own refactoring effort. Now Go Refactor!

How Swisscom automated Amazon Redshift as part of their One Data Platform solution using AWS CDK – Part 2

Post Syndicated from Asad Bin Imtiaz original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-swisscom-automated-amazon-redshift-as-part-of-their-one-data-platform-solution-using-aws-cdk-part-2/

In this series, we talk about Swisscom’s journey of automating Amazon Redshift provisioning as part of the Swisscom One Data Platform (ODP) solution using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), and we provide code snippets and the other useful references.

In Part 1, we did a deep dive on provisioning a secure and compliant Redshift cluster using the AWS CDK and the best practices of secret rotation. We also explained how Swisscom used AWS CDK custom resources to automate the creation of dynamic user groups that are relevant for the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles matching different job functions.

In this post, we explore using the AWS CDK and some of the key topics for self-service usage of the provisioned Redshift cluster by end-users as well as other managed services and applications. These topics include federation with the Swisscom identity provider (IdP), JDBC connections, detective controls using AWS Config rules and remediation actions, cost optimization using the Redshift scheduler, and audit logging.

Scheduled actions

To optimize cost-efficiency for provisioned Redshift cluster deployments, Swisscom implemented a scheduling mechanism. This functionality is driven by the user configuration of the cluster, as described in Part 1 of this series, wherein the user may enable dynamic pausing and resuming of clusters based on specified cron expressions:

  use_scheduler: true                                         # Whether to use Redshift scheduler
  scheduler_pause_cron: "cron(00 18 ? * MON-FRI *)"           # Cron expression for scheduler pause
  scheduler_resume_cron: "cron(00 08 ? * MON-FRI *)"          # Cron expression for scheduler resume

This feature allows Swisscom to reduce operational costs by suspending cluster activity during off-peak hours. This leads to significant cost savings by pausing and resuming clusters at appropriate times. The scheduling is achieved using the AWS CloudFormation action CfnScheduledAction. The following code illustrates how Swisscom implemented this scheduling:

if config.use_scheduler:
    cfn_scheduled_action_pause = aws_redshift.CfnScheduledAction(
        scope, "schedule-pause-action",
        # ...
        # ...

    cfn_scheduled_action_resume = aws_redshift.CfnScheduledAction(
        scope, "schedule-resume-action",
        # ...
        # ...

JDBC connections

The JDBC connectivity for Amazon Redshift clusters was also very flexible, adapting to user-defined subnet types and security groups in the configuration:

  subnet_type: "routable-private"         # 'routable-private' OR 'non-routable-private'
  security_group_id: "sg-test_redshift"   # Security Group ID for Amazon Redshift (referenced group must exists in Account)

As illustrated in the ODP architecture diagram in Part 1 of this series, a considerable part of extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes is anticipated to operate outside of Amazon Redshift, within the serverless AWS Glue environment. Given this, Swisscom needed a mechanism for AWS Glue to connect to Amazon Redshift. This connectivity to Redshift clusters is provided through JDBC by creating an AWS Glue connection within the AWS CDK code. This connection allows ETL processes to interact with the Redshift cluster by establishing a JDBC connection. The subnet and security group defined in the user configuration guide the creation of JDBC connectivity. If no security groups are defined in the configuration, a default one is created. The connection is configured with details of the data product from which the Redshift cluster is being provisioned, like ETL user and default database, along with network elements like cluster endpoint, security group, and subnet to use, providing secure and efficient data transfer. The following code snippet demonstrates how this was achieved:

jdbc_connection = glue.Connection(
    scope, "redshift-glue-connection",
        "JDBC_CONNECTION_URL": f"jdbc:redshift://{cluster_endpoint}/{database_name}",
        "USERNAME": etl_user.username,
        "PASSWORD": etl_user.password.to_string(),
        "redshiftTmpDir": f"s3://{data_product_name}-redshift-work"

By doing this, Swisscom made sure that serverless ETL workflows in AWS Glue can securely communicate with newly provisioned Redshift cluster running within a secured virtual private cloud (VPC).

Identity federation

Identity federation allows a centralized system (the IdP) to be used for authenticating users in order to access a service provider like Amazon Redshift. A more general overview of the topic can be found in Identity Federation in AWS.

Identity federation not only enhances security due to its centralized user lifecycle management and centralized authentication mechanism (for example, supporting multi-factor authentication), but also improves the user experience and reduces the overall complexity of identity and access management and thereby also its governance.

In Swisscom’s setup, Microsoft Active Directory Services are used for identity and access management. At the initial build stages of ODP, Amazon Redshift offered two different options for identity federation:

In Swisscom’s context, during the initial implementation, Swisscom opted for IAM-based SAML 2.0 IdP federation because this is a more general approach, which can also be used for other AWS services, such as Amazon QuickSight (see Setting up IdP federation using IAM and QuickSight).

At 2023 AWS re:Invent, AWS announced a new connection option to Amazon Redshift based on AWS IAM Identity Center. IAM Identity Center provides a single place for workforce identities in AWS, allowing the creation of users and groups directly within itself or by federation with standard IdPs like Okta, PingOne, Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD), or any IdP that supports SAML 2.0 and SCIM. It also provides a single sign-on (SSO) experience for Redshift features and other analytics services such as Amazon Redshift Query Editor V2 (see Integrate Identity Provider (IdP) with Amazon Redshift Query Editor V2 using AWS IAM Identity Center for seamless Single Sign-On), QuickSight, and AWS Lake Formation. Moreover, a single IAM Identity Center instance can be shared with multiple Redshift clusters and workgroups with a simple auto-discovery and connect capability. It makes sure all Redshift clusters and workgroups have a consistent view of users, their attributes, and groups. This whole setup fits well with ODP’s vision of providing self-service analytics across the Swisscom workforce with necessary security controls in place. At the time of writing, Swisscom is actively working towards using IAM Identity Center as the standard federation solution for ODP. The following diagram illustrates the high-level architecture for the work in progress.

Audit logging

Amazon Redshift audit logging is useful for auditing for security purposes, monitoring, and troubleshooting. The logging provides information, such as the IP address of the user’s computer, the type of authentication used by the user, or the timestamp of the request. Amazon Redshift logs the SQL operations, including connection attempts, queries, and changes, and makes it straightforward to track the changes. These logs can be accessed through SQL queries against system tables, saved to a secure Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) location, or exported to Amazon CloudWatch.

Amazon Redshift logs information in the following log files:

  • Connection log – Provides information to monitor users connecting to the database and related connection information like their IP address.
  • User log – Logs information about changes to database user definitions.
  • User activity log – Tracks information about the types of queries that both the users and the system perform in the database. It’s useful primarily for troubleshooting purposes.

With the ODP solution, Swisscom wanted to write all the Amazon Redshift logs to CloudWatch. This is currently not directly supported by the AWS CDK, so Swisscom implemented a workaround solution using the AWS CDK custom resources option, which invokes the SDK on the Redshift action enableLogging. See the following code:

    custom_resources.AwsCustomResource(self, f"{self.cluster_identifier}-custom-sdk-logging",
                   "ClusterIdentifier": self.cluster_identifier,
                   "LogDestinationType": "cloudwatch",
                   "LogExports": ["connectionlog","userlog","useractivitylog"],

AWS Config rules and remediation

After a Redshift cluster has been deployed, Swisscom needed to make sure that the cluster meets the governance rules defined in every point in time after creation. For that, Swisscom decided to use AWS Config.

AWS Config provides a detailed view of the configuration of AWS resources in your AWS account. This includes how the resources are related to one another and how they were configured in the past so you can see how the configurations and relationships change over time.

An AWS resource is an entity you can work with in AWS, such as an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume, security group, or Amazon VPC.

The following diagram illustrates the process Swisscom implemented.

If an AWS Config rule isn’t compliant, a remediation can be applied. Swisscom defined the pause cluster action as default in case of a non-compliant cluster (based on your requirements, other remediation actions are possible). This is covered using an AWS Systems Manager automation document (SSM document).

Automation, a capability of Systems Manager, simplifies common maintenance, deployment, and remediation tasks for AWS services like Amazon EC2, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, and many more.

The SSM document is based on the AWS document AWSConfigRemediation-DeleteRedshiftCluster. It looks like the following code:

description: | 
  ### Document name - PauseRedshiftCluster-WithCheck 

  ## What does this document do? 
  This document pauses the given Amazon Redshift cluster using the [PauseCluster](https://docs.aws.amazon.com/redshift/latest/APIReference/API_PauseCluster.html) API. 

  ## Input Parameters 
  * AutomationAssumeRole: (Required) The ARN of the role that allows Automation to perform the actions on your behalf. 
  * ClusterIdentifier: (Required) The identifier of the Amazon Redshift Cluster. 

  ## Output Parameters 
  * PauseRedshiftClusterWithoutSnapShot.Response: The standard HTTP response from the PauseCluster API. 
  * PauseRedshiftClusterWithSnapShot.Response: The standard HTTP response from the PauseCluster API. 
schemaVersion: '0.3' 
assumeRole: '{{ AutomationAssumeRole }}' 
    type: String 
    description: (Required) The ARN of the role that allows Automation to perform the actions on your behalf. 
    allowedPattern: '^arn:aws[a-z0-9-]*:iam::\d{12}:role\/[\w-\/.@+=,]{1,1017}$' 
    type: String 
    description: (Required) The identifier of the Amazon Redshift Cluster. 
    allowedPattern: '[a-z]{1}[a-z0-9_.-]{0,62}' 
  - name: GetRedshiftClusterStatus 
    action: 'aws:executeAwsApi' 
      ClusterIdentifier: '{{ ClusterIdentifier }}' 
      Service: redshift 
      Api: DescribeClusters 
    description: |- 
      ## GetRedshiftClusterStatus 
      Gets the status for the given Amazon Redshift Cluster. 
      - Name: ClusterStatus 
        Selector: '$.Clusters[0].ClusterStatus' 
        Type: String 
    timeoutSeconds: 600 
  - name: Condition 
    action: 'aws:branch' 
        - NextStep: PauseRedshiftCluster 
          Variable: '{{ GetRedshiftClusterStatus.ClusterStatus }}' 
          StringEquals: available 
      Default: Finish 
  - name: PauseRedshiftCluster 
    action: 'aws:executeAwsApi' 
    description: | 
      ## PauseRedshiftCluster 
      Makes PauseCluster API call using Amazon Redshift Cluster identifier and pauses the cluster without taking any final snapshot. 
      ## Outputs 
      * Response: The standard HTTP response from the PauseCluster API. 
    timeoutSeconds: 600 
    isEnd: false 
    nextStep: VerifyRedshiftClusterPause 
      Service: redshift 
      Api: PauseCluster 
      ClusterIdentifier: '{{ ClusterIdentifier }}' 
      - Name: Response 
        Selector: $ 
        Type: StringMap 
  - name: VerifyRedshiftClusterPause 
    action: 'aws:assertAwsResourceProperty' 
    timeoutSeconds: 600 
    isEnd: true 
    description: | 
      ## VerifyRedshiftClusterPause 
      Verifies the given Amazon Redshift Cluster is paused. 
      Service: redshift 
      Api: DescribeClusters 
      ClusterIdentifier: '{{ ClusterIdentifier }}' 
      PropertySelector: '$.Clusters[0].ClusterStatus' 
        - pausing 
  - name: Finish 
    action: 'aws:sleep' 
      Duration: PT1S 
    isEnd: true

The SSM automations document is deployed with the AWS CDK:

from aws_cdk import aws_ssm as ssm  

ssm_document_content = #read yaml document as dict  

document_id = 'automation_id'   
document_name = 'automation_name' 

document = ssm.CfnDocument(scope, id=document_id, content=ssm_document_content,  
                           document_format="YAML", document_type='Automation', name=document_name) 

To run the automation document, AWS Config needs the right permissions. You can create an IAM role for this purpose:

from aws_cdk import iam 

#Create role for the automation 
role_name = 'role-to-pause-redshift'
automation_role = iam.Role(scope, 'role-to-pause-redshift-cluster', 

automation_policy = iam.Policy(scope, "policy-to-pause-cluster", 


Swisscom defined the rules to be applied following AWS best practices (see Security Best Practices for Amazon Redshift). These are deployed as AWS Config conformance packs. A conformance pack is a collection of AWS Config rules and remediation actions that can be quickly deployed as a single entity in an AWS account and AWS Region or across an organization in AWS Organizations.

Conformance packs are created by authoring YAML templates that contain the list of AWS Config managed or custom rules and remediation actions. You can also use SSM documents to store your conformance pack templates on AWS and directly deploy conformance packs using SSM document names.

This AWS conformance pack can be deployed using the AWS CDK:

from aws_cdk import aws_config  
conformance_pack_template = # read yaml file as str 
conformance_pack_content = # substitute `role_arn_for_substitution` and `document_for_substitution` in conformance_pack_template

conformance_pack_id = 'conformance-pack-id' 
conformance_pack_name = 'conformance-pack-name' 

conformance_pack = aws_config.CfnConformancePack(scope, id=conformance_pack_id, 


Swisscom is building its next-generation data-as-a-service platform through a combination of automated provisioning processes, advanced security features, and user-configurable options to cater for diverse data handling and data products’ needs. The integration of the Amazon Redshift construct in the ODP framework is a significant stride in Swisscom’s journey towards a more connected and data-driven enterprise landscape.

In Part 1 of this series, we demonstrated how to provision a secure and compliant Redshift cluster using the AWS CDK as well as how to deal with the best practices of secret rotation. We also showed how to use AWS CDK custom resources in automating the creation of dynamic user groups that are relevant for the IAM roles matching different job functions.

In this post, we showed, through the usage of the AWS CDK, how to address key Redshift cluster usage topics such as federation with the Swisscom IdP, JDBC connections, detective controls using AWS Config rules and remediation actions, cost optimization using the Redshift scheduler, and audit logging.

The code snippets in this post are provided as is and will need to be adapted to your specific use cases. Before you get started, we highly recommend speaking to an Amazon Redshift specialist.

About the Authors

Asad bin Imtiaz is an Expert Data Engineer at Swisscom, with over 17 years of experience in architecting and implementing enterprise-level data solutions.

Jesús Montelongo Hernández is an Expert Cloud Data Engineer at Swisscom. He has over 20 years of experience in IT systems, data warehousing, and data engineering.

Samuel Bucheli is a Lead Cloud Architect at Zühlke Engineering AG. He has over 20 years of experience in software engineering, software architecture, and cloud architecture.

Srikanth Potu is a Senior Consultant in EMEA, part of the Professional Services organization at Amazon Web Services. He has over 25 years of experience in Enterprise data architecture, databases and data warehousing.

How Swisscom automated Amazon Redshift as part of their One Data Platform solution using AWS CDK – Part 1

Post Syndicated from Asad Bin Imtiaz original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-swisscom-automated-amazon-redshift-as-part-of-their-one-data-platform-solution-using-aws-cdk-part-1/

Swisscom is a leading telecommunications provider in Switzerland. Swisscom’s Data, Analytics, and AI division is building a One Data Platform (ODP) solution that will enable every Swisscom employee, process, and product to benefit from the massive value of Swisscom’s data.

In a two-part series, we talk about Swisscom’s journey of automating Amazon Redshift provisioning as part of the Swisscom ODP solution using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), and we provide code snippets and the other useful references.

In this post, we deep dive into provisioning a secure and compliant Redshift cluster using the AWS CDK and discuss the best practices of secret rotation. We also explain how Swisscom used AWS CDK custom resources in automating the creation of dynamic user groups that are relevant for the AWS Identity and Access management (IAM) roles matching different job functions.

In Part 2 of this series, we explore using the AWS CDK and some of the key topics for self-service usage of the provisioned Redshift cluster by end-users as well as other managed services and applications. These topics include federation with the Swisscom identity provider (IdP), JDBC connections, detective controls using AWS Config rules and remediation actions, cost optimization using the Redshift scheduler, and audit logging.

Amazon Redshift is a fast, scalable, secure, fully managed, and petabyte scale data warehousing service empowering organizations and users to analyze massive volumes of data using standard SQL tools. Amazon Redshift benefits from seamless integration with many AWS services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS), IAM, and AWS Lake Formation, to name a few.

The AWS CDK helps you build reliable, scalable, and cost-effective applications in the cloud with the considerable expressive power of a programming language. The AWS CDK supports TypeScript, JavaScript, Python, Java, C#/.Net, and Go. Developers can use one of these supported programming languages to define reusable cloud components known as constructs. A data product owner in Swisscom can use the ODP AWS CDK libraries with a simple config file to provision ready-to-use infrastructure, such as S3 buckets; AWS Glue ETL (extract, transform, and load) jobs, Data Catalog databases, and crawlers; Redshift clusters; JDBC connections; and more, with all the needed permissions in just a few minutes.

One Data Platform

The ODP architecture is based on the AWS Well Architected Framework Analytics Lens and follows the pattern of having raw, standardized, conformed, and enriched layers as described in Modern data architecture. By using infrastructure as code (IaC) tools, ODP enables self-service data access with unified data management, metadata management (data catalog), and standard interfaces for analytics tools with a high degree of automation by providing the infrastructure, integrations, and compliance measures out of the box. At the same time, the ODP will also be continuously evolving and adapting to the constant stream of new additional features being added to the AWS analytics services. The following high-level architecture diagram shows ODP with different layers of the modern data architecture. In this series, we specifically discuss the components specific to Amazon Redshift (highlighted in red).

Harnessing Amazon Redshift for ODP

A pivotal decision in the data warehousing migration process involves evaluating the extent of a lift-and-shift approach vs. re-architecture. Balancing system performance, scalability, and cost while taking into account the rigid system pieces requires a strategic solution. In this context, Amazon Redshift has stood out as a cloud-centered data warehousing solution, especially with its straightforward and seamless integration into the modern data architecture. Its straightforward integration and fluid compatibility with AWS services like Amazon QuickSight, Amazon SageMaker, and Lake Formation further solidifies its choice for forward-thinking data warehousing strategies. As a columnar database, it’s particularly well suited for consumer-oriented data products. Consequently, Swisscom chose to provide a solution wherein use case-specific Redshift clusters are provisioned using IaC, specifically using the AWS CDK.

A crucial aspect of Swisscom’s strategy is the integration of these data domain and use case-oriented individual clusters into a virtually single and unified data environment, making sure that data ingestion, transformation, and eventual data product sharing remains convenient and seamless. This is achieved by custom provisioning of the Redshift clusters based on user or use case needs, in a shared virtual private cloud (VPC), with data and system governance policies and remediation, IdP federation, and Lake Formation integration already in place.

Although many controls for governance and security were put in place in the AWS CDK construct, Swisscom users also have the flexibility to customize their clusters based on what they need. The cluster configurator allows users to define the cluster characteristics based on individual use case requirements while remaining within the bounds of defined best practices. The key configurable parameters include node types, sizing, subnet types for routing based on different security policies per user case, enabling scheduler, integration with IdP setup, and any additional post-provisioning setup, like the creation of specific schemas and group-level access on it. This flexibility in configuration is achieved for the Amazon Redshift AWS CDK construct through a Python data class, which serves as a template for users to specify aspects like subnet types, scheduler cron expressions, and specific security groups for the cluster, among other configurations. Users are also able to select the type of subnets (routable-private or non-routable-private) to adhere to network security policies and architectural standards. See the following data class options:

class RedShiftOptions:
    node_type: NodeType
    number_of_nodes: int
    vpc_id: str
    security_group_id: Optional[str]
    subnet_type: SubnetType
    use_redshift_scheduler: bool
    scheduler_pause_cron: str
    scheduler_resume_cron: str
    maintenance_window: str
    # Additional configuration options ...

The separation of configuration in the RedShiftOptions data class from the cluster provisioning logic in the RedShiftCluster AWS CDK construct is in line with AWS CDK best practices, wherein both constructs and stacks should accept a property object to allow for full configurability completely in code. This separates the concerns of configuration and resource creation, enhancing the readability and maintainability. The data class structure reflects the user configuration from a configuration file, making it straightforward for users to specify their requirements. The following code shows what the configuration file for the Redshift construct looks like:

# ===============================
# Amazon Redshift Options
# ===============================
# The enriched layer is based on Amazon Redshift.
# This section has properties for Amazon Redshift.
  provision_cluster: true                                     # Skip provisioning Amazon Redshift in enriched layer (required)
  number_of_nodes: 2                                          # Number of nodes for redshift cluster to provision (optional) (default = 2)
  node_type: "ra3.xlplus"                                     # Type of the cluster nodes (optional) (default = "ra3.xlplus")
  use_scheduler: true                                        # Whether to use the Amazon Redshift scheduler (optional)
  scheduler_pause_cron: "cron(00 18 ? * MON-FRI *)"           # Cron expression for scheduler pause (optional)
  scheduler_resume_cron: "cron(00 08 ? * MON-FRI *)"          # Cron expression for scheduler resume (optional)
  maintenance_window: "sun:23:45-mon:00:15"                   # Maintenance window for Amazon Redshift (optional)
  subnet_type: "routable-private"                             # 'routable-private' OR 'non-routable-private' (optional)
  security_group_id: "sg-test-redshift"                       # Security group ID for Amazon Redshift (optional) (reference must exist)
  user_groups:                                                # User groups and their privileges on default DB
    - group_name: dba
      access: [ 'ALL' ]
    - group_name: data_engineer
      access: [ 'SELECT' , 'INSERT' , 'UPDATE' , 'DELETE' , 'TRUNCATE' ]
    - group_name: qa_engineer
      access: [ 'SELECT' ]
  integrate_all_groups_with_idp: false

Admin user secret rotation

As part of the cluster deployment, an admin user is created with its credentials stored in AWS Secrets Manager for database management. This admin user is used for automating several setup operations, such as the setup of database schemas and integration with Lake Formation. For the admin user, as well as other users created for Amazon Redshift, Swisscom used AWS KMS for encryption of the secrets associated with cluster users. The use of Secrets Manager made it simple to adhere to IAM security best practices by supporting the automatic rotation of credentials. Such a setup can be quickly implemented on the AWS Management Console or may be integrated in AWS CDK code with friendly methods in the aws_redshift_alpha module. This module provides higher-level constructs (specifically, Layer 2 constructs), including convenience and helper methods, as well as sensible default values. This module is experimental and under active development and may have changes that aren’t backward compatible. See the following admin user code:

admin_secret_kms_key_options = KmsKeyOptions(
admin_secret_kms_key = aws_kms.Key(
    scope, 'AdminSecretKmsKey,
    # ...

# ...

cluster = aws_redshift_alpha.Cluster(
            scope, cluster_identifier,
            # ...
            # ...

See the following code for secret rotation:


Methods such as add_rotation_single_user internally rely on a serverless application hosted in the AWS Serverless Application Model repository, which may be in a different AWS Region outside of the organization’s permission boundary. To effectively use such functions, make sure access to this serverless repository within the organization’s service control policies. If the access is not feasible, consider implementing solutions such as custom AWS Lambda functions replicating these functionalities (within your organization’s permission boundary).

AWS CDK custom resource

A key challenge Swisscom faced was automating the creation of dynamic user groups tied to specific IAM roles at deployment time. As an initial and simple solution, Swisscom’s approach was creating an AWS CDK custom resource using the admin user to submit and run SQL statements. This allowed Swisscom to embed the logic for the database schema, user group assignments, and Lake Formation-specific configurations directly within AWS CDK code, making sure that these crucial steps are automatically handled during cluster deployment. See the following code:

sql = get_rendered_stacked_sqls()

custom_resources.AwsCustomResource(scope, 'RedshiftSQLCustomResource',
                                                   'ClusterIdentifier': cluster_identifier,
                                                   'SecretArn': secret_arn,
                                                   'Database': database_name,
                                                   'Sql': f'{sqls}',


This method of dynamic SQL, embedded within the AWS CDK code, provides a unified deployment and post-setup of the Redshift cluster in a convenient manner. Although this approach unifies the deployment and post-provisioning configuration with SQL-based operations, it remains an initial strategy. It is tailored for convenience and efficiency in the current context. As ODP further evolves, Swisscom will iterate this solution to streamline SQL operations during cluster provisioning. Swisscom remains open to integrating external schema management tools or similar approaches where they add value.

Another aspect of Swisscom’s architecture is the dynamic creation of IAM roles tailored for the user groups for different job functions within the Amazon Redshift environment. This IAM role generation is also driven by the user configuration, acting as a blueprint for dynamically defining user role to policy mappings. This allowed them to quickly adapt to evolving requirements. The following code illustrates the role assignment:

policy_mappings = {
    "role1": ["Policy1", "Policy2"],
    "role2": ["Policy3", "Policy4"],
    # Example:
    # "dba-role": ["AmazonRedshiftFullAccess", "CloudWatchFullAccess"],
    # ...

def create_redshift_role(role_name, policy_list):
   # Implementation to create Redshift role with provided policies

redshift_role_1 = create_redshift_role(
    data_product_name, "role1", policy_names=policy_mappings["role1"])
redshift_role_1 = create_redshift_role(
    data_product_name, "role1", policy_names=policy_mappings["role1"])
# Example:
# redshift_dba_role = create_redshift_role(
#   data_product_name, "dba-role", policy_names=policy_mappings["dba-role"])


Swisscom is building its data-as-a-service platform, and Amazon Redshift has a crucial role as part of the solution. In this post, we discussed the aspects that need to be covered in your IaC best practices to deploy secure and maintainable Redshift clusters using the AWS CDK. Although Amazon Redshift supports industry-leading security, there are aspects organizations need to adjust to their specific requirements. It is therefore important to define the configurations and best practices that are right for your organization and bring it to your IaC to make it available for your end consumers.

We also discussed how to provision a secure and compliant Redshift cluster using the AWS CDK and deal with the best practices of secret rotation. We also showed how to use AWS CDK custom resources in automating the creation of dynamic user groups that are relevant for the IAM roles matching different job functions.

In Part 2 of this series, we will delve into enhancing self-service capabilities for end-users. We will cover topics like integration with the Swisscom IdP, setting up JDBC connections, and implementing detective controls and remediation actions, among others.

The code snippets in this post are provided as is and will need to be adapted to your specific use cases. Before you get started, we highly recommend speaking to an Amazon Redshift specialist.

About the Authors

Asad bin Imtiaz is an Expert Data Engineer at Swisscom, with over 17 years of experience in architecting and implementing enterprise-level data solutions.

Jesús Montelongo Hernández is an Expert Cloud Data Engineer at Swisscom. He has over 20 years of experience in IT systems, data warehousing, and data engineering.

Samuel Bucheli is a Lead Cloud Architect at Zühlke Engineering AG. He has over 20 years of experience in software engineering, software architecture, and cloud architecture.

Srikanth Potu is a Senior Consultant in EMEA, part of the Professional Services organization at Amazon Web Services. He has over 25 years of experience in Enterprise data architecture, databases and data warehousing.

Driving Development Forward: How the PGA TOUR speeds up Development with the AWS CDK

Post Syndicated from Evgeny Karasik original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/driving-development-forward-how-the-pga-tour-speeds-up-development-with-the-aws-cdk/

This post is written by Jeff Kammerer, Senior Solutions Architect.

The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning tournaments on the PGA TOUR along with several other developmental, senior, and international tournament series.

The PGA TOUR is passionate about bringing its fans closer to the players, tournaments, and courses. They developed a new mobile app and the PGATOUR.com website to give fans immersive, enhanced, and personalized access to near-real-time leaderboards, shot-by-shot data, video highlights, sports news, statistics, and 3D shot tracking. It is critical for PGA TOUR, which operates in a highly competitive space, to keep up with fans’ demands and deliver engaging content. The maturing DevOps culture, partnered with accelerating the development process, was crucial to the PGA TOUR’s fan engagement transformation.

The PGA TOUR’s fans want near real-time and highly accurate data. To deliver and evolve engaging fan experiences, the PGA TOUR needed to empower their team of developers to quickly release new updates and features. However, the TOUR’s previous architecture required separate code bases for their website and mobile app in a monolithic technology stack. Each update required changes in both code bases, causing feature turnaround time of a minimum of two weeks. The cost and time required to deliver features fans wanted to see in both the app and website were not sustainable. As a result, the TOUR redesigned their mobile app and website using AWS native services and a microservice based architecture to alleviate these pain points.

Accelerating Development with Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

The TOUR’s cloud infrastructure team used AWS CloudFormation for several years to model, provision, and manage their cloud infrastructure. However, the app and web development team within the PGA Tour were not familiar with and did not want to use the JSON and YAML templates that CloudFormation requires, and preferred the coding languages that the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) supports. The developers use TypeScript to develop the new mobile app and website using services like AWS AppSync, AWS Lambda, AWS Step Functions, and AWS Batch.  Additionally, the PGA TOUR wanted to simplify how they assigned the correct and minimal IAM permissions needed. As a result, the TOUR developers started using the CDK for IaC because it offered a natural extension to how they were already writing code.

The TOUR leverages all three layers of the AWS CDK Construct Library. They take advantage of higher-layer Pattern Constructs for key services like AWS Lambda and AWS Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS). The CDK pattern constructs provide a reference architecture or design patterns intended to help complete common tasks. The pattern constructs for AWS Lambda, Amazon ECS, and existing patterns saved the TOUR hours and weeks of development time. They also use the lower-level Layer 2 and Layer 1 Constructs for services like Amazon DynamoDB and AWS AppSync.

PGA TOUR’s New Mobile App

Figure1. Welcome to the PGA TOUR’s New App

PGA TOUR Benefits From Using AWS CDK

Using AWS CDK enabled and empowered the platform and development teams and changed how the PGA TOUR operates their technical environments. They create and de-provision environments as needed to build, test, and deploy new features into production. Automating changes in their underlying infrastructure has become very easy for the PGA TOUR. As an example, the TOUR wanted to update their Lambda runtimes to release 18. With AWS CDK, this change was implemented with a single-line change in their Lambda Common stack and pushed to the over 300 Lambda functions they deployed.

The CDK provides flexibility and agility, which helps the TOUR manage constant change in the appearance of their mobile app and website content given they run different tournaments each week. The TOUR uses the CDK to provision parallel environments where they prepare for the next tournament with unique functions and content without risking impact to services during the current tournament. Once the current tournament is complete, they can flip to the new stack and de-provision the old. The CDK has allowed the TOUR to move from a bi-weekly three-hour maintenance window release schedule to multiple as needed releases per day that take approximately 7 minutes. It has enabled the TOUR to push production releases and fixes, even in the middle of tournament play which previously had been deemed too risky under the prior monolithic technology stack. In one case, the TOUR developers could go from identifying a bug to coding a fix with push through User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and into production in 42 minutes. This is a process that was previously measured in hours or days.

High level AWS CDK/App Architecture

Figure2. High level AWS CDK/App Architecture

Expressing the organizational capability change AWS CDK facilitates for the PGA TOUR Digital team in context of the widely accepted DevOps Research & Assessment (DORA) metrics which assesses organizational maturity in DevOps:

DORA Metrics

One of the best benefits the TOUR realized using AWS CDK was how much it helped reduce complexity of managing AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions. The TOUR understands how important it is to maintain granular control of IAM trust policies, especially when working in a serverless architecture. David Provan, shared “AWS CDK encourages security by design and you end up considering security through the entire project rather than coming back to do security hardening after development”. AWS CDK automates the necessary IAM permissions at an atomic level in a manner where they are set and managed correctly. When the PGA TOUR takes resources down, AWS CDK removes the IAM permissions.

Lessons Learned and Looking Forward

The steepest learning curve for the PGA TOUR was in the granularity of their CDK Stacks. They initially started with a single large stack, but found that breaking the application into smaller stacks allowed them to be more surgical with granular deployments and updates. They found some services like AWS Lambda update very quickly, whereas DynamoDB deployed with global tables across multiple regions takes longer and benefit from being in their own stack. This balance is something the TOUR is still working on as they iterate after the initial launch.

Looking forward, the PGA TOUR sees longer-range benefits where the CDK will allow them to reuse their stacks and accelerate development for other departments or entities in the future. They also see benefit for reusing code and patterns across different workloads entirely.


The AWS Cloud Development Kit has been transformational to how the PGA TOUR is deploying their services on AWS and working to bring exciting and immersive experiences to fans. To learn more, review the AWS CDK Developer Guide to read about best practices for developing cloud applications, and review this blog that provides an overview of Working with the AWS Cloud Development kit and AWS Construct Library. Also, explore what CDK can do for you.

Import entire applications into AWS CloudFormation

Post Syndicated from Dan Blanco original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/import-entire-applications-into-aws-cloudformation/

AWS Infrastructure as Code (IaC) enables customers to manage, model, and provision infrastructure at scale. You can declare your infrastructure as code in YAML or JSON by using AWS CloudFormation, in a general purpose programming language using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), or visually using Application Composer. IaC configurations can then be audited and version controlled in a version control system of your choice. Finally, deploying AWS IaC enables deployment previews using change sets, automated rollbacks, proactive enforcement of resource compliance using hooks, and more. Millions of customers enjoy the safety and reliability of AWS IaC products.

Not every resource starts in IaC, however. Customers create non-IaC resources for various reasons: they didn’t know about IaC, or they prefer to work in the CLI or management console. In 2019, we introduced the ability to import existing resources into CloudFormation. While this feature proved integral for bringing resources into IaC on an individual basis, the process of manually creating templates to match those resources wasn’t ideal. Customers were required to look up documentation on resources and painstakingly copy values manually. Customers also told us they traditionally engaged with applications (that is, groupings of related resources), so dealing with individual resources didn’t match that experience. We set out to create a more holistic flow for managing resources and their relations.

Recently, we announced the IaC generator and CDK Migrate, an end-to-end experience that enables customers to create an IaC configuration based off a resource as well as its relationships. This works by scanning an AWS account and using the CloudFormation resource type schema to find relationships between resources. Once this configuration is created, you can use it to either import those resources into an existing stack, or create a brand new stack from scratch. It’s now possible to bring entire applications into a managed CloudFormation stack without having to recreate any resources!

In this post, I’ll explore a common use case we’ve seen and expect the IaC generator to solve: an existing network architecture, created outside of any IaC tool, needs to be managed by CloudFormation.

IaC generator in Action

Consider the following scenario:

As a new hire to an organization that’s just starting its cloud adoption journey, you’ve been tasked with continuing the development of the team’s shared Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) resources. These are actively in use by the development teams. As you dig around, you find out that these resources were created without any form of IaC. There’s no documentation, and the person who set it up is no longer with the team. Confounding the problem, you have multiple VPCs and their related resources, such subnets, route tables, and internet gateways.

You understand the benefits of IaC – repeatability, reliability, auditability, and safety. Bringing these resources under CloudFormation management will extend these benefits to your existing resources. You’ve imported resources into CloudFormation before, so you set about the task of finding all related resources manually to create a template. You quickly discover, however, that this won’t be a simple task. VPCs don’t store relations to items; instead, relations are reversed – items know which VPC they belong to, but VPCs don’t know which items belong to them. In order to find all the resources that are related to a VPC, you’ll have to manually go through all the VPC-related resources and scan to see which vpc-id they belong to. You’ll have to be diligent, as it’s very easy to miss a resource because you weren’t aware that it existed or it may even be different class of resource altogether! For example, some resources may use an elastic network interface (ENI) to attach to the VPC, like an Amazon Relational Database Service instance.

You, however, recently learned about the IaC generator. The generator works by running a scan of your account and creating an up-to-date inventory of resources. CloudFormation will then leverage the resource type schema to find relationships between resources. For example, it can determine that a subnet has a relationship to a VPC via a vpc-id property. Once these relationships have been determined, you can then select the top-level resources you want to generate a template for. Finally, you’ll be able to leverage the wizard to create a stack from this existing template.

You can navigate to the IaC generator page in the Amazon Management Console and start a scan on your account. Scans last for 30 days, and you can run three scans per day in an account.

Scan account button and status

Once the scan completes, you create a template by selecting the Create Template button. After selecting Start from a new template, you fill out the relevant details about the stack, including the Template name and any stack policies. In this case, you leave it as Retain.

Create template section with "Start from a new template" selected

On the next page, you’ll see all the scanned resources. You can add filters to the resource such as tags to view a subset of scanned resources. This example will only use a Resource type prefix filter. More information on filters can be found here. Once you find the VPC, you can select it from the list.

A VPC selected in the scanned resources list]

On the next page, you’ll see the list of resources that CloudFormation has determined to have a link to this VPC. You see this includes a myriad of networking related resource. You keep these all selected to create a template from them.

A list of related resources, all selected

At this point, you select Create template and CloudFormation will generate a template from the existing resources. Since you don’t have an existing stack to import these resource into, you must create a new stack. You now select this template and then select the Import to stack button.

The template detail page with an import to stack button

After entering the Stack name, you can then enter any Parameters your template needs.

The specify stack details page, with a stack name of "networking" entered

CloudFormation will create a change set for your new stack. Change sets allow you to see the changes CloudFormation will apply to a stack. In this example, all of the resources will have the Import status. You see the resources CloudFormation found, and once you’re satisfied, you create the stack.

A change set indicating the previously found resources will be created

At this point, the create stack operation will proceed as normal, going through each resource and importing it into the stack. You can report back to your team that you have successfully imported your entire networking stack! As next steps, you should source this template in a version control system. We recently announced a new feature to keep CloudFormation templates synced with popular version control systems. Finally, make sure to make any changes through CloudFormation to avoid a configuration drift between the stated configuration and the existing configuration.

This example was primarily CloudFormation-based, but CDK customers can use CDK Migrate to import this configuration into a CDK application.

Available Now

The IaC generator is now available in all regions where CloudFormation is supported. You can access the IaC generator using the console, CLI, and SDK.


In this post, we explored the new IaC generator feature of CloudFormation. We walked through a scenario of needing to manage previously existing resources and using the IaC generator’s provided wizard flow to generate a CloudFormation template. We then used that template and created a stack to manage these resources. These resources will now enjoy the safety and repeatability that IaC provides. Though this is just one example, we foresee other use cases for this feature, such as enabling a console-first development experience. We’re really excited to hear your thoughts about the feature. Please let us know how you feel!

About the author

Dan Blanco

Dan is a senior AWS Developer Advocate based in Atlanta for the AWS IaC team. When he’s not advocating for IaC tools, you can either find him in the kitchen whipping up something delicious or flying in the Georgia sky. Find him on twitter (@TheDanBlanco) or in the AWS CloudFormation Discord.

Announcing CDK Migrate: A single command to migrate to the AWS CDK

Post Syndicated from Adam Keller original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/announcing-cdk-migrate-a-single-command-to-migrate-to-the-aws-cdk/

Today we’re excited to announce the general availability of CDK Migrate, a component of the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK). This feature enables users to migrate AWS CloudFormation templates, previously deployed CloudFormation stacks, or resources created outside of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) into a CDK application. This feature is being launched in tandem with the CloudFormation IaC Generator, which helps customers import resources created outside of CloudFormation into a template, and into a newly generated, fully managed CloudFormation stack. To read more on this feature, check out the launch post.

There are various ways to create and manage resources in AWS, whether that be via “ClickOps” (creating and updating via the AWS Console), via AWS API’s, or using Infrastructure as Code (IaC). While it’s a good and recommended practice to manage the lifecycle of resources using IaC, there can be an on-ramp to getting started. For those that aren’t ready to use IaC, it is likely that they use the console to create the resources and update them accordingly. While this can be acceptable for smaller use cases or for testing out a new service, it becomes more challenging as the complexity of the environment grows. This is further exacerbated when there is a need to re-deploy the exact configuration to other accounts, environments, or regions, as the process becomes very error prone when trying to replicate it. IaC is built to help solve this problem by allowing users to define once and deploy everywhere. For those who have been putting off the move to IaC, now is the time to take the plunge with the IaC generator functionality and CDK migrate, which can accelerate and simplify the move.

Getting Started

The first step when migrating resources into the AWS CDK is to understand the best mechanism for how the users would prefer to interact with their IaC.

  • For users that are looking to define their IaC declaratively (manage resources via a configuration language like YAML), it is recommended that they look at IaC generator, which can generate a CloudFormation template as well as manage the existing resources in a CloudFormation stack.
  • For users that are looking to manage their IaC via a higher level programming language as well as build on top of those templates with higher level abstractions and automation, the AWS Cloud Development Kit and CDK migrate serve as an excellent option,

There is also functionality in the CDK CLI to import resources into an existing CDK application. Let’s review the use cases for when to use CDK migrate vs when to use CDK import.

CDK Migrate

  • Users are looking to migrate one or many resources into a new CDK application.
    • Examples of existing resources in the AWS region to be migrated:
      • Resources created outside of IaC
      • A deployed CloudFormation Stack
  • Users want to migrate from CloudFormation templates into a new CDK application
  • Users are looking for a managed experience to generate CDK code from existing resources and/or CloudFormation templates.
  • While the CDK migrate feature is designed to help accelerate those users looking to use the AWS CDK, it’s important to understand that there are limitations. For more information on the limitations, please review the documentation.

CDK Import

  • Users have an existing CDK application and want to import one or many resources that were created outside of the CDK.
    • Examples of existing resources in the AWS region to be migrated:
      • Resources created outside of IaC (via ClickOps)
      • A deployed CloudFormation Stack
    • The user must define the resources in their CDK app on their own, and ensure that the resources defined in the CDK code map directly to the resource as it exists in the account. There is a multi-step process to follow when using this feature, for more information see here.

This post will walk through an example of how to take a local CloudFormation template and convert it into a new CDK application.


To start, take the CloudFormation template below that will be converted to a CDK application. The template creates an AWS Lambda Function, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role, and an Amazon S3 Bucket along with some parameters to help make some of the inputs dynamic. Below is the template in full:

AWSTemplateFormatVersion: "2010-09-09"
Description: AWS CDK Migrate Demo Template
    Description: Response message from the Lambda function
    Type: String
    Default: Hello World
    Description: The tag value of the S3 bucket
    Type: String
    Default: ChangeMe
    Type: AWS::IAM::Role
        Version: "2012-10-17"
          - Effect: Allow
              Service: lambda.amazonaws.com
            Action: sts:AssumeRole
        - arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/service-role/AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole
    Type: AWS::Lambda::Function
      Role: !GetAtt LambdaExecutionRole.Arn
        ZipFile: |
          import os
          def lambda_handler(event, context):
            function_response = os.getenv('FUNCTION_RESPONSE')
            return {
              "statusCode": 200,
              "body": function_response
      Handler: index.lambda_handler
      Runtime: python3.11
          FUNCTION_RESPONSE: !Ref FunctionResponse
    Type: AWS::S3::Bucket
        BlockPublicAcls: true
        BlockPublicPolicy: true
        IgnorePublicAcls: true
        RestrictPublicBuckets: true
          - ServerSideEncryptionByDefault:
              SSEAlgorithm: AES256
        - Key: Application
          Value: Git-Sync-Demo
        - Key: DynamicTag
          Value: !Ref BucketTag
    Description: The name of the S3 bucket
    Value: !Ref S3Bucket
      Name: !Sub ${AWS::StackName}-S3BucketName

This is the template that you will use when running the migration command. As a reminder, this demo migrates a CloudFormation template to a CDK application, but you can also migrate a previously deployed stack or non IaC created resources.


The migration from the CloudFormation template to the CDK is done with a single command: cdk migrate. Simply point to the local CloudFormation template file (let’s call it demo-template.yaml), and watch as the CLI converts the template into a CDK application. The output and result from running the command will be a directory comprised of the CDK code and dependencies, but will not deploy the stack.

cdk migrate --stack-name CDK-Local-Template-Migrate-Demo --language typescript --from-path ../demoTemplate.yaml

CDK Migrate command

In the above command, you’re instructing the CDK CLI to consume the CloudFormation template file using the --from-path parameter, and choose the language as the output for the CDK application. The CDK CLI will convert the template as well as create a project folder along with the required dependencies for the CDK application.

When the migration is complete, the CDK application along with the project structure and files are available and ready to use, but have not yet been deployed. Below is the file structure of what was generated:

cdk app directory structure

The above output represents the scaffold for your CDK Typescript application, ready for deployment. The two directories that house the CDK code are bin and lib. Within the bin directory you’ll find the code that creates our CDK app and calls the CDK Stack class. The name of the files will match the input that was passed into the –stack-name parameter when running the migrate command, so in this case the file is named: bin/cdk-local-template-migrate-demo.ts. Below is the generated code:

CDK App Code

The CdkLocalTemplateMigrateDemoStack is imported and then instantiated. This is where the code that was converted from the existing CloudFormation template (or stack, or resources) resides. Again, similar to how the file was named above, the filename and location for the CDK stack code is lib/cdk-local-template-migrate-demo-stack.ts. Let’s look at the code that was converted.

CDK Stack Code

Comparing the above auto generated code to the original CloudFormation template, the definitions of the resources look similar. This is because the migrate command is generating the CDK code using L1 constructs, which represent all resources available in CloudFormation. For more information on CDK constructs and the various levels of abstraction they offer, check out this video.

The CloudFormation parameters were converted to properties inside of an interface, which are passed in to the Stack class. Inside of the Stack class code, it honors the defaults set in the properties based on the defaults were set in the original CloudFormation parameters. If you wanted to override those defaults, you could pass those properties into the CDK stack as follows:

CDK App Code Cleaned Up

With your newly created CDK application, you’re ready to deploy it to your AWS account.


If this is the first time that you are using the CDK in the account and region, you will need to run the cdk bootstrap command, which creates assets required for the CDK to properly deploy resources to the region and account. For more information see here. Assuming the bootstrap process has happened, you can proceed to deployment.

The Infrastructure as Code is ready to deploy, but prior to deploying you should run a cdk diff to see what will be deployed. Running the diff command creates a change set and surfaces the changes being proposed (in this case it is a brand new stack with new resources).

Cdk Diff command

From the output you can see that all new resources are being created. If the cdk diff command was run against existing resources or stacks, assuming nothing changed (like above where I updated the properties), the diff would show no changes to the existing resources.

Next, deploy the stack (by running the cdk deploy command) and once the deployment is complete, head over to the AWS console and find your Lambda function. Run a test on your lambda function, and the response should match the functionResponse property that was updated as “CDK Migrate Demo Blog”.Lambda test execution output

Wrapping up

In this post, we discussed how the CDK migrate command can help you move your resources to the CDK to manage your infrastructure as code, whether it’s from a CloudFormation template, previously deployed CloudFormation stack, or from importing resources via the CloudFormation IaC generator feature. As always, we encourage you to test this feature and provide feedback and/or feature requests in our GitHub repo. In addition, if you’re new to the CDK there are some resources that can help you get started.

A new and improved AWS CDK construct for Amazon DynamoDB tables

Post Syndicated from Anirudh Sharma original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/a-new-and-improved-aws-cdk-construct-for-amazon-dynamodb-tables/

Recently, we launched a new AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) construct for Amazon DynamoDB tables, known as TableV2. This construct provides a number of new features in addition to what the original construct offered, enabling CDK authors to create global tables, simplifying the configuration of global secondary indexes and auto scaling, as well as supporting AWS CloudFormation drift detection and import operations. We believe that this new construct will make it easier for organizations to build and manage their DynamoDB tables at scale, in addition to providing more flexibility and control over the configuration of tables.

AWS CDK is a framework for defining cloud infrastructure in code and provisioning it through AWS CloudFormation. Developers can use any of the supported programming languages to define reusable cloud components known as Constructs. A construct is a reusable and programmable component that represents AWS resources. CDK translates the high-level constructs defined by you into equivalent AWS CloudFormation templates. CloudFormation provisions the resources specified in the template, streamlining the usage of Infrastructure as a Code (IaC) on AWS.

In this post we’ll explore:

  • The reasoning behind the creation of a new L2 construct for DynamoDB tables.
  • Features of new L2 constructs along with examples.
  • The benefits of leveraging this new construct in terms of scalability, flexibility, and simplicity.

By understanding the reasons behind its development and exploring its capabilities through practical examples, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of how this new L2 construct can enhance their DynamoDB experience. Let’s dive in.


The original DynamoDB L2 Table construct is a powerful and versatile tool for creating and managing DynamoDB tables. It allows you to easily define the schema of your table, as well as the provisioned throughput and replicas. It also supports features like global tables, secondary indexes, and streams.

However, the Table construct uses a custom resource to add replicas to the primary table. This means that a separate Lambda function is created as the resource provider in addition to the Table resources (primary table and any replicas). This can be cumbersome to manage and can lead to drift detection issues.

The new TableV2 construct is an abstraction built on top of the GlobalTable L1 construct. It uses the CloudFormation resource AWS::DynamoDB::GlobalTable to create and manage DynamoDB tables. This has two important benefits:

  1. CloudFormation is in control and aware of all replicas that make up the Global Table, which means you will experience drift detection across all the replicas. With the original table construct, CloudFormation was not aware of any replicas since this was being handled through the Lambda function being used as a resource provider.
  2. No extra resource (Lambda function) is created when replicas are configured with TableV2. This eliminates the need to manage an extra resource and the risk of troubleshooting issues that may arise with the custom resource. TableV2 simplifies the setup and maintenance of DynamoDB tables by using native CloudFormation constructs to directly manage replicas, without the need for a Lambda function. This results in a more efficient and streamlined experience for users.

The new TableV2 construct provides more fine-grained control to customers over the replicas created as part of the Global Table. Specifically, customers can specify properties like contributor insights, deletion protection, point-in-time recovery, table class, read capacity, and global secondary index options on a per-replica basis.

This means that customers can tailor their table setup to meet their specific needs and optimize their overall experience with the Global Table feature. For example, a customer might want to enable contributor insights for all replicas, but only enable deletion protection for the primary replica. Or, a customer might want to use a different table class for each replica, depending on the expected workload.

The new TableV2 construct also offers greater flexibility and customization options by allowing customers to specify these properties on a per-replica basis. This can be helpful for customers who need to have different configurations for their replicas, or who want to fine-tune the performance and availability of their tables.

In the next section, we will explore each of these properties in more detail and how they can be specified in the new construct.

Features Walk-through

The new TableV2 construct is the recommended CDK DynamoDB construct for creating both single tables and global tables. In this section, we will review some specific aspects of the TableV2 construct and how they can be implemented. The walkthrough will cover features like Replicas, Billing, and Encryption, providing a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities.


One of the most important benefits of the new L2 construct is the ability to configure properties on a per-replica basis. For example, the following code creates a global DynamoDB table with contributor insights and point-in-time recovery enabled for the table:

import * as cdk from 'aws-cdk-lib';
import * as dynamodb from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';

const app = new cdk.App();
const stack = new cdk.Stack(app, 'Stack', { env: { region: 'us-west-2' } });

const globalTable = new dynamodb.TableV2(stack, 'GlobalTable', {
  partitionKey: { name: 'pk', type: dynamodb.AttributeType.STRING },
  contributorInsights: true,
  pointInTimeRecovery: true,
  replicas: [
      region: 'us-east-1',
      tableClass: dynamodb.TableClass.STANDARD_INFREQUENT_ACCESS,
      pointInTimeRecovery: false,
      region: 'us-east-2',
      contributorInsights: false,

// This is an ITableV2 instance for the replica table in us-east-1
const replica = globalTable.replica('us-east-1');

This code creates two replicas, one in the us-east-1 region and one in the us-east-2 region. For the replica in the us-east-1 region, we disable point-in-time recovery and set the table class to STANDARD_INFREQUENT_ACCESS. For the replica in the us-east-2 region, we disable contributor insights. The TableV2 construct also enables users to work with individual instances of the replicas in a global table via the replica() method. We see how this can be utilized from the above code where an ITableV2 instance representing the replica in us-east-1 is returned.

This is particularly useful for the grant() and metric() methods. For example, the following code gives a user write access to a replica in us-east-1 region:

import { Construct } from 'constructs';
import { App, Stack, StackProps } from 'aws-cdk-lib';
import { ITableV2, TableV2 } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';
import { AttributeType } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';
import * as iam from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-iam';

class FooStack extends Stack {
  public readonly globalTable: TableV2;

  public constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    this.globalTable = new TableV2(this, 'GlobalTable', {
      partitionKey: { name: 'pk', type: AttributeType.STRING },
      replicas: [
        { region: 'us-east-1' },
        { region: 'us-east-2' },

interface BarStackProps extends StackProps {
  readonly replicaTable: ITableV2;

class BarStack extends Stack {
  public constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: BarStackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);
    const user = new iam.User(this, 'User')

    // user is given grantWriteData permissions to replica in us-east-1

const app = new App();

const fooStack = new FooStack(app, 'FooStack', { env: { region: 'us-west-2', account: process.env.CDK_DEFAULT_ACCOUNT } });
const barStack = new BarStack(app, 'BarStack', {
  replicaTable: fooStack.globalTable.replica('us-east-1'),
  env: { region: 'us-east-1', account: process.env.CDK_DEFAULT_ACCOUNT },

Before the replica() method was introduced, grant methods on the original Table construct applied to the primary table and all replicas. This was because there was no way to pull out a specific replica. This limited a user’s ability to grant a specific principal read, write, or read/write permission to a specific replica. The replica() method enables granting specific permissions to individual replicas in a global table. It maintains consistent behavior across all methods in the ITableV2 interface, including grants and metrics.


Table billing is easily configured using the onDemand() or provisioned() static methods of the Billing class. If provisioned billing is configured, the user must provide read and write capacity, which can be easily configured using the fixed() or autoscaled() static methods of the Capacity class.

For example, to configure on-demand billing:

import * as cdk from 'aws-cdk-lib';
import { AttributeType, Billing, TableClass, TableV2 } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';
import { Construct } from 'constructs';

export class DynamodbStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);
    new TableV2(this, 'DynamoDBTable', {
      partitionKey: { name: 'id', type: AttributeType.STRING},
      replicas: [
        {region: 'us-east-2'},
        {region: 'us-west-1'}
      billing: Billing.onDemand(),
      tableClass: TableClass.STANDARD

To configure provisioned billing:

import * as cdk from 'aws-cdk-lib';
import { AttributeType, Billing, Capacity, TableClass, TableV2 } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';
import { Construct } from 'constructs';

export class DynamodbStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);
    new TableV2(this, 'DynamoDBTable', {
      partitionKey: { name: 'id', type: AttributeType.STRING},
      replicas: [
        {region: 'us-east-2'},
        {region: 'us-west-1'}
      billing: Billing.provisioned({
        readCapacity: Capacity.fixed(5),
        writeCapacity: Capacity.autoscaled({maxCapacity: 10})
      tableClass: TableClass.STANDARD

Note that with the previous Table construct, users had to set a billingMode property and configure readCapacity and writeCapacity as separate properties. Additionally, configuring autoscaled capacity required calling the autoScaleReadCapacity() or autoScaleWriteCapacity() method on an instance of the Table construct. Lastly, since readCapacity, writeCapacity, and billingMode were all individual properties, a user had to know not to provision read and write capacity for a table with PAY_PER_REQUEST billing mode. With the new Billing class, the user is guided into providing necessary properties via the onDemand() and provisioned() static methods.


The TableEncryptionV2 class allows you to provide your own KMS keys for each replica instead of using the default AWS owned keys, thus encrypting every replica with a custom KMS key. This provides more granular control over the encryption of your DynamoDB tables.

Here is an example of how to use the TableEncryptionV2 class to encrypt each replica of a global table with a custom KMS key:

import * as cdk from 'aws-cdk-lib';
import { AttributeType, Billing, BillingMode, Capacity, TableBaseV2, TableEncryptionV2, TableV2 } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-dynamodb';
import { IKey, Key } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-kms';
import { Construct } from 'constructs';

interface KMSkeys extends cdk.StackProps {
  kmsuswest1: IKey;
  kmsuseast2: IKey;

export class GlobalTableStack extends cdk.Stack {
  //public readonly globalTable: TableV2;
  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: KMSkeys) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    const replicaTableKeys = {
      "us-west-1": props.kmsuswest1.keyArn,
      "us-east-2": props.kmsuseast2.keyArn
    const TableKMSKey=new Key(this, 'TableKMSKey', {
      alias: 'KMSuswest2Stack',

    new TableV2(this, 'GlobalTable', {
    tableName: 'FooTableFour',
    encryption: TableEncryptionV2.customerManagedKey(TableKMSKey,replicaTableKeys),

    partitionKey: {
    name: 'FooHashKey',
    type: AttributeType.STRING,
    replicas: [
      region: 'us-west-1',  
      region: 'us-east-2',

The ability to provide custom KMS keys for each replica can help to improve the security of your DynamoDB tables. It also gives you more control over the encryption of your data. This can help you to meet specific compliance requirements.


In this post, I introduced the new AWS CDK TableV2 construct, highlighting its advantages over the original construct. Notably, TableV2 enables drift detection for replica tables and eliminates the need for an extra Lambda function custom resource. I delved into practical implementations, focusing on three key aspects: Replicas, Billing, and Encryption.

To summarize, TableV2 marks a substantial improvement over the original construct. Its user experience provides significant improvement over the original construct in several ways, such as:

  • Direct support for global tables: TableV2 makes it easy to create and manage global DynamoDB tables.
  • Easier configuration of global secondary indexes and Autoscaling: TableV2 provides a simplified and streamlined process for configuring global secondary indexes and Autoscaling.
  • More granular control over replicas: TableV2 allows you to configure properties on a per-replica basis, giving you more control over the performance and availability of your tables.
  • Improved API design and user experience: TableV2 improves the API design and user experience by implementing new classes for billing, capacity, and encryption.

Overall, TableV2 is a powerful and flexible construct that makes it easier to build and manage DynamoDB tables at scale. It is the preferred CDK DynamoDB construct for creating both single tables and global tables. If you are looking for a powerful and flexible way to build and manage DynamoDB tables, TableV2 is the perfect choice for you.

If you’re new to CDK and eager to get started, we highly recommend checking out the CDK documentation and the CDK workshop.

Anirudh Sharma

Anirudh is a Cloud Support Engineer 2 with an extensive background in DevOps offerings at AWS, and he is also a Subject Matter Expert in AWS ElasticBeanstalk and AWS CodeDeploy services. He loves helping customers and learning new services and technologies. He also loves travelling and has a goal to visit Japan someday. He is a Golden State Warriors fan and loves spending time with his family.

Best practices for scaling AWS CDK adoption within your organization

Post Syndicated from David Hessler original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/best-practices-for-scaling-aws-cdk-adoption-within-your-organization/

Enterprises are constantly seeking ways to accelerate their journey to the cloud. Infrastructure as code (IaC) is crucial for automating and managing cloud resources efficiently. The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) lets you define your cloud infrastructure as code in your favorite programming language and deploy it using AWS CloudFormation. In this post, we will discuss strategies and best practices for accelerating CDK adoption within your organization. Our discussion begins after your organization has successfully completed a pilot. In this post, you will learn how to scale the lessons learned from the pilot project across your organization through platform engineering. You will learn how to reduce complexity through building reusable components, deploy with speed and safety via builder tooling, and accelerate project startup with an internal developer portal (IDP). We will conclude by discussing ways to participate in and benefit from the broader CDK community.

Before we dive in, let’s briefly discuss a new trend in technology: Platform Engineering. DevOps practices have helped IT organizations deliver software to customers more frequently and with higher quality. A recent evolution in DevOps is the introduction of platform engineering teams to build services, toolchains, and documentation to support workload teams. An important responsibility of the platform engineering team is governance of the software delivery process.

At Amazon, we have a long and storied history of leveraging platform engineering to accelerate deployments. This is why we are able to maintain 143 different compliance certifications and attestations while deploying 150 million times per year. Platform engineering increases productivity, reduces friction between ideas and implementation, and improves agility by accelerating the delivery of workloads via a secure, scalable, and reusable set of resources and components through self-service portals and developer tools. Platform Engineering is comprised of seven capabilities: Platform Architecture, Data Architecture, Platform Product Engineering, Data Engineering, Provisioning & Orchestration, Modern App Development and CI/CD. For more information on platform engineering visit the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework.

Establishing these capabilities takes several platform and workload teams working together. From an operating model standpoint, a workload team interacts with Platform Engineering in one of the three following ways (for more information, see Building a Cloud Operating Model):

Image describes a three different cloud operating models. The first model is a transitional model where Application Engineering and Application Operations teams both supported by Cloud Platform Engineering. The second model is strategic where Application Engineering and Cloud Platform Engineering equally own the responsibility. The third model is also strategic where Application Engineering and Cloud Platform Engineering jointly own responsibility but Application Engineering owns most of the responsibility.

Reduce Builder Complexity and Cognitive load with Reusable Components

So, how can the platform team incorporate CDK to accomplish their goals? One of the common objectives of the Platform Engineering team is to publish and curate reusable patterns called Constructs. Constructs provide a mechanism to create reusable, extensible, and common components that can be shared across multiple teams and projects.

Many customers write their own implementations for constructs to enforce security best practices such as encryption and specific AWS Identity and Access Management policies. For example, you might create a MyCompanyBucket that implements your organizations security requirements in place of the default Amazon S3 Bucket construct. This bucket configuration can be implemented and extended by multiple teams to ensure they are using components that are validated by your security and compliance teams.

For customers focused on data governance, CDK constructs can automatically add in best practices for recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives by ensuring backups and architecture meet an organization’s resilience policies. For advance customers looking to enforce data lifecycle policies, create uniform access controls, or emit required KPIs, CDK constructs can provide avenues to create safe and secure configuration by default. Applying CDK constructs to DataOps, customers can benefit from templated ETL pipelines that ensure data lineage metadata is maintained and data cleansing occurs.

Customers also build constructs for non-AWS resources. Teams can build Constructs for third-party builder tooling, observability systems, testing apparatuses and more. In this way, workload teams can codify AWS and non-AWS resources in one code base. There is a balance required when writing your own constructs between ensuring standardization and providing the freedom and flexibility of taking advantage of the growing ecosystems of CDK packages. Examples of this balance include AWS Solutions Constructs, as these are typically built upon standard constructs. Without extending standard constructs, the constructs you build will be harder for consumer to integrate with the larger CDK ecosystem since it uses standardize interfaces.

Construct Hub is a central destination for discovering and sharing cloud application design patterns and reference architectures defined for CDK, that are built and published by the AWS community. While AWS provides a public Construct Hub, enterprises can maintain their private Construct Hub inside their own AWS accounts (see construct-hub, the GitHub repository, or the CDK Workshop for more details). The primary objective in either case remains consistent: to provide shared libraries that can be readily utilized by different workload teams. This approach ensures enhanced consistency, reusability, and ultimately leads to cost reduction and faster development timelines.

One of the pitfalls customers often have with leveraging this approach is that Platform Engineering cannot keep up building reusable components to leverage the latest technology enhancements. This is where leveraging the lessons learned from a pilot really can help. A pilot team works with platform engineering to research and implement security best practices. Some customers have the platform engineering team act as approvers for new constructs in addition to authors of new constructs. In this model, a pilot team works to build construct(s) for a new technology. The platform engineers approve the new construct(s). Platform engineers ensure the pilot team meets required standards such as enforcing encryption at rest, encryption in transit, and least privilege. When approval occurs, the pilot team can publish the new construct(s) to Construct Hub. In this way, platform engineering can enable experimentation and innovation, rather than become a gatekeeper. Additionally, platform engineering teams can encourage and curate an inner-sourcing model for construct creation rather than being the sole creator of constructs.

Deploy Applications Using DevSecOps Best Practices

Application builders are most productive when their expertise is channeled towards writing code that directly addresses business challenges. While creating applications is a skill well within the grasp of many software developers, the complex task of deploying and operating these applications in line with organizational standards can be overwhelming, especially for those new to a team. This complexity often acts as a bottleneck, slowing down the experimentation process and delaying the realization of value from new application initiatives.

A solution to this challenge lies in automating the deployment pipeline and operational model. By employing thoroughly tested CDK (Cloud Development Kit) components that are shared across teams and validated through a robust CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) process, the burden on developers is significantly reduced. They no longer need to delve into the complexities of the organization’s deployment strategies, allowing them to concentrate on writing unique, innovative code. This approach not only streamlines the development process but also bridges the gap between development and operations, leading to more cohesive teams and faster, more efficient releases.

One key to high-quality software delivery is to have a proper Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) process in place. You can see CDK Pipelines: Continuous delivery for AWS CDK applications for practical examples. This high-level construct, powered by AWS CodePipeline, comes in handy when you need to go beyond test deployments with the cdk deploy command and build automated pipelines for production deployments to multiple environments in different regions and/or accounts.

Whenever you commit your AWS CDK app’s source code into AWS CodeCommit, GitHub, GitLab, BitBucket, or Amazon CodeCatalyst source repository, AWS CDK Pipelines automatically builds, tests, and deploys a new version of the application. This pipeline automatically reconfigures itself to deploy as the resources in stacks changes or the environments being deployed to change. For GitHub Actions users, see CDK Pipelines for GitHub Workflows.

A number of teams are extending these pipelines and adding their own stages to ensure deployed code meets the organization’s quality, security, risk, compliance and cloud financial management criteria. For best practices of what automation to put inside the pipeline, see the AWS Deployment Pipeline Reference Architecture. By creating fully functional pipelines, platform engineering teams can reduce the cognitive load place on development teams and increase the developer experience. This strategy has two implementations: QuickStart pipelines and golden pipelines.

In QuickStart pipelines, these pipelines are created as a construct in your Construct Hub and treated similar to the above discussion on reusable components. While these pipelines offer simplified interfaces and a reduction in cognitive load, workload teams remain in control of the pipeline and are free to modify it. As a result, quality gates such as security or compliance tooling can be disabled by workload teams and controls inside the pipeline aren’t provable. This is suboptimal for organizations looking to reduce costs of compliance and audit. As the number of versions of the construct grows, teams can have difficulty governing which versions are used to ensure teams consume.

In golden pipelines, the pipelines are created as constructs, but deployed via a centralized team. Workload teams cannot control or modify these pipelines, so quality gates such as security and compliance tooling cannot be disabled. These controls become provable to stakeholders in security, risk and compliance such as auditors. Removing permissions from workload teams comes with costs. With golden pipelines, platform engineering teams often spend a majority of their time troubleshooting workload teams’ deployments. With so much time spent on troubleshooting, teams have little time to introduce new tooling to raise the security and quality standard, improve environment setup and organizational consistency, or improve audit evidence and enforcement.

Two mechanisms can augment these strategies. Traditional change control boards (CCB) can provide provability in situations where gathering evidence and enforcement are difficult. CCBs can benefit from CDK constructs that integrate IT Service Management (ITSM) approvals and fleet management processes into the pipeline and account creation processes. Alternatively, there is an emerging story with Software Supply Chain Level Artifacts (SLSA). These artifacts can be used as digital proof. In the Kubernetes space, we see this pattern with tools like Tekton chains where attestations associated with OCI images and Kyverno is used for to enforcement the presence of attestations (see Protect the pipe! Secure CI/CD pipelines with a policy-based approach using Tekton and Kyverno for details).

Multi-account and cross-region deployment with CDK

DevOps best practices suggest multiple stages of deployment and testing before deploying to production. On top of that, AWS recommends a dedicated account for each stage to simplify resource isolation and access control. This multi-account strategy helps organizations make best use of AWS resources and provides fine-grain controls (see Recommended OUs and accounts).

Often, you will have a designated AWS account, where all CI/CD pipelines reside. A deployment is executed by these pipelines to publish to other AWS accounts, which may correspond to development, staging, or production stages. For more information about a cross-account strategy in reference to CI/CD pipelines on AWS, see Building a Secure Cross-Account Continuous Delivery Pipeline.

Automated Governance

Many enterprise customers leverage CDK to enforce security controls and policies and can prevent security issues before deployment with tooling to analyze code as part of the deployment pipeline. Using the industry standard tooling of cdk-nag, many teams check applications for best practices using a combination of available rule packs. We are also seeing enterprises build their own Aspects to enforce additional requirements such as tagging requirements to manage and organize their deployed resources.

Customers can create CDK synthesized CloudFormation and add additional checkpoints with CloudFormation Guard to verify the output using policy-as-code domain-specific language (DSL) rules. Platform Engineering teams can build the rules and workload team can consume rules and run CloudFormation Guard inside the pipeline. There is an official construct that supports makes it easy to add CloudFormation Guard checks to your application.

With AWS CDK, infrastructure is code. So, the standard tooling you already use to ensure quality and improve the builder experience should be used with CDK. If your organization has a code quality program, treat CDK applications no differently than web applications or microservices. Similarly, with Amazon CodeGuru Security and Amazon CodeWhisperer, builders can get actionable recommendations on how to improve both the security and quality on their CDK code as they would with any other type of application.

With Aspects, cdk-nag, and code quality tools, organizations can prevent security issues before they are deployed. However, it is also important to create controls that work after a deployment occurs. AWS CloudFormation Hooks allow customers to inspect resources prior to create, update, or delete CloudFormation Stacks or CDK Applications. With CloudFormation Hooks, Platform Engineering teams can provide warnings or prevent provisioning resources for non-compliant resources. These hooks can be created via CDK (see Build and Deploy CloudFormation Hooks using A CI/CD Pipeline for details).

Finally, you can deploy AWS Config’s conformance packs via CDK. These collections of rules you’re your organization insist on security standards at scale. If your organization wishes to build custom rules, teams can build reactive controls using higher level constructs for AWS Config Rules. While many of these patterns existed prior to CDK, CDK helps accelerate building and deploying cloud applications and controls by leveraging reusable components that are shared within the enterprise or by the community at large.

Operate the Application using Observability

The open-source community provides high-level construct libraries that expand basic monitoring capabilities for CDK applications. The cdk-monitoring-constructs project makes it easy to monitor CDK apps. Similarly, Cdk-wakeful takes that a step further, adding many additional services and provides easily configurable interfaces to automatically be notified by AWS System Manager Incident Manager, AWS Chatbot, or Amazon Simple Notification Service. By leveraging prebuilt solutions from the open-source community, you can focus on creating custom metrics and thresholds around your business logic. Platform Engineering teams can modify and extends 1open-source projects to help workload teams simplify their operations and emit health and status to centralized systems.

Accelerate New Project Startup with an Internal Developer Platform

An Internal Developer Platform (IDP) is built by platform engineering teams to build golden paths and enable developer self-service. These golden paths are expressed as a series of templates that the structure of a source control repository and files stored inside the repository. When the IDP uses these templates to create source code repositories, the resultant repository contains the following:

  • A getting-started tutorial (usually in a README.md)
  • Reference documentation
  • Skeleton source code
  • Dependency Management
  • CI/CD pipeline template
  • IaC template
  • Observability configuration

With CDK, the CI/CD pipeline, IaC template, and observability configuration can all be a part of a single CDK application.

Platform engineering teams build golden paths and expose them using tools like Backstage, Humanitec, or Port. When building golden paths, there are two common approaches to the underlying project structure. Some organizations choose the approach where their IaC code repository is separate from the application code. Others choose to include everything in one repository. There is a healthy tension between how much to place inside a golden path vs a reusable component. In both strategies, platform engineering teams can avoid code duplication by leveraging CDK. The approach your organization chooses will dictate how you organize your reusable components. Below, we will walk through both options and the implications on reusable constructs.

Option 1: Everything in one repository

In this approach, all the code is contained in one repository: infrastructure, application, configuration, and deployment. This approach enables builders to collaborate, build features, and innovate together quickly, which is why it is the recommended approach. For more details, refer to the Best practices documentation. For examples, see AWS Deployment Reference Architecture for Applications.

This approach works best in teams that are “value-stream aligned.” Value-stream aligned teams have development and operations capabilities within the same team. These teams are organized around solving problems for customers rather than technical capabilities. Within the project, teams can organize around logical units such as application tier (API, database, etc.) or business capabilities (order management, product catalog, delivery services, etc.). In organizations that are value stream aligned, larger, highly conventionalized reusable components are better. An extreme example of this type of constructs is a single construct that contains all the code for an entire microservice. In these teams, the cognitive load focuses on the customer problem, so reducing the complexity of developing applications is critical to success.

Option 2: Separated application code pipeline

In this alternative approach, you can decouple your application code from your infrastructure by storing them in separate repositories and having separate pipelines. Separating the pipelines often leads to siloes and less collaboration between workload builders, who shift focus to developing features, and infrastructure engineers, who limit their efforts to building the infrastructure on which those applications run.

This approach works best in teams that are “matrixed.” A matrix organization is structured around technical capabilities (development, operations, security, business, etc.). In these cases, more modular constructs work better than constructs that are highly conventionalized. Experts from each organization can use CDK constructs as mechanisms to share their expertise across the entire organization. Examples of these types of constructs are monitoring, alerting, or security constructs prebuilt with hooks to plug in to centralized monitoring.

Building a Community of Practice with Platform Engineering

Scaling any new technology within a large organization requires the creation and enablement of a community that fosters collaboration, establishes best practices, and stays up to date with the changes in the ecosystem. In order to enable the creation of these communities of practice within your organization, AWS supports multiple public communities centered around the creation of content to educate and enable CDK users. Members of your organization’s community of practice can connect with other CDK development teams around the world through these public AWS supported communities.

Communities of Practice

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people with shared interest who come together to learn, collaborate and develop expertise in a specific domain through informal interactions and knowledge sharing. Within your organization, establishing communities of practice around CDK has been proven to enable mentorship, problem solving, and reusable assets. To get started, your platform engineering team – the creators of reusable constructs and builder tooling with CDK – become early content creators for the community of practice. This establishes a feedback loop where CDK creators publicize their achievements via the CoP and consumers can ask questions and provide direct guidance to creators. Once the CoP has sustainably expanded by the initial group that established it, the CoP can start to add hack-a-thons or game days within your organization, which can bring innovation and solve organization-wide challenges. Fully mature communities of practices own curated wikis or databases of knowledge. They use mechanisms such as townhalls, office hours, newsletters, and chat channels to keep the community up to date. In this way, CDK expertise is diffused across the organization. At AWS, this diffusion of expertise has led to teams other than platform engineering becoming creators of reusable constructs. By expanding who can create reusable constructs, we are able to accelerate our own innovation.


There is a growing community that supports CDK, with many different platforms available providing content, code, examples and meetups. CDK is currently maintained by AWS with support from the community on AWS CDK GitHub page where you can contribute to the platform, raise issues, see the backlog and join discussions with active community members.

CDK.dev is the community driven hub around the CDK ecosystem. This site brings together all the latest blogs, videos, and educational content. It also provides links to join the community Slack platform.

CDK Patterns houses an open source collection of AWS Serverless architecture patterns built with CDK for developers to use. These patterns are sources via AWS Community Builders / AWS Heroes.

Finally, AWS re:Post provides a question-and-answer portal for the community to resolve.

The AWS Community Builders program offers technical resources, education, and networking opportunities to AWS technical enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders who are passionate about sharing knowledge and connecting with the technical community.

Communities of practice can leverage AWS public communities like cdk.dev to fill gaps in knowledge. Townhalls can benefit from speakers from AWS Heroes or community builders, frequent contributors to GitHub or re:Post, or speakers from CDK Day. Newsletters can aggregate and summarize the latest news from across all AWS channels. Once your community of practice establishes CDK competencies, this collaboration can also be bidirectional. For example, experts in your organization’s community can become AWS Heroes. Success stories can be shared via CDK Day, guest blog posts, and you might even speak at one of our major events such as AWS Summits, AWS re:Invent, AWS re:Inforce, or AWS re:Mars.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve said throughout this blog, with CDK, Infrastructure is code. This has enabled a paradigm shift in the infrastructure management space. Today, we see many customers such as Liberty Mutual, Scenario, Checkmarx, and Registers of Scotland establishing mature ecosystems using CDK. With an active open-source community, an AWS dev team for long term support, and multiple platforms for knowledge sharing, your builders can quickly learn, build, and innovate. Due to successful pilots, many organizations adopt CDK, become more agile, and innovate faster. This is exactly what happened at Amazon, where CDK is the first choice for building new services.

Organizations often scale and reduce complexity through platform engineering. These teams build higher level constructs by applying best practices, and provide CI/CD pipelines to accelerate deployments. Your deployment is safer using unit testing on your infrastructure as code and through robust security controls to provide guidance to builders at every stage: from author to operate.

Finally, establishing a community enables your organization to build its own mature ecosystem. Through both internal and open-source communities your builders can connect, discover, and grow.

Photo of David Hessler

David Hessler

Prior to joining AWS, David spent a decade serving as a principal technologist and establishing Platform Engineering and SRE teams for the United States government. Since joining AWS in 2020, David has spent his time helping customers accelerate deployment speed and safety for some of AWS’s largest commercial and public sector customers. Today, as a part of the DevSecOps team within Global Services Security, he is building the next generation of DevSecOps tooling for AWS customers.

Amritha Shetty

Amritha Shetty

Amritha is a Solutions architect at AWS. She works with public sector customers to help migrate and modernize in the cloud. She loves helping citizens get more from public sector institutions through rapid innovation in the cloud. She brings over twelve years of software design and development experience and passionate about helping customers implement the next-generation development experience.

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Chris Scudder

Chris is a Senior Solutions Architect with the UK Public Sector team. His primary focus is helping Public Sector customers adopt cloud technologies for their workloads, helping them streamline their development and operational processes. He has a background in application development and has created multiple Industry Solutions for UK Local Government. He has an interesting in Machine Learning and delivers AWS DeepRacer events alongside his day-to-day role.

Photo of Kumar Karra

Kumar Karra

Kumar Karra is a Senior Field Solutions Architect for AWS Small and Medium Business Customers. He has a strong background in designing and developing applications for small consumer facing customers to large mission critical applications for enterprises. He specialized in NextGen Developer Experience tools and enjoys helping customer shorten their time to value by guiding them on strategies to implement fast, repeatable, testable, and scalable tools and architectures.

New for AWS Amplify – Query MySQL and PostgreSQL database for AWS CDK

Post Syndicated from Channy Yun original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-for-aws-amplify-query-mysql-and-postgresql-database-for-aws-cdk/

Today we are announcing the general availability to connect and query your existing MySQL and PostgreSQL databases with support for AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), a new feature to create a real-time, secure GraphQL API for your relational database within or outside Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can now generate the entire API for all relational database operations with just your database endpoint and credentials. When your database schema changes, you can run a command to apply the latest table schema changes.

In 2021, we announced AWS Amplify GraphQL Transformer version 2, enabling developers to develop more feature-rich, flexible, and extensible GraphQL-based app backends even with minimal cloud expertise. This new GraphQL Transformer was redesigned from the ground up to generate extensible pipeline resolvers to route a GraphQL API request, apply business logic, such as authorization, and communicate with the underlying data source, such as Amazon DynamoDB.

However, customers wanted to use relational database sources for their GraphQL APIs such as their Amazon RDS or Amazon Aurora databases in addition to Amazon DynamoDB. You can now use @model types of Amplify GraphQL APIs for both relational database and DynamoDB data sources. Relational database information is generated to a separate schema.sql.graphql file. You can continue to use the regular schema.graphql files to create and manage DynamoDB-backed types.

When you simply provide any MySQL or PostgreSQL database information, whether behind a virtual private cloud (VPC) or publicly accessible on the internet, AWS Amplify automatically generates a modifiable GraphQL API that securely connects to your database tables and exposes create, read, update, or delete (CRUD) queries and mutations. You can also rename your data models to be more idiomatic for the frontend. For example, a database table is called “todos” (plural, lowercase) but is exposed as “ToDo” (singular, PascalCase) to the client.

With one line of code, you can add any of the existing Amplify GraphQL authorization rules to your API, making it seamless to build use cases such as owner-based authorization or public read-only patterns. Because the generated API is built on AWS AppSync‘ GraphQL capabilities, secure real-time subscriptions are available out of the box. You can subscribe to any CRUD events from any data model with a few lines of code.

Getting started with your MySQL database in AWS CDK
The AWS CDK lets you build reliable, scalable, cost-effective applications in the cloud with the considerable expressive power of a programming language. To get started, install the AWS CDK on your local machine.

$ npm install -g aws-cdk

Run the following command to verify the installation is correct and print the version number of the AWS CDK.

$ cdk –version

Next, create a new directory for your app:

$ mkdir amplify-api-cdk
$ cd amplify-api-cdk

Initialize a CDK app by using the cdk init command.

$ cdk init app --language typescript

Install Amplify’s GraphQL API construct in the new CDK project:

$ npm install @aws-amplify/graphql-api-construct

Open the main stack file in your CDK project (usually located in lib/<your-project-name>-stack.ts). Import the necessary constructs at the top of the file:

import {
} from '@aws-amplify/graphql-api-construct';

Generate a GraphQL schema for a new relational database API by executing the following SQL statement on your MySQL database. Make sure to output the results to a .csv file, including column headers, and replace <database-name> with the name of your database, schema, or both.


Run the following command, replacing <path-schema.csv> with the path to the .csv file created in the previous step.

$ npx @aws-amplify/cli api generate-schema \
    --sql-schema <path-to-schema.csv> \
    --engine-type mysql –out lib/schema.sql.graphql

You can open schema.sql.graphql file to see the imported data model from your MySQL database schema.

input AMPLIFY {
     engine: String = "mysql"
     globalAuthRule: AuthRule = {allow: public}

type Meals @model {
     id: Int! @primaryKey
     name: String!

type Restaurants @model {
     restaurant_id: Int! @primaryKey
     address: String!
     city: String!
     name: String!
     phone_number: String!
     postal_code: String!

If you haven’t already done so, go to the Parameter Store in the AWS Systems Manager console and create a parameter for the connection details of your database, such as hostname/url, database name, port, username, and password. These will be required in the next step for Amplify to successfully connect to your database and perform GraphQL queries or mutations against it.

In the main stack class, add the following code to define a new GraphQL API. Replace the dbConnectionConfg options with the parameter paths created in the previous step.

new AmplifyGraphqlApi(this, "MyAmplifyGraphQLApi", {
  apiName: "MySQLApi",
  definition: AmplifyGraphqlDefinition.fromFilesAndStrategy(
    [path.join(__dirname, "schema.sql.graphql")],
      name: "MyAmplifyGraphQLSchema",
      dbType: "MYSQL",
      dbConnectionConfig: {
        hostnameSsmPath: "/amplify-cdk-app/hostname",
        portSsmPath: "/amplify-cdk-app/port",
        databaseNameSsmPath: "/amplify-cdk-app/database",
        usernameSsmPath: "/amplify-cdk-app/username",
        passwordSsmPath: "/amplify-cdk-app/password",
  authorizationModes: { apiKeyConfig: { expires: cdk.Duration.days(7) } },
  translationBehavior: { sandboxModeEnabled: true },

This configuration assums that your database is accessible from the internet. Also, the default authorization mode is set to Api Key for AWS AppSync and the sandbox mode is enabled to allow public access on all models. This is useful for testing your API before adding more fine-grained authorization rules.

Finally, deploy your GraphQL API to AWS Cloud.

$ cdk deploy

You can now go to the AWS AppSync console and find your created GraphQL API.

Choose your project and the Queries menu. You can see newly created GraphQL APIs compatible with your tables of MySQL database, such as getMeals to get one item or listRestaurants to list all items.

For example, when you select items with fields of address, city, name, phone_number, and so on, you can see a new GraphQL query. Choose the Run button and you can see the query results from your MySQL database.

When you query your MySQL database, you can see the same results.

How to customize your GraphQL schema for your database
To add a custom query or mutation in your SQL, open the generated schema.sql.graphql file and use the @sql(statement: "") pass in parameters using the :<variable> notation.

type Query {
     listRestaurantsInState(state: String): Restaurants @sql("SELECT * FROM Restaurants WHERE state = :state;”)

For longer, more complex SQL queries, you can reference SQL statements in the customSqlStatements config option. The reference value must match the name of a property mapped to a SQL statement. In the following example, a searchPosts property on customSqlStatements is being referenced:

type Query {
      searchPosts(searchTerm: String): [Post]
      @sql(reference: "searchPosts")

Here is how the SQL statement is mapped in the API definition.

new AmplifyGraphqlApi(this, "MyAmplifyGraphQLApi", { 
    apiName: "MySQLApi",
    definition: AmplifyGraphqlDefinition.fromFilesAndStrategy( [path.join(__dirname, "schema.sql.graphql")],
        name: "MyAmplifyGraphQLSchema",
        dbType: "MYSQL",
        dbConnectionConfig: {
        //	...ssmPaths,
     }, customSqlStatements: {
        searchPosts: // property name matches the reference value in schema.sql.graphql 
        "SELECT * FROM posts WHERE content LIKE CONCAT('%', :searchTerm, '%');",

The SQL statement will be executed as if it were defined inline in the schema. The same rules apply in terms of using parameters, ensuring valid SQL syntax, and matching return types. Using a reference file keeps your schema clean and allows the reuse of SQL statements across fields. It is best practice for longer, more complicated SQL queries.

Or you can change a field and model name using the @refersTo directive. If you don’t provide the @refersTo directive, AWS Amplify assumes that the model name and field name exactly match the database table and column names.

type Todo @model @refersTo(name: "todos") {
     content: String
     done: Boolean

When you want to create relationships between two database tables, use the @hasOne and @hasMany directives to establish a 1:1 or 1:M relationship. Use the @belongsTo directive to create a bidirectional relationship back to the relationship parent. For example, you can make a 1:M relationship between a restaurant and its meals menus.

type Meals @model {
     id: Int! @primaryKey
     name: String!
     menus: [Restaurants] @hasMany(references: ["restaurant_id"])

type Restaurants @model {
     restaurant_id: Int! @primaryKey
     address: String!
     city: String!
     name: String!
     phone_number: String!
     postal_code: String!
     meals: Meals @belongsTo(references: ["restaurant_id"])

Whenever you make any change to your GraphQL schema or database schema in your DB instances, you should deploy your changes to the cloud:

Whenever you make any change to your GraphQL schema or database schema in your DB instances, you should re-run the SQL script and export to .csv step mentioned earlier in this guide to re-generate your schema.sql.graphql file and then deploy your changes to the cloud:

$ cdk deploy

To learn more, see Connect API to existing MySQL or PostgreSQL database in the AWS Amplify documentation.

Now available
The relational database support for AWS Amplify now works with any MySQL and PostgreSQL databases hosted anywhere within Amazon VPC or even outside of AWS Cloud.

Give it a try and send feedback to AWS re:Post for AWS Amplify, the GitHub repository of Amplify GraphQL API, or through your usual AWS Support contacts.


P.S. Specially thanks to René Huangtian Brandel, a principal product manager at AWS for his contribution to write sample codes.

Blue/Green deployments using AWS CDK Pipelines and AWS CodeDeploy

Post Syndicated from Luiz Decaro original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/blue-green-deployments-using-aws-cdk-pipelines-and-aws-codedeploy/

Customers often ask for help with implementing Blue/Green deployments to Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) using AWS CodeDeploy. Their use cases usually involve cross-Region and cross-account deployment scenarios. These requirements are challenging enough on their own, but in addition to those, there are specific design decisions that need to be considered when using CodeDeploy. These include how to configure CodeDeploy, when and how to create CodeDeploy resources (such as Application and Deployment Group), and how to write code that can be used to deploy to any combination of account and Region.

Today, I will discuss those design decisions in detail and how to use CDK Pipelines to implement a self-mutating pipeline that deploys services to Amazon ECS in cross-account and cross-Region scenarios. At the end of this blog post, I also introduce a demo application, available in Java, that follows best practices for developing and deploying cloud infrastructure using AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK).

The Pipeline

CDK Pipelines is an opinionated construct library used for building pipelines with different deployment engines. It abstracts implementation details that developers or infrastructure engineers need to solve when implementing a cross-Region or cross-account pipeline. For example, in cross-Region scenarios, AWS CloudFormation needs artifacts to be replicated to the target Region. For that reason, AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) keys, an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket, and policies need to be created for the secondary Region. This enables artifacts to be moved from one Region to another. In cross-account scenarios, CodeDeploy requires a cross-account role with access to the KMS key used to encrypt configuration files. This is the sort of detail that our customers want to avoid dealing with manually.

AWS CodeDeploy is a deployment service that automates application deployment across different scenarios. It deploys to Amazon EC2 instances, On-Premises instances, serverless Lambda functions, or Amazon ECS services. It integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM), to implement access control to deploy or re-deploy old versions of an application. In the Blue/Green deployment type, it is possible to automate the rollback of a deployment using Amazon CloudWatch Alarms.

CDK Pipelines was designed to automate AWS CloudFormation deployments. Using AWS CDK, these CloudFormation deployments may include deploying application software to instances or containers. However, some customers prefer using CodeDeploy to deploy application software. In this blog post, CDK Pipelines will deploy using CodeDeploy instead of CloudFormation.

A pipeline build with CDK Pipelines that deploys to Amazon ECS using AWS CodeDeploy. It contains at least 5 stages: Source, Build, UpdatePipeline, Assets and at least one Deployment stage.

Design Considerations

In this post, I’m considering the use of CDK Pipelines to implement different use cases for deploying a service to any combination of accounts (single-account & cross-account) and regions (single-Region & cross-Region) using CodeDeploy. More specifically, there are four problems that need to be solved:

CodeDeploy Configuration

The most popular options for implementing a Blue/Green deployment type using CodeDeploy are using CloudFormation Hooks or using a CodeDeploy construct. I decided to operate CodeDeploy using its configuration files. This is a flexible design that doesn’t rely on using custom resources, which is another technique customers have used to solve this problem. On each run, a pipeline pushes a container to a repository on Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) and creates a tag. CodeDeploy needs that information to deploy the container.

I recommend creating a pipeline action to scan the AWS CDK cloud assembly and retrieve the repository and tag information. The same action can create the CodeDeploy configuration files. Three configuration files are required to configure CodeDeploy: appspec.yaml, taskdef.json and imageDetail.json. This pipeline action should be executed before the CodeDeploy deployment action. I recommend creating template files for appspec.yaml and taskdef.json. The following script can be used to implement the pipeline action:

# Action Configure AWS CodeDeploy
# It customizes the files template-appspec.yaml and template-taskdef.json to the environment
# Account = The target Account Id
# AppName = Name of the application
# StageName = Name of the stage
# Region = Name of the region (us-east-1, us-east-2)
# PipelineId = Id of the pipeline
# ServiceName = Name of the service. It will be used to define the role and the task definition name
# Primary output directory is codedeploy/. All the 3 files created (appspec.json, imageDetail.json and 
# taskDef.json) will be located inside the codedeploy/ directory
repo_name=$(cat assembly*$PipelineId-$StageName/*.assets.json | jq -r '.dockerImages[] | .destinations[] | .repositoryName' | head -1) 
tag_name=$(cat assembly*$PipelineId-$StageName/*.assets.json | jq -r '.dockerImages | to_entries[0].key')  
echo ${repo_name} 
echo ${tag_name} 
printf '{"ImageURI":"%s"}' "$Account.dkr.ecr.$Region.amazonaws.com/${repo_name}:${tag_name}" > codedeploy/imageDetail.json                     
sed 's#APPLICATION#'$AppName'#g' codedeploy/template-appspec.yaml > codedeploy/appspec.yaml 
sed 's#APPLICATION#'$AppName'#g' codedeploy/template-taskdef.json | sed 's#TASK_EXEC_ROLE#arn:aws:iam::'$Account':role/'$ServiceName'#g' | sed 's#fargate-task-definition#'$ServiceName'#g' > codedeploy/taskdef.json 
cat codedeploy/appspec.yaml
cat codedeploy/taskdef.json
cat codedeploy/imageDetail.json

Using a Toolchain

A good strategy is to encapsulate the pipeline inside a Toolchain to abstract how to deploy to different accounts and regions. This helps decoupling clients from the details such as how the pipeline is created, how CodeDeploy is configured, and how cross-account and cross-Region deployments are implemented. To create the pipeline, deploy a Toolchain stack. Out-of-the-box, it allows different environments to be added as needed. Depending on the requirements, the pipeline may be customized to reflect the different stages or waves that different components might require. For more information, please refer to our best practices on how to automate safe, hands-off deployments and its reference implementation.

In detail, the Toolchain stack follows the builder pattern used throughout the CDK for Java. This is a convenience that allows complex objects to be created using a single statement:

 Toolchain.Builder.create(app, Constants.APP_NAME+"Toolchain")

In the statement above, the continuous deployment pipeline is created in the TOOLCHAIN_ACCOUNT and TOOLCHAIN_REGION. It implements a stage that builds the source code and creates the Java archive (JAR) using Apache Maven.  The pipeline then creates a Docker image containing the JAR file.

The UAT stage will deploy the service to the SERVICE_ACCOUNT and SERVICE_REGION using the deployment configuration CANARY_10_PERCENT_5_MINUTES. This means 10 percent of the traffic is shifted in the first increment and the remaining 90 percent is deployed 5 minutes later.

To create additional deployment stages, you need a stage name, a CodeDeploy deployment configuration and an environment where it should deploy the service. As mentioned, the pipeline is, by default, a self-mutating pipeline. For example, to add a Prod stage, update the code that creates the Toolchain object and submit this change to the code repository. The pipeline will run and update itself adding a Prod stage after the UAT stage. Next, I show in detail the statement used to add a new Prod stage. The new stage deploys to the same account and Region as in the UAT environment:


In the statement above, the Prod stage will deploy new versions of the service using a CodeDeploy deployment configuration CANARY_10_PERCENT_5_MINUTES. It means that 10 percent of traffic is shifted in the first increment of 5 minutes. Then, it shifts the rest of the traffic to the new version of the application. Please refer to Organizing Your AWS Environment Using Multiple Accounts whitepaper for best-practices on how to isolate and manage your business applications.

Some customers might find this approach interesting and decide to provide this as an abstraction to their application development teams. In this case, I advise creating a construct that builds such a pipeline. Using a construct would allow for further customization. Examples are stages that promote quality assurance or deploy the service in a disaster recovery scenario.

The implementation creates a stack for the toolchain and another stack for each deployment stage. As an example, consider a toolchain created with a single deployment stage named UAT. After running successfully, the DemoToolchain and DemoService-UAT stacks should be created as in the next image:

Two stacks are needed to create a Pipeline that deploys to a single environment. One stack deploys the Toolchain with the Pipeline and another stack deploys the Service compute infrastructure and CodeDeploy Application and DeploymentGroup. In this example, for an application named Demo that deploys to an environment named UAT, the stacks deployed are: DemoToolchain and DemoService-UAT

CodeDeploy Application and Deployment Group

CodeDeploy configuration requires an application and a deployment group. Depending on the use case, you need to create these in the same or in a different account from the toolchain (pipeline). The pipeline includes the CodeDeploy deployment action that performs the blue/green deployment. My recommendation is to create the CodeDeploy application and deployment group as part of the Service stack. This approach allows to align the lifecycle of CodeDeploy application and deployment group with the related Service stack instance.

CodePipeline allows to create a CodeDeploy deployment action that references a non-existing CodeDeploy application and deployment group. This allows us to implement the following approach:

  • Toolchain stack deploys the pipeline with CodeDeploy deployment action referencing a non-existing CodeDeploy application and deployment group
  • When the pipeline executes, it first deploys the Service stack that creates the related CodeDeploy application and deployment group
  • The next pipeline action executes the CodeDeploy deployment action. When the pipeline executes the CodeDeploy deployment action, the related CodeDeploy application and deployment will already exist.

Below is the pipeline code that references the (initially non-existing) CodeDeploy application and deployment group.

private IEcsDeploymentGroup referenceCodeDeployDeploymentGroup(
        final Environment env, 
        final String serviceName, 
        final IEcsDeploymentConfig ecsDeploymentConfig, 
        final String stageName) {

    IEcsApplication codeDeployApp = EcsApplication.fromEcsApplicationArn(
            Constants.APP_NAME + "EcsCodeDeployApp-"+stageName,

    IEcsDeploymentGroup deploymentGroup = EcsDeploymentGroup.fromEcsDeploymentGroupAttributes(
            Constants.APP_NAME + "-EcsCodeDeployDG-"+stageName,

    return deploymentGroup;

To make this work, you should use the same application name and deployment group name values when creating the CodeDeploy deployment action in the pipeline and when creating the CodeDeploy application and deployment group in the Service stack (where the Amazon ECS infrastructure is deployed). This approach is necessary to avoid a circular dependency error when trying to create the CodeDeploy application and deployment group inside the Service stack and reference these objects to configure the CodeDeploy deployment action inside the pipeline. Below is the code that uses Service stack construct ID to name the CodeDeploy application and deployment group. I set the Service stack construct ID to the same name I used when creating the CodeDeploy deployment action in the pipeline.

   // configure AWS CodeDeploy Application and DeploymentGroup
   EcsApplication app = EcsApplication.Builder.create(this, "BlueGreenApplication")

   EcsDeploymentGroup.Builder.create(this, "BlueGreenDeploymentGroup")

CDK Pipelines roles and permissions

CDK Pipelines creates roles and permissions the pipeline uses to execute deployments in different scenarios of regions and accounts. When using CodeDeploy in cross-account scenarios, CDK Pipelines deploys a cross-account support stack that creates a pipeline action role for the CodeDeploy action. This cross-account support stack is defined in a JSON file that needs to be published to the AWS CDK assets bucket in the target account. If the pipeline has the self-mutation feature on (default), the UpdatePipeline stage will do a cdk deploy to deploy changes to the pipeline. In cross-account scenarios, this deployment also involves deploying/updating the cross-account support stack. For this, the SelfMutate action in UpdatePipeline stage needs to assume CDK file-publishing and a deploy roles in the remote account.

The IAM role associated with the AWS CodeBuild project that runs the UpdatePipeline stage does not have these permissions by default. CDK Pipelines cannot grant these permissions automatically, because the information about the permissions that the cross-account stack needs is only available after the AWS CDK app finishes synthesizing. At that point, the permissions that the pipeline has are already locked-in­­. Hence, for cross-account scenarios, the toolchain should extend the permissions of the pipeline’s UpdatePipeline stage to include the file-publishing and deploy roles.

In cross-account environments it is possible to manually add these permissions to the UpdatePipeline stage. To accomplish that, the Toolchain stack may be used to hide this sort of implementation detail. In the end, a method like the one below can be used to add these missing permissions. For each different mapping of stage and environment in the pipeline it validates if the target account is different than the account where the pipeline is deployed. When the criteria is met, it should grant permission to the UpdatePipeline stage to assume CDK bootstrap roles (tagged using key aws-cdk:bootstrap-role) in the target account (with the tag value as file-publishing or deploy). The example below shows how to add permissions to the UpdatePipeline stage:

private void grantUpdatePipelineCrossAccoutPermissions(Map<String, Environment> stageNameEnvironment) {

    if (!stageNameEnvironment.isEmpty()) {

        for (String stage : stageNameEnvironment.keySet()) {

            HashMap<String, String[]> condition = new HashMap<>();
                    new String[] {"file-publishing", "deploy"});
                                    + stageNameEnvironment.get(stage).getAccount() + ":role/*"))
                            .conditions(new HashMap<String, Object>() {{
                                    put("ForAnyValue:StringEquals", condition);

The Deployment Stage

Let’s consider a pipeline that has a single deployment stage, UAT. The UAT stage deploys a DemoService. For that, it requires four actions: DemoService-UAT (Prepare and Deploy), ConfigureBlueGreenDeploy and Deploy.

When using CodeDeploy the deployment stage is expected to have four actions: two actions to create CloudFormation change set and deploy the ECS or compute infrastructure, an action to configure CodeDeploy and the last action that deploys the application using CodeDeploy. In the diagram, these are (in the diagram in the respective order): DemoService-UAT.Prepare and DemoService-UAT.Deploy, ConfigureBlueGreenDeploy and Deploy.

DemoService-UAT.Deploy action will create the ECS resources and the CodeDeploy application and deployment group. The
ConfigureBlueGreenDeploy action will read the AWS CDK
cloud assembly. It uses the configuration files to identify the Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) repository and the container image tag pushed. The pipeline will send this information to the
Deploy action.  The
Deploy action starts the deployment using CodeDeploy.

Solution Overview

As a convenience, I created an application, written in Java, that solves all these challenges and can be used as an example. The application deployment follows the same 5 steps for all deployment scenarios of account and Region, and this includes the scenarios represented in the following design:

A pipeline created by a Toolchain should be able to deploy to any combination of accounts and regions. This includes four scenarios: single-account and single-Region, single-account and cross-Region, cross-account and single-Region and cross-account and cross-Region


In this post, I identified, explained and solved challenges associated with the creation of a pipeline that deploys a service to Amazon ECS using CodeDeploy in different combinations of accounts and regions. I also introduced a demo application that implements these recommendations. The sample code can be extended to implement more elaborate scenarios. These scenarios might include automated testing, automated deployment rollbacks, or disaster recovery. I wish you success in your transformative journey.

Luiz Decaro

Luiz is a Principal Solutions architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS). He focuses on helping customers from the Financial Services Industry succeed in the cloud. Luiz holds a master’s in software engineering and he triggered his first continuous deployment pipeline in 2005.

Enhancing Resource Isolation in AWS CDK with the App Staging Synthesizer

Post Syndicated from Jehu Gray original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/enhancing-resource-isolation-in-aws-cdk-with-the-app-staging-synthesizer/

AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) has become a powerful tool for defining and provisioning AWS cloud resources. While CDK simplifies the process of infrastructure as code, managing resources across different projects and environments can still present challenges. In this blog post, we’ll explore a new experimental library, the App Staging Synthesizer, that enhances resource isolation and provides finer control over staging resources in CDK applications.

Background: The CDK Bootstrapping Model

Let’s consider a scenario where a company has two projects in the same account, Project A and Project B. Both projects are developed using the AWS CDK and deploy various AWS resources. However, the company wants to ensure that resources used in Project A are not discoverable or accessible to Project B. Prior to the introduction of the App Staging Synthesizer library in CDK, the default bootstrapping process created shared staging resources, such as a single Amazon S3 bucket and Amazon ECR repository, which are used by all CDK applications deployed in the CDK environment. In AWS CDK, a combination of region and an account is considered to be an environment. The traditional CDK bootstrapping method offers simplicity and consistency by providing a standardized set of shared staging resources for all CDK applications in an environment, which can be cost-effective for multiple applications. This shared model makes it challenging to control access and visibility between the projects in the same account, particularly in scenarios where resource isolation is crucial between different projects. In such scenarios, AWS recommends a best practice of separating projects that need critical isolation into different AWS accounts. However, it is recognized that there might be organizational or practical reasons preventing the immediate adoption of this recommendation. In such cases, mechanisms like the App Staging Synthesizer can provide a valuable workaround.

Introducing the App Staging Synthesizer:

Today, a growing trend among customers is the consolidation of their cloud accounts driven by the desire to optimize costs, bolster security and enhance compliance control. However, while consolidation offers several advantages, it can sometimes limit the flexibility to align ownership and decision making with individual accounts. This can lead to dependencies and conflicts in how workloads across accounts are secured and managed. The App Staging Synthesizer which is an experimental library designed to provide a more flexible approach to resource management and staging in CDK applications was designed to address these challenges. The AppStagingSynthesizer enhances resource isolation and cleanup control by creating separate staging resources for each application, reducing the risk of conflicts between resources and providing more granular management. It also enables better asset lifecycle management and customization of roles and resource handling, offering CDK developers a flexible and organized approach to resource deployment. Let’s delve into some of the advantages and key features of this library.

Advantages and Outcomes:

  1. Isolation and Access Control: The resources created for Project A are now completely isolated from Project B. Project B doesn’t have visibility or access to the staging resources of Project A, and vice versa. This ensures a higher level of data and resource security.
  2. Easier Resource Cleanup: When cleaning up or deleting resources, the Staging Stack specific to each project can be removed independently. This allows for a more streamlined and controlled cleanup process, mitigating the risk of inadvertently affecting other projects.
  3. Lifecycle Management: With separate ECR repositories for each CDK application, the company can apply lifecycle rules independently for retention and cost management. For example, they can configure each ECR repository to retain only the most recent 5 images, effectively cutting down on storage costs.
  4. Reduced Bootstrapping Complexity: As the only shared resources required are global Roles, the company now only needs to bootstrap every account in one Region instead of bootstrapping every Region. This simplifies the bootstrapping process, making it easier to manage with CloudFormation StackSets.

Key Features of the App Staging Synthesizer:

  • IStagingResources Interface: The App Staging Synthesizer introduces the IStagingResources interface, offering a framework to manage app-level bootstrap stacks. These stacks handle file assets and Docker assets for CDK applications.
  • DefaultStagingStack: Included in the library, the DefaultStagingStack is a pre-built implementation of the IStagingResources It comes with default configurations for staging resources, making it easier to get started.
  • AppStagingSynthesizer: This is a new CDK synthesizer that orchestrates the creation of staging resources for each CDK application. It seamlessly integrates with the application deployment process.
  • Deployment Roles: In addition to creating staging resources, the CDK App Staging Synthesizer also manages deployment roles. These roles are crucial for secure and controlled resource deployment, ensuring that only authorized processes can modify or access the resources.


Let’s explore practical examples of using the App Staging Synthesizer within a CDK application.


For this walkthrough, you should have the following prerequisites:

  • An AWS account
  • Install AWS CDK version 2.73.0 or later
  • A basic understanding of CDK. Please go through cdkworkshop.com to get hands-on learning about CDK and related concepts.
  • NOTE: To utilize the AppStagingSynthesizer, you should have an existing CDK application or should be working on a CDK application.

Using Default Staging Resources:

When configuring your CDK application to use deployment identities with the old bootstrap stack, it’s important to note that the existing staging resources, including the global S3 bucket and ECR repository, will still be created as part of the bootstrapping process. However, they will remain unused by this specific application, thanks to the App Staging Synthesizer.
While we won’t delve into the removal of these unused resources in this blogpost, it’s worth mentioning that for a more streamlined resource setup, you have the option to customize the bootstrap template to remove these resources if desired. This can help reduce clutter and ensure that only the necessary resources are retained within your CDK environment.

To get started, update your CDK App with the following code snippet:

const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.defaultResources({
appId: 'my-app-id',
// The following line is optional. By default, it is assumed you have bootstrapped in the same region(s) as the stack(s) you are deploying.
deploymentIdentities: DeploymentIdentities.defaultBootstrapRoles({ bootstrapRegion: 'us-east-1' }),

This code snippet creates a DefaultStagingStack for a CDK App, allowing you to manage staging resources more effectively.

Customizing Roles:

You can customize roles for the synthesizer, which can be useful for several reasons such as:

  • Reuse of existing roles: In many AWS environments, organizations have existing IAM roles with specific permissions and policies that are aligned with their security and compliance requirements. Rather than creating new roles from scratch, you might want to leverage these existing roles to maintain consistency and adhere to established security practices.
  • Compatibility: In scenarios where you have pre-existing IAM roles that are being used across various AWS services or applications, customizing roles within the CDK App Staging Synthesizer allows you to seamlessly integrate CDK deployments into your existing IAM role management strategy.

Overall, customizing roles provides flexibility and control over resources used during CDK application deployments, enabling you to align CDK-based infrastructure with the organization’s policies. An example is:

const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.defaultResources({
appId: 'my-app-id',
deploymentIdentities: DeploymentIdentities.specifyRoles({
cloudFormationExecutionRole: BootstrapRole.fromRoleArn('arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/Execute'),
deploymentRole: BootstrapRole.fromRoleArn('arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/Deploy'),

This code snippet illustrates how you can specify custom roles for different stages of the deployment process.

Deploy Time S3 Assets:

Deploy-time S3 assets can be classified into two categories, each serving a distinct purpose:

  • Assets Used Only During Deployment: These assets are instrumental in handing off substantial data to other services for private copying during deployment. They play a vital role during initial deployment, and afterwards are retained solely for potential future rollbacks
  • Assets Accessed Throughout Application Lifespan: In contrast, some assets are accessed continuously throughout the runtime of your application. These could include script files utilized in CodeBuild projects, startup scripts for EC2 instances, or, in the case of CDK applications, ECR images that persist throughout the application’s life.

Marking Lambda Assets as Deploy-Time:

By default, Lambda assets are marked as deploy-time assets in the CDK App Staging Synthesizer. This means they fall into the first category mentioned above, serving as essential components during deployment. For instance, consider the following code snippet:

declare const stack: Stack;
new lambda.Function(stack, 'lambda', {
code: lambda.AssetCode.fromAsset(path.join(__dirname, 'assets')), // Lambda code bundle marked as deploy-time
handler: 'index.handler',
runtime: lambda.Runtime.PYTHON_3_9,

In this example, the Lambda code bundle is automatically identified as a deploy-time asset. This distinction ensures that it’s cleaned up after the configurable rollback window.

Creating Custom Deploy-Time Assets:

CDK offers the flexibility needed to create custom deploy-time assets. This can be achieved by utilizing the Asset construct from the AWS CDK library:

import { Asset } from 'aws-cdk-lib/aws-s3-assets';
declare const stack: Stack;
const asset = new Asset(stack, 'deploy-time-asset', {
deployTime: true, // Marking the asset as deploy-time
path: path.join(__dirname, './deploy-time-asset'),

By setting deployTime to true, the asset is explicitly marked as deploy-time. This allows you to maintain control over the lifecycle of these assets, ensuring they are retained for as long as needed. However, it is important to note that deploy-time assets eventually become eligible for cleanup.

Configuring Asset Lifecycles:
By default, the CDK retains deploy-time assets for a period of 30 days. However, there is flexibility to adjust this duration according to custom requirements. This can be achieved by specifying deployTimeFileAssetLifetime. The value set here determines how long you can roll back to a previous application version without the need for rebuilding and republishing assets:

const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.defaultResources({
appId: 'my-app-id',
deployTimeFileAssetLifetime: Duration.days(100), // Adjusting the asset retention period to 100 days

By fine-tuning the lifecycle of deploy-time S3 assets, you gain more control over CDK deployments and ensure that CDK applications are equipped to handle rollbacks and updates with ease.

Optimizing ECR Repository Management with Lifecycle Rules:

The AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer provides you with the capability to control the lifecycle of container images by leveraging lifecycle rules within ECR repositories. Let’s explore how this feature can help streamline your CDK workflows.

ECR repositories can accumulate numerous versions of Docker images over time. While retaining some historical versions is essential for rollback scenarios and reference, an unregulated growth of image versions can lead to increased storage costs and management complexity.

The AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer offers a default configuration that stores a maximum of 3 revisions for a given Docker image asset. This ensures that you maintain access to previous image versions, facilitating seamless rollback operations. When more than 3 revisions of an asset exist in the ECR repository, the oldest one is purged.

Although by default, it’s set to 3, you can also adjust this value using the imageAssetVersionCount property:

const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.defaultResources({
appId: 'my-app-id',
imageAssetVersionCount: 10, // Customizing the image version count to retain up to 10 revisions

By increasing or decreasing the imageAssetVersionCount, you can strike a balance between storage efficiency and the need to access historical image versions. This ensures that ECR repositories are optimized to the CDK application’s requirements.

Streamlining Cleanup: Auto Delete Staging Assets on Stack Deletion

Efficiently managing resources throughout the lifecycle of your CDK applications is essential, and this includes handling the cleanup of staging assets when stacks are deleted. The AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer simplifies this process by providing an auto-delete feature for staging resources. In this section, we’ll explore how this feature works and how you can customize it according to your needs.

The Default Cleanup Behavior:
By default, the AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer is designed to facilitate the cleanup of staging resources automatically when a stack is deleted. This means that associated resources, such as S3 buckets and ECR repositories, are configured with a RemovalPolicy.DESTROY and have autoDeleteObjects (for S3 buckets) or autoDeleteImages (for ECR repositories) turned on. Under the hood, custom resources are created to ensure a seamless cleanup process.

Customizing Cleanup Behavior:
While automatic cleanup is convenient for many scenarios, there may be situations where you want to retain staging resources even after stack deletion. This can be useful when you intend to reuse these resources or when you have specific cleanup processes outside of the default behavior. To retain staging assets and disable the auto-delete feature, you can specify autoDeleteStagingAssets: as false when configuring the AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer:

const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.defaultResources({
appId: 'my-app-id',
autoDeleteStagingAssets: false, // Disabling auto-delete of staging assets

By setting autoDeleteStagingAssets to false, you have full control over the cleanup of staging resources. This allows you to retain and manage these resources independently, giving you the flexibility to align CDK workflows with the organization’s specific practices.

Using an Existing Staging Stack:

While the AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer offers powerful tools for managing staging resources, there may be scenarios where you already have a meticulously crafted staging stack in place. In such cases, you can seamlessly integrate the existing stack with the AppStagingSynthesizer using the customResources() method. Let’s explore how you can make the most of your pre-existing staging infrastructure.

The process is straightforward—supply your existing staging stack as a resource to the AppStagingSynthesizer using the customResources() method. It’s crucial to ensure that the custom stack adheres to the requirements of the IStagingResources interface for smooth integration.

Here’s an example:

// Create a new CDK App
const resourceApp = new App();

//Instantiate your custom staging stack (make sure it implements IstagingResources)
const resources = new CustomStagingStack(resourceApp, 'CustomStagingStack', {});

//Configure your CDK App to use the App Staging Synthesizer with your custom staging stack
const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.customResources({

In this example, CustomStagingStack represents the pre-existing staging infrastructure. By providing it as a resource to the App Staging Synthesizer, you seamlessly integrate it into the CDK application’s deployment workflow.

Crafting Custom Staging Stacks for Environment Control:

For those seeking precise control over resource management in different environments, the AWS CDK App Staging Synthesizer offers a robust solution – custom staging stacks. This feature allows you to tailor resource configurations, permissions, and behaviors to meet the unique demands of each environment within the CDK application.

Subclassing DefaultStagingStack for a Quick Start:

If your customization requirements align with the available properties, you can start by subclassing DefaultStagingStack. This streamlined approach lets you inherit existing functionalities while tweaking specific behaviors as needed. Here’s how you can dive right in:

//Define custom staging stack
interface CustomStagingStackOptions extends DefaultStagingStackOptions {}

//Subclass DefaultStagingStack to create the custom stgaing stack
class CustomStagingStack extends DefaultStagingStack {
// Implement customizations here

Building Staging Resources from Scratch:

For more granular control, consider building the staging resources entirely from scratch. This approach allows you to define every aspect of the staging stack, from the ground up, by implementing the “IStagingResources” interface. Here’s an example:

// Define custom staging stack properties(if needed)
interface CustomStagingStackProps extends StackProps {}

//Create your custom staging stack that implements IStagingResources
class CustomStagingStack extends Stack implements IStagingResources {
constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: CustomStagingStackProps) {
super(scope, id, props);

// Implement methods to define your custom staging resources
public addFile(asset: FileAssetSource): FileStagingLocation {
return {
bucketName: 'myBucket',
assumeRoleArn: 'myArn',
dependencyStack: this,
public addDockerImage(asset: DockerImageAssetSource): ImageStagingLocation {
return {
repoName: 'myRepo',
assumeRoleArn: 'myArn',
dependencyStack: this,

Creating Custom Staging Resources:

Implementing custom staging resources also involves crafting a CustomFactory class to facilitate the creation of these resources in every environment where your CDK App is deployed. This approach offers a high level of customization while ensuring consistency across deployments. Here’s how it works:

// Define a custom factory for your staging resources
class CustomFactory implements IStagingResourcesFactory {
public obtainStagingResources(stack: Stack, context: ObtainStagingResourcesContext) {
const myApp = App.of(stack);

// Create a custom staging stack instance for the current environment
return new CustomStagingStack(myApp!, `CustomStagingStack-${context.environmentString}`, {});

//Incorporate your custom staging resources into the Application using the customer factory
const app = new App({
defaultStackSynthesizer: AppStagingSynthesizer.customFactory({
factory: new CustomFactory(),
oncePerEnv: true, // by default

With this setup, you can create custom staging stacks for each environment, ensuring resource management tailored to your specific needs. Whether you choose to subclass DefaultStagingStack for a quick start or build resources from scratch, custom staging stacks empower you to achieve fine-grained control and consistency across CDK deployments.


The App Staging Synthesizer introduces a powerful approach to managing staging resources in AWS CDK applications. With enhanced resource isolation and lifecycle control, it addresses the limitations of the default bootstrapping model. By integrating the App Staging Synthesizer into CDK applications, you can achieve better resource management, cleaner cleanup processes, and more control over cloud infrastructure.
Explore this experimental library and unleash the potential of fine-tuned resource management in CDK projects.

For more information and code examples, refer to the official documentation provided by AWS.

About the Authors:

Jehu Gray

Jehu Gray is an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services where he helps customers design solutions that fits their needs. He enjoys exploring what’s possible with IaC.

Abiola Olanrewaju

Abiola Olanrewaju is an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services where he helps customers design and implement scalable solutions that drive business outcomes. He has a keen interest in Data Analytics, Security and Automation.

Using AWS CloudFormation and AWS Cloud Development Kit to provision multicloud resources

Post Syndicated from Aaron Sempf original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/using-aws-cloudformation-and-aws-cloud-development-kit-to-provision-multicloud-resources/

Customers often need to architect solutions to support components across multiple cloud service providers, a need which may arise if they have acquired a company running on another cloud, or for functional purposes where specific services provide a differentiated capability. In this post, we will show you how to use the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) to create a single pane of glass for managing your multicloud resources.

AWS CDK is an open source framework that builds on the underlying functionality provided by AWS CloudFormation. It allows developers to define cloud resources using common programming languages and an abstraction model based on reusable components called constructs. There is a misconception that CloudFormation and CDK can only be used to provision resources on AWS, but this is not the case. The CloudFormation registry, with support for third party resource types, along with custom resource providers, allow for any resource that can be configured via an API to be created and managed, regardless of where it is located.

Multicloud solution design paradigm

Multicloud solutions are often designed with services grouped and separated by cloud, creating a segregation of resource and functions within the design. This approach leads to a duplication of layers of the solution, most commonly a duplication of resources and the deployment processes for each environment. This duplication increases cost, and leads to a complexity of management increasing the potential break points within the solution or practice. 

Along with simplifying resource deployments, and the ever-increasing complexity of customer needs, so too has the need increased for the capability of IaC solutions to deploy resources across hybrid or multicloud environments. Through meeting this need, a proliferation of supported tools, frameworks, languages, and practices has created “choice overload”. At worst, this scares the non-cloud-savvy away from adopting an IaC solution benefiting their cloud journey, and at best confuses the very reason for adopting an IaC practice.

A single pane of glass

Systems Thinking is a holistic approach that focuses on the way a system’s constituent parts interrelate and how systems work as a whole especially over time and within the context of larger systems. Systems thinking is commonly accepted as the backbone of a successful systems engineering approach. Designing solutions taking a full systems view, based on the component’s function and interrelation within the system across environments, more closely aligns with the ability to handle the deployment of each cloud-specific resource, from a single control plane.

While AWS provides a list of services that can be used to help design, manage and operate hybrid and multicloud solutions, with AWS as the primary cloud you can go beyond just using services to support multicloud. CloudFormation registry resource types model and provision resources using custom logic, as a component of stacks in CloudFormation. Public extensions are not only provided by AWS, but third-party extensions are made available for general use by publishers other than AWS, meaning customers can create their own extensions and publish them for anyone to use.

The AWS CDK, which has a 1:1 mapping of all AWS CloudFormation resources, as well as a library of abstracted constructs, supports the ability to import custom AWS CloudFormation extensions, enabling customers and partners to create custom AWS CDK constructs for their extensions. The chosen programming language can be used to inherit and abstract the custom resource into reusable AWS CDK constructs, allowing developers to create solutions that contain native AWS extensions along with secondary hybrid or alternate cloud resources.

Providing the ability to integrate mixed resources in the same stack more closely aligns with the functional design and often diagrammatic depiction of the solution. In essence, we are creating a single IaC pane of glass over the entire solution, deployed through a single control plane. This lowers the complexity and the cost of maintaining separate modules and deployment pipelines across multiple cloud providers.

A common use case for a multicloud: disaster recovery

One of the most common use cases of the requirement for using components across different cloud providers is the need to maintain data sovereignty while designing disaster recovery (DR) into a solution.

Data sovereignty is the idea that data is subject to the laws of where it is physically located, and in some countries extends to regulations that if data is collected from citizens of a geographical area, then the data must reside in servers located in jurisdictions of that geographical area or in countries with a similar scope and rigor in their protection laws. 

This requires organizations to remain in compliance with their host country, and in cases such as state government agencies, a stricter scope of within state boundaries, data sovereignty regulations. Unfortunately, not all countries, and especially not all states, have multiple AWS regions to select from when designing where their primary and recovery data backups will reside. Therefore, the DR solution needs to take advantage of multiple cloud providers in the same geography, and as such a solution must be designed to backup or replicate data across providers.

The multicloud solution

A multicloud solution to the proposed use case would be the backup of data from an AWS resource such as an Amazon S3 bucket to another cloud provider within the same geography, such as an Azure Blob Storage container, using AWS event driven behaviour to trigger the copying of data from the primary AWS resource to the secondary Azure backup resource.

Following the IaC single pane of glass approach, the Azure Blob Storage container is created as a resource type in the CloudFormation Registry, and imported into the AWS CDK to be used as a construct in the solution. However, before the extension resource type can be used effectively in the CDK as a reusable construct and added to your private library, you will first need to go through the import into CDK process for creating Constructs.

There are three different levels of constructs, beginning with low-level constructs, which are called CFN Resources (or L1, short for “layer 1”). These constructs directly represent all resources available in AWS CloudFormation. They are named CfnXyz, where Xyz is name of the resource.

Layer 1 Construct

In this example, an L1 construct named CfnAzureBlobStorage represents an Azure::BlobStorage AWS CloudFormation extension. Here you also explicitly configure the ref property, in order for higher level constructs to access the Output value which will be the Azure blob container url being provisioned.

import { CfnResource } from "aws-cdk-lib";
import { Secret, ISecret } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-secretsmanager";
import { Construct } from "constructs";

export interface CfnAzureBlobStorageProps {
  subscriptionId: string;
  clientId: string;
  tenantId: string;
  clientSecretName: string;

// L1 Construct
export class CfnAzureBlobStorage extends Construct {
  // Allows accessing the ref property
  public readonly ref: string;

  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: CfnAzureBlobStorageProps) {
    super(scope, id);

    const secret = this.getSecret("AzureClientSecret", props.clientSecretName);
    const azureBlobStorage = new CfnResource(
        type: "Azure::BlobStorage",
        properties: {
          AzureSubscriptionId: props.subscriptionId,
          AzureClientId: props.clientId,
          AzureTenantId: props.tenantId,
          AzureClientSecret: secret.secretValue.unsafeUnwrap()

    this.ref = azureBlobStorage.ref;

  private getSecret(id: string, secretName: string) : ISecret {  
    return Secret.fromSecretNameV2(this, secretName.concat("Value"), secretName);

As with every CDK Construct, the constructor arguments are scope, id and props. scope and id are propagated to the cdk.Construct base class. The props argument is of type CfnAzureBlobStorageProps which includes four properties all of type string. This is how the Azure credentials are propagated down from upstream constructs.

Layer 2 Construct

The next level of constructs, L2, also represent AWS resources, but with a higher-level, intent-based API. They provide similar functionality, but incorporate the defaults, boilerplate, and glue logic you’d be writing yourself with a CFN Resource construct. They also provide convenience methods that make it simpler to work with the resource.

In this example, an L2 construct is created to abstract the CfnAzureBlobStorage L1 construct and provides additional properties and methods.

import { Construct } from "constructs";
import { CfnAzureBlobStorage } from "./cfn-azure-blob-storage";

// L2 Construct
export class AzureBlobStorage extends Construct {
  public readonly blobContainerUrl: string;

    scope: Construct,
    id: string,
    subscriptionId: string,
    clientId: string,
    tenantId: string,
    clientSecretName: string
  ) {
    super(scope, id);

    const azureBlobStorage = new CfnAzureBlobStorage(
        subscriptionId: subscriptionId,
        clientId: clientId,
        tenantId: tenantId,
        clientSecretName: clientSecretName,

    this.blobContainerUrl = azureBlobStorage.ref;

The custom L2 construct class is declared as AzureBlobStorage, this time without the Cfn prefix to represent an L2 construct. This time the constructor arguments include the Azure credentials and client secret, and the ref from the L1 construct us output to the public variable AzureBlobContainerUrl.

As an L2 construct, the AzureBlobStorage construct could be used in CDK Apps along with AWS Resource Constructs in the same Stack, to be provisioned through AWS CloudFormation creating the IaC single pane of glass for a multicloud solution.

Layer 3 Construct

The true value of the CDK construct programming model is in the ability to extend L2 constructs, which represent a single resource, into a composition of multiple constructs that provide a solution for a common task. These are Layer 3, L3, Constructs also known as patterns.

In this example, the L3 construct represents the solution architecture to backup objects uploaded to an Amazon S3 bucket into an Azure Blob Storage container in real-time, using AWS Lambda to process event notifications from Amazon S3.

import { RemovalPolicy, Duration, CfnOutput } from "aws-cdk-lib";
import { Bucket, BlockPublicAccess, EventType } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-s3";
import { DockerImageFunction, DockerImageCode } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-lambda";
import { PolicyStatement, Effect } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-iam";
import { LambdaDestination } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-s3-notifications";
import { IStringParameter, StringParameter } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-ssm";
import { Secret, ISecret } from "aws-cdk-lib/aws-secretsmanager";
import { Construct } from "constructs";
import { AzureBlobStorage } from "./azure-blob-storage";

// L3 Construct
export class S3ToAzureBackupService extends Construct {
    scope: Construct,
    id: string,
    azureSubscriptionIdParamName: string,
    azureClientIdParamName: string,
    azureTenantIdParamName: string,
    azureClientSecretName: string
  ) {
    super(scope, id);

    // Retrieve existing SSM Parameters
    const azureSubscriptionIdParameter = this.getSSMParameter("AzureSubscriptionIdParam", azureSubscriptionIdParamName);
    const azureClientIdParameter = this.getSSMParameter("AzureClientIdParam", azureClientIdParamName);
    const azureTenantIdParameter = this.getSSMParameter("AzureTenantIdParam", azureTenantIdParamName);    
    // Retrieve existing Azure Client Secret
    const azureClientSecret = this.getSecret("AzureClientSecret", azureClientSecretName);

    // Create an S3 bucket
    const sourceBucket = new Bucket(this, "SourceBucketForAzureBlob", {
      removalPolicy: RemovalPolicy.RETAIN,
      blockPublicAccess: BlockPublicAccess.BLOCK_ALL,

    // Create a corresponding Azure Blob Storage account and a Blob Container
    const azurebBlobStorage = new AzureBlobStorage(

    // Create a lambda function that will receive notifications from S3 bucket
    // and copy the new uploaded object to Azure Blob Storage
    const copyObjectToAzureLambda = new DockerImageFunction(
        timeout: Duration.seconds(60),
        code: DockerImageCode.fromImageAsset("copy_s3_fn_code", {
          buildArgs: {
            "--platform": "linux/amd64"

    // Add an IAM policy statement to allow the Lambda function to access the
    // S3 bucket

    // Add an IAM policy statement to allow the Lambda function to get the contents
    // of an S3 object
      new PolicyStatement({
        effect: Effect.ALLOW,
        actions: ["s3:GetObject"],
        resources: [`arn:aws:s3:::${sourceBucket.bucketName}/*`],

    // Set up an S3 bucket notification to trigger the Lambda function
    // when an object is uploaded
      new LambdaDestination(copyObjectToAzureLambda)

    // Grant the Lambda function read access to existing SSM Parameters

    // Put the Azure Blob Container Url into SSM Parameter Store
      "Azure blob container URL",

    // Grant the Lambda function read access to the secret

    // Output S3 bucket arn
    new CfnOutput(this, "sourceBucketArn", {
      value: sourceBucket.bucketArn,
      exportName: "sourceBucketArn",

    // Output the Blob Conatiner Url
    new CfnOutput(this, "azureBlobContainerUrl", {
      value: azurebBlobStorage.blobContainerUrl,
      exportName: "azureBlobContainerUrl",


The custom L3 construct can be used in larger IaC solutions by calling the class called S3ToAzureBackupService and providing the Azure credentials and client secret as properties to the constructor.

import * as cdk from "aws-cdk-lib";
import { Construct } from "constructs";
import { S3ToAzureBackupService } from "./s3-to-azure-backup-service";

export class MultiCloudBackupCdkStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    const s3ToAzureBackupService = new S3ToAzureBackupService(

Solution Diagram

Diagram 1: IaC Single Control Plane, demonstrates the concept of the Azure Blob Storage extension being imported from the AWS CloudFormation Registry into AWS CDK as an L1 CfnResource, wrapped into an L2 Construct and used in an L3 pattern alongside AWS resources to perform the specific task of backing up from and Amazon s3 Bucket into an Azure Blob Storage Container.

Multicloud IaC with CDK

Diagram 1: IaC Single Control Plan

The CDK application is then synthesized into one or more AWS CloudFormation Templates, which result in the CloudFormation service deploying AWS resource configurations to AWS and Azure resource configurations to Azure.

This solution demonstrates not only how to consolidate the management of secondary cloud resources into a unified infrastructure stack in AWS, but also the improved productivity by eliminating the complexity and cost of operating multiple deployment mechanisms into multiple public cloud environments.

The following video demonstrates an example in real-time of the end-state solution:

Next Steps

While this was just a straightforward example, with the same approach you can use your imagination to come up with even more and complex scenarios where AWS CDK can be used as a single pane of glass for IaC to manage multicloud and hybrid solutions.

To get started with the solution discussed in this post, this workshop will provide you with the instructions you need to understand the steps required to create the S3ToAzureBackupService.

Once you have learned how to create AWS CloudFormation extensions and develop them into AWS CDK Constructs, you will learn how, with just a few lines of code, you can develop reusable multicloud unified IaC solutions that deploy through a single AWS control plane.


By adopting AWS CloudFormation extensions and AWS CDK, deployed through a single AWS control plane, the cost and complexity of maintaining deployment pipelines across multiple cloud providers is reduced to a single holistic solution-focused pipeline. The techniques demonstrated in this post and the related workshop provide a capability to simplify the design of complex systems, improve the management of integration, and more closely align the IaC and deployment management practices with the design.

About the authors:

Aaron Sempf

Aaron Sempf is a Global Principal Partner Solutions Architect, in the Global Systems Integrators team. With over twenty years in software engineering and distributed system, he focuses on solving for large scale integration and event driven systems. When not working with AWS GSI partners, he can be found coding prototypes for autonomous robots, IoT devices, and distributed solutions.

Puneet Talwar

Puneet Talwar

Puneet Talwar is a Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the Australian Public Sector team. With a background of over twenty years in software engineering, he particularly enjoys helping customers build modern, API Driven software architectures at scale. In his spare time, he can be found building prototypes for micro front ends and event driven architectures.

How to add notifications and manual approval to an AWS CDK Pipeline

Post Syndicated from Jehu Gray original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/how-to-add-notifications-and-manual-approval-to-an-aws-cdk-pipeline/

A deployment pipeline typically comprises several stages such as dev, test, and prod, which ensure that changes undergo testing before reaching the production environment. To improve the reliability and stability of release processes, DevOps teams must review Infrastructure as Code (IaC) changes before applying them in production. As a result, implementing a mechanism for notification and manual approval that grants stakeholders improved access to changes in their release pipelines has become a popular practice for DevOps teams.

Notifications keep development teams and stakeholders informed in real-time about updates and changes to deployment status within release pipelines. Manual approvals establish thresholds for transitioning a change from one stage to the next in the pipeline. They also act as a guardrail to mitigate risks arising from errors and rework because of faulty deployments.

Please note that manual approvals, as described in this post, are not a replacement for the use of automation. Instead, they complement automated checks within the release pipeline.

In this blog post, we describe how to set up notifications and add a manual approval stage to AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) Pipeline.


CDK Pipeline

CDK Pipelines is a construct library for painless continuous delivery of CDK applications. CDK Pipelines can automatically build, test, and deploy changes to CDK resources. CDK Pipelines are self-mutating which means as application stages or stacks are added, the pipeline automatically reconfigures itself to deploy those new stages or stacks. Pipelines need only be manually deployed once, afterwards, the pipeline keeps itself up to date from the source code repository by pulling the changes pushed to the repository.


Adding notifications to a pipeline provides visibility to changes made to the environment by utilizing the NotificationRule construct. You can also use this rule to notify pipeline users of important changes, such as when a pipeline starts execution. Notification rules specify both the events and the targets, such as Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic or AWS Chatbot clients configured for Slack which represents the nominated recipients of the notifications. An SNS topic is a logical access point that acts as a communication channel while Chatbot is an AWS service that enables DevOps and software development teams to use messaging program chat rooms to monitor and respond to operational events.

Manual Approval

In a CDK pipeline, you can incorporate an approval action at a specific stage, where the pipeline should pause, allowing a team member or designated reviewer to manually approve or reject the action. When an approval action is ready for review, a notification is sent out to alert the relevant parties. This combination of notifications and approvals ensures timely and efficient decision-making regarding crucial actions within the pipeline.

Solution Overview

The solution explains a simple web service that is comprised of an AWS Lambda function that returns a static web page served by Amazon API Gateway. Since Continuous Deployment and Continuous Integration (CI/CD) are important components to most web projects, the team implements a CDK Pipeline for their web project.

There are two important stages in this CDK pipeline; the Pre-production stage for testing and the Production stage, which contains the end product for users.

The flow of the CI/CD process to update the website starts when a developer pushes a change to the repository using their Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An Amazon CloudWatch event triggers the CDK Pipeline. Once the changes reach the pre-production stage for testing, the CI/CD process halts. This is because a manual approval gate is between the pre-production and production stages. So, it becomes a stakeholder’s responsibility to review the changes in the pre-production stage before approving them for production. The pipeline includes an SNS notification that notifies the stakeholder whenever the pipeline requires manual approval.

After approving the changes, the CI/CD process proceeds to the production stage and the updated version of the website becomes available to the end user. If the approver rejects the changes, the process ends at the pre-production stage with no impact to the end user.

The following diagram illustrates the solution architecture.


This diagram shows the CDK pipeline process in the solution and how applications or updates are deployed using AWS Lambda Function to end users.

Figure 1. This image shows the CDK pipeline process in our solution and how applications or updates are deployed using AWS Lambda Function to end users.


For this walkthrough, you should have the following prerequisites:

Add notification to the pipeline

In this tutorial, perform the following steps:

  • Add the import statements for AWS CodeStar notifications and SNS to the import section of the pipeline stack py
import aws_cdk.aws_codestarnotifications as notifications
import aws_cdk.pipelines as pipelines
import aws_cdk.aws_sns as sns
import aws_cdk.aws_sns_subscriptions as subs
  • Ensure the pipeline is built by calling the ‘build pipeline’ function.


  • Create an SNS topic.

topic = sns.Topic(self, "MyTopic1")

  • Add a subscription to the topic. This specifies where the notifications are sent (Add the stakeholders’ email here).

topic.add_subscription(subs.EmailSubscription("[email protected]"))

  • Define a rule. This contains the source for notifications, the event trigger, and the target .

rule = notifications.NotificationRule(self, "NotificationRule", )

  • Assign the source the value pipeline.pipeline The first pipeline is the name of the CDK pipeline(variable) and the .pipeline is to show it is a pipeline(function).


  • Define the events to be monitored. Specify notifications for when the pipeline starts, when it fails, when the execution succeeds, and finally when manual approval is needed.
events=["codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-started", "codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-failed","codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-succeeded", 
  • For the complete list of supported event types for pipelines, see here
  • Finally, add the target. The target here is the topic created previously.


The combination of all the steps becomes:

topic = sns.Topic(self, "MyTopic1")
topic.add_subscription(subs.EmailSubscription("[email protected]"))
rule = notifications.NotificationRule(self, "NotificationRule",
events=["codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-started", "codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-failed","codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-succeeded", 

Adding Manual Approval

  • Add the ManualApprovalStep import to the aws_cdk.pipelines import statement.
from aws_cdk.pipelines import (
  • Add the ManualApprovalStep to the production stage. The code must be added to the add_stage() function.
 prod = WorkshopPipelineStage(self, "Prod")
        prod_stage = pipeline.add_stage(prod,
            pre = [ManualApprovalStep('PromoteToProduction')])

When a stage is added to a pipeline, you can specify the pre and post steps, which are arbitrary steps that run before or after the contents of the stage. You can use them to add validations like manual or automated gates to the pipeline. It is recommended to put manual approval gates in the set of pre steps, and automated approval gates in the set of post steps. So, the manual approval action is added as a pre step that runs after the pre-production stage and before the production stage .

  • The final version of the pipeline_stack.py becomes:
from constructs import Construct
import aws_cdk as cdk
import aws_cdk.aws_codestarnotifications as notifications
import aws_cdk.aws_sns as sns
import aws_cdk.aws_sns_subscriptions as subs
from aws_cdk import (
    aws_codecommit as codecommit,
    aws_codepipeline as codepipeline,
    pipelines as pipelines,
    aws_codepipeline_actions as cpactions,
from aws_cdk.pipelines import (

class WorkshopPipelineStack(cdk.Stack):
    def __init__(self, scope: Construct, id: str, **kwargs) -> None:
        super().__init__(scope, id, **kwargs)
        # Creates a CodeCommit repository called 'WorkshopRepo'
        repo = codecommit.Repository(
            self, "WorkshopRepo", repository_name="WorkshopRepo",
        #Create the Cdk pipeline
        pipeline = pipelines.CodePipeline(
                input=pipelines.CodePipelineSource.code_commit(repo, "main"),
                    "npm install -g aws-cdk",  # Installs the cdk cli on Codebuild
                    "pip install -r requirements.txt",  # Instructs Codebuild to install required packages
                    "npx cdk synth",

         # Create the Pre-Prod Stage and its API endpoint
        deploy = WorkshopPipelineStage(self, "Pre-Prod")
        deploy_stage = pipeline.add_stage(deploy)
                    "ENDPOINT_URL": deploy.hc_viewer_url
                commands=["curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL"],
                    "ENDPOINT_URL": deploy.hc_endpoint
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL",
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL/hello",
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL/test",
        # Create the Prod Stage with the Manual Approval Step
        prod = WorkshopPipelineStage(self, "Prod")
        prod_stage = pipeline.add_stage(prod,
            pre = [ManualApprovalStep('PromoteToProduction')])
                    "ENDPOINT_URL": prod.hc_viewer_url
                commands=["curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL"],
                    "ENDPOINT_URL": prod.hc_endpoint
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL",
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL/hello",
                    "curl -Ssf $ENDPOINT_URL/test",
        # Create The SNS Notification for the Pipeline
        topic = sns.Topic(self, "MyTopic")
        topic.add_subscription(subs.EmailSubscription("[email protected]"))
        rule = notifications.NotificationRule(self, "NotificationRule",
            source = pipeline.pipeline,
            events = ["codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-started", "codepipeline-pipeline-pipeline-execution-failed", "codepipeline-pipeline-manual-approval-needed", "codepipeline-pipeline-manual-approval-succeeded"],

When a commit is made with git commit -am "Add manual Approval" and changes are pushed with git push, the pipeline automatically self-mutates to add the new approval stage.

Now when the developer pushes changes to update the build environment or the end user application, the pipeline execution stops at the point where the approval action was added. The pipeline won’t resume unless a manual approval action is taken.

Image showing the CDK pipeline with the added Manual Approval action on the AWS Management Console

Figure 2. This image shows the pipeline with the added Manual Approval action.

Since there is a notification rule that includes the approval action, an email notification is sent with the pipeline information and approval status to the stakeholder(s) subscribed to the SNS topic.

Image showing the SNS email notification sent when the pipeline starts

Figure 3. This image shows the SNS email notification sent when the pipeline starts.

After pushing the updates to the pipeline, the reviewer or stakeholder can use the AWS Management Console to access the pipeline to approve or deny changes based on their assessment of these changes. This process helps eliminate any potential issues or errors and ensures only changes deemed relevant are made.

Image showing the review action on the AWS Management Console that gives the stakeholder the ability to approve or reject any changes.

Figure 4. This image shows the review action that gives the stakeholder the ability to approve or reject any changes. 

If a reviewer rejects the action, or if no approval response is received within seven days of the pipeline stopping for the review action, the pipeline status is “Failed.”

Image showing when a stakeholder rejects the action

Figure 5. This image depicts when a stakeholder rejects the action.

If a reviewer approves the changes, the pipeline continues its execution.

Image showing when a stakeholder approves the action

Figure 6. This image depicts when a stakeholder approves the action.


It is important to consider any potential drawbacks before integrating a manual approval process into a CDK pipeline. one such consideration is its implementation may delay the delivery of updates to end users. An example of this is business hours limitation. The pipeline process might be constrained by the availability of stakeholders during business hours. This can result in delays if changes are made outside regular working hours and require approval when stakeholders are not immediately accessible.

Clean up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the resources. Use cdk destroy via the command line to delete the created stack.


Adding notifications and manual approval to CDK Pipelines provides better visibility and control over the changes made to the pipeline environment. These features ideally complement the existing automated checks to ensure that all updates are reviewed before deployment. This reduces the risk of potential issues arising from bugs or errors. The ability to approve or deny changes through the AWS Management Console makes the review process simple and straightforward. Additionally, SNS notifications keep stakeholders updated on the status of the pipeline, ensuring a smooth and seamless deployment process.

Jehu Gray

Jehu Gray is an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services where he helps customers design solutions that fits their needs. He enjoys exploring whats possible with IaC such as CDK.

Abiola Olanrewaju

Abiola Olanrewaju is an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services where he helps customers design and implement scalable solutions that drive business outcomes. He has a keen interest in Data Analytics, Security and Automation.

Serge Poueme

Serge Poueme is a Solutions Architect on the AWS for Games Team. He started his career as a software development engineer and enjoys building new products. At AWS, Serge focuses on improving Builders Experience for game developers and optimize servers hosting using Containers. When he is not working he enjoys playing Far Cry or Fifa on his XBOX

Implementing automatic drift detection in CDK Pipelines using Amazon EventBridge

Post Syndicated from DAMODAR SHENVI WAGLE original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/implementing-automatic-drift-detection-in-cdk-pipelines-using-amazon-eventbridge/

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is a popular open source toolkit that allows developers to create their cloud infrastructure using high level programming languages. AWS CDK comes bundled with a construct called CDK Pipelines that makes it easy to set up continuous integration, delivery, and deployment with AWS CodePipeline. The CDK Pipelines construct does all the heavy lifting, such as setting up appropriate AWS IAM roles for deployment across regions and accounts, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets to store build artifacts, and an AWS CodeBuild project to build, test, and deploy the app. The pipeline deploys a given CDK application as one or more AWS CloudFormation stacks.

With CloudFormation stacks, there is the possibility that someone can manually change the configuration of stack resources outside the purview of CloudFormation and the pipeline that deploys the stack. This causes the deployed resources to be inconsistent with the intent in the application, which is referred to as “drift”, a situation that can make the application’s behavior unpredictable. For example, when troubleshooting an application, if the application has drifted in production, it is difficult to reproduce the same behavior in a development environment. In other cases, it may introduce security vulnerabilities in the application. For example, an AWS EC2 SecurityGroup that was originally deployed to allow ingress traffic from a specific IP address might potentially be opened up to allow traffic from all IP addresses.

CloudFormation offers a drift detection feature for stacks and stack resources to detect configuration changes that are made outside of CloudFormation. The stack/resource is considered as drifted if its configuration does not match the expected configuration defined in the CloudFormation template and by extension the CDK code that synthesized it.

In this blog post you will see how CloudFormation drift detection can be integrated as a pre-deployment validation step in CDK Pipelines using an event driven approach.

Services and frameworks used in the post include CloudFormation, CodeBuild, Amazon EventBridge, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, S3, and AWS CDK.

Solution overview

Amazon EventBridge is a serverless AWS service that offers an agile mechanism for the developers to spin up loosely coupled, event driven applications at scale. EventBridge supports routing of events between services via an event bus. EventBridge out of the box supports a default event bus for each account which receives events from AWS services. Last year, CloudFormation added a new feature that enables event notifications for changes made to CloudFormation-based stacks and resources. These notifications are accessible through Amazon EventBridge, allowing users to monitor and react to changes in their CloudFormation infrastructure using event-driven workflows. Our solution leverages the drift detection events that are now supported by EventBridge. The following architecture diagram depicts the flow of events involved in successfully performing drift detection in CDK Pipelines.

Architecture diagram

Architecture diagram

The user starts the pipeline by checking code into an AWS CodeCommit repo, which acts as the pipeline source. We have configured drift detection in the pipeline as a custom step backed by a lambda function. When the drift detection step invokes the provider lambda function, it first starts the drift detection on the CloudFormation stack Demo Stack and then saves the drift_detection_id along with pipeline_job_id in a DynamoDB table. In the meantime, the pipeline waits for a response on the status of drift detection.

The EventBridge rules are set up to capture the drift detection state change events for Demo Stack that are received by the default event bus. The callback lambda is registered as the intended target for the rules. When drift detection completes, it triggers the EventBridge rule which in turn invokes the callback lambda function with stack status as either DRIFTED or IN SYNC. The callback lambda function pulls the pipeline_job_id from DynamoDB and sends the appropriate status back to the pipeline, thus propelling the pipeline out of the wait state. If the stack is in the IN SYNC status, the callback lambda sends a success status and the pipeline continues with the deployment. If the stack is in the DRIFTED status, callback lambda sends failure status back to the pipeline and the pipeline run ends up in failure.

Solution Deep Dive

The solution deploys two stacks as shown in the above architecture diagram

  1. CDK Pipelines stack
  2. Pre-requisite stack

The CDK Pipelines stack defines a pipeline with a CodeCommit source and drift detection step integrated into it. The pre-requisite stack deploys following resources that are required by the CDK Pipelines stack.

  • A Lambda function that implements drift detection step
  • A DynamoDB table that holds drift_detection_id and pipeline_job_id
  • An Event bridge rule to capture “CloudFormation Drift Detection Status Change” event
  • A callback lambda function that evaluates status of drift detection and sends status back to the pipeline by looking up the data captured in DynamoDB.

The pre-requisites stack is deployed first, followed by the CDK Pipelines stack.

Defining drift detection step

CDK Pipelines offers a mechanism to define your own step that requires custom implementation. A step corresponds to a custom action in CodePipeline such as invoke lambda function. It can exist as a pre or post deployment action in a given stage of the pipeline. For example, your organization’s policies may require its CI/CD pipelines to run a security vulnerability scan as a prerequisite before deployment. You can build this as a custom step in your CDK Pipelines. In this post, you will use the same mechanism for adding the drift detection step in the pipeline.

You start by defining a class called DriftDetectionStep that extends Step and implements ICodePipelineActionFactory as shown in the following code snippet. The constructor accepts 3 parameters stackName, account, region as inputs. When the pipeline runs the step, it invokes the drift detection lambda function with these parameters wrapped inside userParameters variable. The function produceAction() adds the action to invoke drift detection lambda function to the pipeline stage.

Please note that the solution uses an SSM parameter to inject the lambda function ARN into the pipeline stack. So, we deploy the provider lambda function as part of pre-requisites stack before the pipeline stack and publish its ARN to the SSM parameter. The CDK code to deploy pre-requisites stack can be found here.

export class DriftDetectionStep
    extends Step
    implements pipelines.ICodePipelineActionFactory
        private readonly stackName: string,
        private readonly account: string,
        private readonly region: string
    ) {

    public produceAction(
        stage: codepipeline.IStage,
        options: ProduceActionOptions
    ): CodePipelineActionFactoryResult {
        // Define the configuraton for the action that is added to the pipeline.
            new cpactions.LambdaInvokeAction({
                actionName: options.actionName,
                runOrder: options.runOrder,
                lambda: lambda.Function.fromFunctionArn(
                // These are the parameters passed to the drift detection step implementaton provider lambda
                userParameters: {
                    stackName: this.stackName,
                    account: this.account,
                    region: this.region,
        return {
            runOrdersConsumed: 1,

Configuring drift detection step in CDK Pipelines

Here you will see how to integrate the previously defined drift detection step into CDK Pipelines. The pipeline has a stage called DemoStage as shown in the following code snippet. During the construction of DemoStage, we declare drift detection as the pre-deployment step. This makes sure that the pipeline always does the drift detection check prior to deployment.

Please note that for every stack defined in the stage; we add a dedicated step to perform drift detection by instantiating the class DriftDetectionStep detailed in the prior section. Thus, this solution scales with the number of stacks defined per stage.

export class PipelineStack extends BaseStack {
    constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props?: StackProps) {
        super(scope, id, props);

        const repo = new codecommit.Repository(this, 'DemoRepo', {
            repositoryName: `${this.node.tryGetContext('appName')}-repo`,

        const pipeline = new CodePipeline(this, 'DemoPipeline', {
            synth: new ShellStep('synth', {
                input: CodePipelineSource.codeCommit(repo, 'main'),
                commands: ['./script-synth.sh'],
            crossAccountKeys: true,
            enableKeyRotation: true,
        const demoStage = new DemoStage(this, 'DemoStage', {
            env: {
                account: this.account,
                region: this.region,
        const driftDetectionSteps: Step[] = [];
        for (const stackName of demoStage.stackNameList) {
            const step = new DriftDetectionStep(stackName, this.account, this.region);
        pipeline.addStage(demoStage, {
            pre: driftDetectionSteps,


Here you will go through the deployment steps for the solution and see drift detection in action.

Deploy the pre-requisites stack

Clone the repo from the GitHub location here. Navigate to the cloned folder and run script script-deploy.sh You can find detailed instructions in README.md

Deploy the CDK Pipelines stack

Clone the repo from the GitHub location here. Navigate to the cloned folder and run script script-deploy.sh. This deploys a pipeline with an empty CodeCommit repo as the source. The pipeline run ends up in failure, as shown below, because of the empty CodeCommit repo.

First run of the pipeline

Next, check in the code from the cloned repo into the CodeCommit source repo. You can find detailed instructions on that in README.md  This triggers the pipeline and pipeline finishes successfully, as shown below.

Pipeline run after first check in

The pipeline deploys two stacks DemoStackA and DemoStackB. Each of these stacks creates an S3 bucket.

CloudFormation stacks deployed after first run of the pipeline

Demonstrate drift detection

Locate the S3 bucket created by DemoStackA under resources, navigate to the S3 bucket and modify the tag aws-cdk:auto-delete-objects from true to false as shown below

DemoStackA resources

DemoStackA modify S3 tag

Now, go to the pipeline and trigger a new execution by clicking on Release Change

Run pipeline via Release Change tab

The pipeline run will now end in failure at the pre-deployment drift detection step.

Pipeline run after Drift Detection failure


Please follow the steps below to clean up all the stacks.

  1. Navigate to S3 console and empty the buckets created by stacks DemoStackA and DemoStackB.
  2. Navigate to the CloudFormation console and delete stacks DemoStackA and DemoStackB, since deleting CDK Pipelines stack does not delete the application stacks that the pipeline deploys.
  3. Delete the CDK Pipelines stack cdk-drift-detect-demo-pipeline
  4. Delete the pre-requisites stack cdk-drift-detect-demo-drift-detection-prereq


In this post, I showed how to add a custom implementation step in CDK Pipelines. I also used that mechanism to integrate a drift detection check as a pre-deployment step. This allows us to validate the integrity of a CloudFormation Stack before its deployment. Since the validation is integrated into the pipeline, it is easier to manage the solution in one place as part of the overarching pipeline. Give the solution a try, and then see if you can incorporate it into your organization’s delivery pipelines.

About the author:

Damodar Shenvi Wagle

Damodar Shenvi Wagle is a Senior Cloud Application Architect at AWS Professional Services. His areas of expertise include architecting serverless solutions, CI/CD, and automation.

Load test your applications in a CI/CD pipeline using CDK pipelines and AWS Distributed Load Testing Solution

Post Syndicated from Krishnakumar Rengarajan original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/load-test-applications-in-cicd-pipeline/

Load testing is a foundational pillar of building resilient applications. Today, load testing practices across many organizations are often based on desktop tools, where someone must manually run the performance tests and validate the results before a software release can be promoted to production. This leads to increased time to market for new features and products. Load testing applications in automated CI/CD pipelines provides the following benefits:

  • Early and automated feedback on performance thresholds based on clearly defined benchmarks.
  • Consistent and reliable load testing process for every feature release.
  • Reduced overall time to market due to eliminated manual load testing effort.
  • Improved overall resiliency of the production environment.
  • The ability to rapidly identify and document bottlenecks and scaling limits of the production environment.

In this blog post, we demonstrate how to automatically load test your applications in an automated CI/CD pipeline using AWS Distributed Load Testing solution and AWS CDK Pipelines.

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development framework to define cloud infrastructure in code and provision it through AWS CloudFormation. AWS CDK Pipelines is a construct library module for continuous delivery of AWS CDK applications, powered by AWS CodePipeline. AWS CDK Pipelines can automatically build, test, and deploy the new version of your CDK app whenever the new source code is checked in.

Distributed Load Testing is an AWS Solution that automates software applications testing at scale to help you identify potential performance issues before their release. It creates and simulates thousands of users generating transactional records at a constant pace without the need to provision servers or instances.


To deploy and test this solution, you will need:

  • AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI): This tutorial assumes that you have configured the AWS CLI on your workstation. Alternatively, you can use also use AWS CloudShell.
  • AWS CDK V2: This tutorial assumes that you have installed AWS CDK V2 on your workstation or in the CloudShell environment.

Solution Overview

In this solution, we create a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CDK Pipelines and use it to deploy a sample RESTful CDK application in two environments; development and production. We load test the application using AWS Distributed Load Testing Solution in the development environment. Based on the load test result, we either fail the pipeline or proceed to production deployment. You may consider running the load test in a dedicated testing environment that mimics the production environment.

For demonstration purposes, we use the following metrics to validate the load test results.

  • Average Response Time – the average response time, in seconds, for all the requests generated by the test. In this blog post we define the threshold for average response time to 1 second.
  • Error Count – the total number of errors. In this blog post, we define the threshold for for total number of errors to 1.

For your application, you may consider using additional metrics from the Distributed Load Testing solution documentation to validate your load test.

Architecture diagram

Architecture diagram of the solution to execute load tests in CI/CD pipeline

Solution Components

  • AWS CDK code for the CI/CD pipeline, including AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles and policies. The pipeline has the following stages:
    • Source: fetches the source code for the sample application from the AWS CodeCommit repository.
    • Build: compiles the code and executes cdk synth to generate CloudFormation template for the sample application.
    • UpdatePipeline: updates the pipeline if there are any changes to our code or the pipeline configuration.
    • Assets: prepares and publishes all file assets to Amazon S3 (S3).
    • Development Deployment: deploys application to the development environment and runs a load test.
    • Production Deployment: deploys application to the production environment.
  • AWS CDK code for a sample serverless RESTful application.Architecture diagram of the sample RESTful application
    • The AWS Lambda (Lambda) function in the architecture contains a 500 millisecond sleep statement to add latency to the API response.
  • Typescript code for starting the load test and validating the test results. This code is executed in the ‘Load Test’ step of the ‘Development Deployment’ stage. It starts a load test against the sample restful application endpoint and waits for the test to finish. For demonstration purposes, the load test is started with the following parameters:
    • Concurrency: 1
    • Task Count: 1
    • Ramp up time: 0 secs
    • Hold for: 30 sec
    • End point to test: endpoint for the sample RESTful application.
    • HTTP method: GET
  • Load Testing service deployed via the AWS Distributed Load Testing Solution. For costs related to the AWS Distributed Load Testing Solution, see the solution documentation.

Implementation Details

For the purposes of this blog, we deploy the CI/CD pipeline, the RESTful application and the AWS Distributed Load Testing solution into the same AWS account. In your environment, you may consider deploying these stacks into separate AWS accounts based on your security and governance requirements.

To deploy the solution components

  1. Follow the instructions in the the AWS Distributed Load Testing solution Automated Deployment guide to deploy the solution. Note down the value of the CloudFormation output parameter ‘DLTApiEndpoint’. We will need this in the next steps. Proceed to the next step once you are able to login to the User Interface of the solution.
  2. Clone the blog Git repository
    git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-automatically-load-test-applications-cicd-pipeline-blog

  3. Update the Distributed Load Testing Solution endpoint URL in loadTestEnvVariables.json.
  4. Deploy the CloudFormation stack for the CI/CD pipeline. This step will also commit the AWS CDK code for the sample RESTful application stack and start the application deployment.
    cd pipeline && cdk bootstrap && cdk deploy --require-approval never
  5. Follow the below steps to view the load test results:
      1. Open the AWS CodePipeline console.
      2. Click on the pipeline named “blog-pipeline”.
      3. Observe that one of the stages (named ‘LoadTest’) in the CI/CD pipeline (that was provisioned by the CloudFormation stack in the previous step) executes a load test against the application Development environment.
        Diagram representing CodePipeline highlighting the LoadTest stage passing successfully
      4. Click on the details of the ‘LoadTest’ step to view the test results. Notice that the load test succeeded.
        Diagram showing sample logs when load tests pass successfully

Change the response time threshold

In this step, we will modify the response time threshold from 1 second to 200 milliseconds in order to introduce a load test failure. Remember from the steps earlier that the Lambda function code has a 500 millisecond sleep statement to add latency to the API response time.

  1. From the AWS Console and then go to CodeCommit. The source for the pipeline is a CodeCommit repository named “blog-repo”.
  2. Click on the “blog-repo” repository, and then browse to the “pipeline” folder. Click on file ‘loadTestEnvVariables.json’ and then ‘Edit’.
  3. Set the response time threshold to 200 milliseconds by changing attribute ‘AVG_RT_THRESHOLD’ value to ‘.2’. Click on the commit button. This will start will start the CI/CD pipeline.
  4. Go to CodePipeline from the AWS console and click on the ‘blog-pipeline’.
  5. Observe the ‘LoadTest’ step in ‘Development-Deploy’ stage will fail in about five minutes, and the pipeline will not proceed to the ‘Production-Deploy’ stage.
    Diagram representing CodePipeline highlighting the LoadTest stage failing
  6. Click on the details of the ‘LoadTest’ step to view the test results. Notice that the load test failed.
    Diagram showing sample logs when load tests fail
  7. Log into the Distributed Load Testing Service console. You will see two tests named ‘sampleScenario’. Click on each of them to see the test result details.


  1. Delete the CloudFormation stack that deployed the sample application.
    1. From the AWS Console, go to CloudFormation and delete the stacks ‘Production-Deploy-Application’ and ‘Development-Deploy-Application’.
  2. Delete the CI/CD pipeline.
    cd pipeline && cdk destroy
  3. Delete the Distributed Load Testing Service CloudFormation stack.
    1. From CloudFormation console, delete the stack for Distributed Load Testing service that you created earlier.


In the post above, we demonstrated how to automatically load test your applications in a CI/CD pipeline using AWS CDK Pipelines and AWS Distributed Load Testing solution. We defined the performance bench marks for our application as configuration. We then used these benchmarks to automatically validate the application performance prior to production deployment. Based on the load test results, we either proceeded to production deployment or failed the pipeline.

About the Authors

Usman Umar

Usman Umar

Usman Umar is a Sr. Applications Architect at AWS Professional Services. He is passionate about developing innovative ways to solve hard technical problems for the customers. In his free time, he likes going on biking trails, doing car modifications, and spending time with his family.

Krishnakumar Rengarajan

Krishnakumar Rengarajan

Krishnakumar Rengarajan is a Senior DevOps Consultant with AWS Professional Services. He enjoys working with customers and focuses on building and delivering automated solutions that enable customers on their AWS cloud journey.

How to write and execute integration tests for AWS CDK applications

Post Syndicated from Svenja Raether original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/how-to-write-and-execute-integration-tests-for-aws-cdk-applications/

Automated integration testing validates system components and boosts confidence for new software releases. Performing integration tests on resources deployed to the AWS cloud enables the validation of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, service limits, application configuration, and runtime code. For developers that are currently leveraging AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) as their Infrastructure as Code tool, there is a testing framework available that makes integration testing easier to implement in the software release.

AWS CDK is an open-source framework for defining and provisioning AWS cloud infrastructure using supported programming languages. The framework includes constructs for writing and running unit and integration tests. The assertions construct can be used to write unit tests and assert against the generated CloudFormation templates. CDK integ-tests construct can be used for defining integration test cases and can be combined with CDK integ-runner for executing these tests. The integ-runner handles automatic resource provisioning and removal and supports several customization options. Unit tests using assertion functions are used to test configurations in the CloudFormation templates before deploying these templates, while integration tests run assertions in the deployed resources. This blog post demonstrates writing automated integration tests for an example application using AWS CDK.

Solution Overview

Architecture Diagram for the serverless data enrichment application

Figure 1: Serverless data enrichment application

The example application shown in Figure 1 is a sample serverless data enrichment application. Data is processed and enriched in the system as follows:

  1. Users publish messages to an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic. Messages are encrypted at rest using an AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) customer-managed key.
  2. Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queue is subscribed to the Amazon SNS topic, where published messages are delivered.
  3. AWS Lambda consumes messages from the Amazon SQS queue, adding additional data to the message. Messages that cannot be processed successfully are sent to a dead-letter queue.
  4. Successfully enriched messages are stored in an Amazon DynamoDB table by the Lambda function.
Architecture diagram for the integration test with one assertion

Figure 2: Integration test with one assertion

For this sample application, we will use AWS CDK’s integration testing framework to validate the processing for a single message as shown in Figure 2. To run the test, we configure the test framework to do the following steps:

  1. Publish a message to the Amazon SNS topic. Wait for the application to process the message and save to DynamoDB.
  2. Periodically check the Amazon DynamoDB table and verify that the saved message was enriched.


The following are the required to deploy this solution:

The structure of the sample AWS CDK application repository is as follows:

  • /bin folder contains the top-level definition of the AWS CDK app.
  • /lib folder contains the stack definition of the application under test which defines the application described in the section above.
  • /lib/functions contains the Lambda function runtime code.
  • /integ-tests contains the integration test stack where we define and configure our test cases.

The repository is a typical AWS CDK application except that it has one additional directory for the test case definitions. For the remainder of this blog post, we focus on the integration test definition in /integ-tests/integ.sns-sqs-ddb.ts and walk you through its creation and the execution of the integration test.

Writing integration tests

An integration test should validate expected behavior of your AWS CDK application. You can define an integration test for your application as follows:

  1. Create a stack under test from the CdkIntegTestsDemoStack definition and map it to the application.
    // CDK App for Integration Tests
    const app = new cdk.App();
    // Stack under test
    const stackUnderTest = new CdkIntegTestsDemoStack(app, ‘IntegrationTestStack’, {
      setDestroyPolicyToAllResources: true,
        “This stack includes the application’s resources for integration testing.”,
  2. Define the integration test construct with a list of test cases. This construct offers the ability to customize the behavior of the integration runner tool. For example, you can force the integ-runner to destroy the resources after the test run to force the cleanup.
    // Initialize Integ Test construct
    const integ = new IntegTest(app, ‘DataFlowTest’, {
      testCases: [stackUnderTest], // Define a list of cases for this test
      cdkCommandOptions: {
        // Customize the integ-runner parameters
        destroy: {
          args: {
            force: true,
      regions: [stackUnderTest.region],
  3. Add an assertion to validate the test results. In this example, we validate the single message flow from the Amazon SNS topic to the Amazon DynamoDB table. The assertion publishes the message object to the Amazon SNS topic using the AwsApiCall method. In the background this method utilizes a Lambda-backed CloudFormation custom resource to execute the Amazon SNS Publish API call with the AWS SDK for JavaScript.
     * Assertion:
     * The application should handle single message and write the enriched item to the DynamoDB table.
    const id = 'test-id-1';
    const message = 'This message should be validated';
     * Publish a message to the SNS topic.
     * Note - SNS topic ARN is a member variable of the
     * application stack for testing purposes.
    const assertion = integ.assertions
      .awsApiCall('SNS', 'publish', {
        TopicArn: stackUnderTest.topicArn,
        Message: JSON.stringify({
          id: id,
          message: message,
  4. Use the next helper method to chain API calls. In our example, a second Amazon DynamoDB GetItem API call gets the item whose primary key equals the message id. The result from the second API call is expected to match the message object including the additional attribute added as a result of the data enrichment.
     * Validate that the DynamoDB table contains the enriched message.
          .awsApiCall('DynamoDB', 'getItem', {
            TableName: stackUnderTest.tableName,
            Key: { id: { S: id } },
           * Expect the enriched message to be returned.
              Item: { id: { S: id, },
                message: { S: message, },
                additionalAttr: { S: 'enriched', },
  5. Since it may take a while for the message to be passed through the application, we run the assertion asynchronously by calling the waitForAssertions method. This means that the Amazon DynamoDB GetItem API call is called in intervals until the expected result is met or the total timeout is reached.
     * Timeout and interval check for assertion to be true.
     * Note - Data may take some time to arrive in DynamoDB.
     * Iteratively executes API call at specified interval.
            totalTimeout: Duration.seconds(25),
            interval: Duration.seconds(3),
  6. The AwsApiCall method automatically adds the correct IAM permissions for both API calls to the AWS Lambda function. Given that the example application’s Amazon SNS topic is encrypted using an AWS KMS key, additional permissions are required to publish the message.
    // Add the required permissions to the api call
      Effect: 'Allow',
      Action: [
      Resource: [stackUnderTest.kmsKeyArn],

The full code for this blog is available on this GitHub project.

Running integration tests

In this section, we show how to run integration test for the introduced sample application using the integ-runner to execute the test case and report on the assertion results.

Install and build the project.

npm install 

npm run build

Run the following command to initiate the test case execution with a list of options.

npm run integ-test

The directory option specifies in which location the integ-runner needs to recursively search for test definition files. The parallel-regions option allows to define a list of regions to run tests in. We set this to us-east-1 and ensure that the AWS CDK bootstrapping has previously been performed in this region. The update-on-failed option allows to rerun the integration tests if the snapshot fails. A full list of available options can be found in the integ-runner Github repository.

Hint: if you want to retain your test stacks during development for debugging, you can specify the no-clean option to retain the test stack after the test run.

The integ-runner initially checks the integration test snapshots to determine if any changes have occurred since the last execution. Since there are no previous snapshots for the initial run, the snapshot verification fails. As a result, the integ-runner begins executing the integration tests using the ephemeral test stack and displays the result.

Verifying integration test snapshots...

  NEW        integ.sns-sqs-ddb 2.863s

Snapshot Results: 

Tests:    1 failed, 1 total

Running integration tests for failed tests...

Running in parallel across regions: us-east-1
Running test <your-path>/cdk-integ-tests-demo/integ-tests/integ.sns-sqs-ddb.js in us-east-1
  SUCCESS    integ.sns-sqs-ddb-DemoTest/DefaultTest 587.295s
       AssertionResultsAwsApiCallDynamoDBgetItem - success

Test Results: 

Tests:    1 passed, 1 total
The AWS CloudFormation console deploys the IntegrationTestStack and DataFlowDefaultTestDeployAssert stack

Figure 3: AWS CloudFormation deploying the IntegrationTestStack and DataFlowDefaultTestDeployAssert stacks

The integ-runner generates two AWS CloudFormation stacks, as shown in Figure 3. The IntegrationTestStack stack includes the resources from our sample application, which serves as an isolated application representing the stack under test. The DataFlowDefaultTestDeployAssert stack contains the resources required for executing the integration tests as shown in Figure 4.

AWS CloudFormation displays the resources for the DataFlowDefaultTestDeployAssert stack

Figure 4: AWS CloudFormation resources for the DataFlowDefaultTestDeployAssert stack

Cleaning up

Based on the specified RemovalPolicy, the resources are automatically destroyed as the stack is removed. Some resources such as Amazon DynamoDB tables have the default RemovalPolicy set to Retain in AWS CDK. To set the removal policy to Destroy for the integration test resources, we leverage Aspects.

 * Aspect for setting all removal policies to DESTROY
class ApplyDestroyPolicyAspect implements cdk.IAspect {
  public visit(node: IConstruct): void {
    if (node instanceof CfnResource) {
Deleting AWS CloudFormation stack from the AWS Console

Figure 5: Deleting AWS CloudFormation stacks from the AWS Console

If you set the no-clean argument as part of the integ-runner CLI options, you need to manually destroy the stacks. This can be done from the AWS Console, via AWS CloudFormation as shown in Figure 5 or by using the following command.

cdk destroy --all

To clean up the code repository build files, you can run the following script.

npm run clean


The AWS CDK integ-tests construct is a valuable tool for defining and conducting automated integration tests for your AWS CDK applications. In this blog post, we have introduced a practical code example showcasing how AWS CDK integration tests can be used to validate the expected application behavior when deployed to the cloud. You can leverage the techniques in this guide to write your own AWS CDK integration tests and improve the quality and reliability of your application releases.

For information on how to get started with these constructs, please refer to the following documentation.

Call to Action

Integ-runner and integ-tests constructs are experimental and subject to change. The release notes for both stable and experimental modules are available in the AWS CDK Github release notes. As always, we welcome bug reports, feature requests, and pull requests on the aws-cdk GitHub repository to further shape these alpha constructs based on your feedback.

About the authors

Iris Kraja

Iris is a Cloud Application Architect at AWS Professional Services based in New York City. She is passionate about helping customers design and build modern AWS cloud native solutions, with a keen interest in serverless technology, event-driven architectures and DevOps. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and spending as much time as possible in nature.

Svenja Raether

Svenja is an Associate Cloud Application Architect at AWS Professional Services based in Munich.

Ahmed Bakry

Ahmed is a Security Consultant at AWS Professional Services based in Amsterdam. He obtained his master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Twente and specialized in Cyber Security. And he did his bachelor degree in Networks Engineering at the German University in Cairo. His passion is developing secure and robust applications that drive success for his customers.

Philip Chen

Philip is a Senior Cloud Application Architect at AWS Professional Services. He works with customers to design cloud solutions that are built to achieve business goals and outcomes. He is passionate about his work and enjoys the creativity that goes into architecting solutions.

Implementing AWS Lambda error handling patterns

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/implementing-aws-lambda-error-handling-patterns/

This post is written by Jeff Chen, Principal Cloud Application Architect, and Jeff Li, Senior Cloud Application Architect

Event-driven architectures are an architecture style that can help you boost agility and build reliable, scalable applications. Splitting an application into loosely coupled services can help each service scale independently. A distributed, loosely coupled application depends on events to communicate application change states. Each service consumes events from other services and emits events to notify other services of state changes.

Handling errors becomes even more important when designing distributed applications. A service may fail if it cannot handle an invalid payload, dependent resources may be unavailable, or the service may time out. There may be permission errors that can cause failures. AWS services provide many features to handle error conditions, which you can use to improve the resiliency of your applications.

This post explores three use-cases and design patterns for handling failures.


AWS Lambda, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), and Amazon EventBridge are core building blocks for building serverless event-driven applications.

The post Understanding the Different Ways to Invoke Lambda Functions lists the three different ways of invoking a Lambda function: synchronous, asynchronous, and poll-based invocation. For a list of services and which invocation method they use, see the documentation.

Lambda’s integration with Amazon API Gateway is an example of a synchronous invocation. A client makes a request to API Gateway, which sends the request to Lambda. API Gateway waits for the function response and returns the response to the client. There are no built-in retries or error handling. If the request fails, the client attempts the request again.

Lambda’s integration with SNS and EventBridge are examples of asynchronous invocations. SNS, for example, sends an event to Lambda for processing. When Lambda receives the event, it places it on an internal event queue and returns an acknowledgment to SNS that it has received the message. Another Lambda process reads events from the internal queue and invokes your Lambda function. If SNS cannot deliver an event to your Lambda function, the service automatically retries the same operation based on a retry policy.

Lambda’s integration with SQS uses poll-based invocations. Lambda runs a fleet of pollers that poll your SQS queue for messages. The pollers read the messages in batches and invoke your Lambda function once per batch.

You can apply this pattern in many scenarios. For example, your operational application can add sales orders to an operational data store. You may then want to load the sales orders to your data warehouse periodically so that the information is available for forecasting and analysis. The operational application can batch completed sales as events and place them on an SQS queue. A Lambda function can then process the events and load the completed sale records into your data warehouse.

If your function processes the batch successfully, the pollers delete the messages from the SQS queue. If the batch is not successfully processed, the pollers do not delete the messages from the queue. Once the visibility timeout expires, the messages are available again to be reprocessed. If the message retention period expires, SQS deletes the message from the queue.

The following table shows the invocation types and retry behavior of the AWS services mentioned.

AWS service example Invocation type Retry behavior
Amazon API Gateway Synchronous No built-in retry, client attempts retries.

Amazon SNS

Amazon EventBridge

Asynchronous Built-in retries with exponential backoff.
Amazon SQS Poll-based Retries after visibility timeout expires until message retention period expires.

There are a number of design patterns to use for poll-based and asynchronous invocation types to retain failed messages for additional processing. These patterns can help you recover from delivery or processing failures.

You can explore the patterns and test the scenarios by deploying the code from this repository which uses the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) using Python.

Lambda poll-based invocation pattern

When using Lambda with SQS, if Lambda isn’t able to process the message and the message retention period expires, SQS drops the message. Failure to process the message can be due to function processing failures, including time-outs or invalid payloads. Processing failures can also occur when the destination function does not exist, or has incorrect permissions.

You can configure a separate dead-letter queue (DLQ) on the source queue for SQS to retain the dropped message. A DLQ preserves the original message and is useful for analyzing root causes, handling error conditions properly, or sending notifications that require manual interventions. In the poll-based invocation scenario, the Lambda function itself does not maintain a DLQ. It relies on the external DLQ configured in SQS. For more information, see Using Lambda with Amazon SQS.

The following shows the design pattern when you configure Lambda to poll events from an SQS queue and invoke a Lambda function.

Lambda synchronously polling catches of messages from SQS

Lambda synchronously polling batches of messages from SQS

To explore this pattern, deploy the code in this repository. Once deployed, you can use this instruction to test the pattern with the happy and unhappy paths.

Lambda asynchronous invocation pattern

With asynchronous invokes, there are two failure aspects to consider when using Lambda. The event source cannot deliver the message to Lambda and the Lambda function errors when processing the event.

Event sources vary in how they handle failures delivering messages to Lambda. If SNS or EventBridge cannot send the event to Lambda after exhausting all their retry attempts, the service drops the event. You can configure a DLQ on an SNS topic or EventBridge event bus to hold the dropped event. This works in the same way as the poll-based invocation pattern with SQS.

Lambda functions may then error due to input payload syntax errors, duration time-outs, or the function throws an exception such as a data resource not available.

For asynchronous invokes, you can configure how long Lambda retains an event in its internal queue, up to 6 hours. You can also configure how many times Lambda retries when the function errors, between 0 and 2. Lambda discards the event when the maximum age passes or all retry attempts fail. To retain a copy of discarded events, you can configure either a DLQ or, preferably, a failed-event destination as part of your Lambda function configuration.

A Lambda destination enables you to specify what to do next if an asynchronous invocation succeeds or fails. You can configure a destination to send invocation records to SQS, SNS, EventBridge, or another Lambda function. Destinations are preferred for failure processing as they support additional targets and include additional information. A DLQ holds the original failed event. With a destination, Lambda also passes details of the function’s response in the invocation record. This includes stack traces, which can be useful for analyzing the root cause.

Using both a DLQ and Lambda destinations

You can apply this pattern in many scenarios. For example, many of your applications may contain customer records. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), different organizations may need to delete records for a particular customer. You can set up a consumer delete SNS topic. Each organization creates a Lambda function, which processes the events published by the SNS topic and deletes customer records in its managed applications.

The following shows the design pattern when you configure an SNS topic as the event source for a Lambda function, which uses destination queues for success and failure process.

SNS topic as event source for Lambda

SNS topic as event source for Lambda

You configure a DLQ on the SNS topic to capture messages that SNS cannot deliver to Lambda. When Lambda invokes the function, it sends details of the successfully processed messages to an on-success SQS destination. You can use this pattern to route an event to multiple services for simpler use cases. For orchestrating multiple services, AWS Step Functions is a better design choice.

Lambda can also send details of unsuccessfully processed messages to an on-failure SQS destination.

A variant of this pattern is to replace an SQS destination with an EventBridge destination so that multiple consumers can process an event based on the destination.

To explore how to use an SQS DLQ and Lambda destinations, deploy the code in this repository. Once deployed, you can use this instruction to test the pattern with the happy and unhappy paths.

Using a DLQ

Although destinations is the preferred method to handle function failures, you can explore using DLQs.

The following shows the design pattern when you configure an SNS topic as the event source for a Lambda function, which uses SQS queues for failure process.

Lambda invoked asynchonously

Lambda invoked asynchonously

You configure a DLQ on the SNS topic to capture the messages that SNS cannot deliver to the Lambda function. You also configure a separate DLQ for the Lambda function. Lambda saves an unsuccessful event to this DLQ after Lambda cannot process the event after maximum retry attempts.

To explore how to use a Lambda DLQ, deploy the code in this repository. Once deployed, you can use this instruction to test the pattern with happy and unhappy paths.


This post explains three patterns that you can use to design resilient event-driven serverless applications. Error handling during event processing is an important part of designing serverless cloud applications.

You can deploy the code from the repository to explore how to use poll-based and asynchronous invocations. See how poll-based invocations can send failed messages to a DLQ. See how to use DLQs and Lambda destinations to route and handle unsuccessful events.

Learn more about event-driven architecture on Serverless Land.

Serverless ICYMI Q2 2023

Post Syndicated from Benjamin Smith original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/serverless-icymi-q2-2023/

Welcome to the 22nd edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

In case you missed our last ICYMI, check out what happened last quarter here.

Serverless Innovation Day

AWS recently hosted the Serverless Innovation Day, a day of live streams that showcased AWS serverless technologies such as AWS Lambda, Amazon ECS with AWS Fargate, Amazon EventBridge, and AWS Step Functions. The event included insights from AWS leaders such as Holly Mesrobian, Ajay Nair, and Usman Khalid, as well as prominent customers and our serverless Developer Advocate team. It provided insights into serverless modernization success stories, use cases, and best practices. If you missed the event, you can catch up on the recorded sessions here.

Serverless Land, your go-to resource for all things serverless, expanded to include a new Serverless Testing section. This provides valuable insights, patterns, and best practices for testing integrations using AWS SAM and CDK templates.

Serverless Land also launched a new learning page featuring a collection of resources, including blog posts, videos, workshops, and training materials, allowing users to choose a learning path from a variety of topics. “EventBridge Visuals“, small, easily digestible visuals focused on EventBridge have also been added.

AWS Lambda

Lambda introduced support for response payload streaming allowing functions to progressively stream response data to clients. This feature significantly improves performance by reducing the time to first byte (TTFB) latency, benefiting web and mobile applications.

Response streaming is particularly useful for applications with large payloads such as images, videos, documents, or database results. It eliminates the need to buffer the entire payload in memory and enables the transfer of responses larger than Lambda’s 6 MB limit, up to a soft limit of 20 MB.

By configuring the Function URL to use the InvokeWithResponseStream API, streaming responses can be accessed through an HTTP client that supports incremental response data. This enhancement expands Lambda’s capabilities, allowing developers to handle larger payloads more efficiently and enhance the overall performance and user experience of their web and mobile applications.

Lambda now supports Java 17 with Amazon Corretto distribution, providing long-term support and improved performance. Java 17 introduces new language features like records, sealed classes, and multi-line strings. The runtime uses ZGC and Shenandoah garbage collectors to reduce latency. Default JVM configuration changes optimize tiered compilation for reduced startup latency. Developers can use Java 17 in Lambda through AWS Management Console, AWS SAM, and AWS CDK. Popular frameworks like Spring Boot 3 and Micronaut 4 require Java 17 as a minimum. Micronaut provides a web service to generate example projects using Java 17 and AWS CDK infrastructure.

Lambda now supports the Ruby 3.2 runtime, enabling you to write serverless functions using the latest version of the Ruby programming language. This update enhances developer productivity and brings new features and improvements to your Ruby-based Lambda functions.

Lambda introduced support for Kafka and Amazon MQ event sources in four additional Regions. This expanded availability allows developers to build event-driven architectures using these messaging systems in more regions around the world, providing greater flexibility and scalability. It also supports Kafka and Amazon MQ event sources in AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, allowing government organizations to leverage the benefits of event-driven architectures in their cloud environments.

Lambda also added support for starting from a specific timestamp for Kafka event sources, allowing for precise message processing and useful scenarios like Disaster Recovery, without any additional charges.

Serverless Land has launched new learning paths for Lambda to help you level up your serverless skills:

  • The Java Replatforming learning path guides Java developers through the process of migrating existing Java applications to a serverless architecture.
  • The Lift and Shift to Serverless learning path provides guidance on migrating traditional applications to a serverless environment.
  • Lambda Fundamentals is a 23-part video series providing practical examples and tips to help you get started with serverless development using Lambda.

The new AWS Tech Talk, Best practices for building interactive applications with AWS Lambda, helps you learn best practices and architectural patterns for building web and mobile backends as well as API-driven microservices on Lambda. Explore how to take advantage of features in Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, and more to easily build highly scalable serverless web applications.

AWS Step Functions

The latest update to AWS Step Functions introduces versions and aliases, allows users to run specific state machine revisions, ensuring reliable deployments, reducing risks, and providing version visibility. Appending version numbers to the state machine ARN enables selection of desired versions, even after updates. Aliases distribute execution requests based on weights, supporting incremental deployment patterns.

This enhances confidence in state machine updates, improves observability, auditing, and can be managed through the Step Functions console or AWS CloudFormation. Versions and aliases are available in all supported AWS Regions at no extra cost.


AWS SAM CLI has introduced a new feature called remote invoke that allows developers to test Lambda functions in the AWS Cloud. This feature enables developers to invoke Lambda functions from their local development environment and provides options for event payloads, output formats, and logging.

It can be used with or without AWS SAM and can be combined with AWS SAM Accelerate for streamlined development and testing. Overall, the remote invoke feature simplifies serverless application testing in the AWS Cloud.

Amazon EventBridge

EventBridge announced an open-source connector for Kafka Connect, providing seamless integration between EventBridge and Kafka Connect. This connector simplifies the process of streaming events from Kafka topics to EventBridge, enabling you to build event-driven architectures with ease.

EventBridge has improved end-to-end latencies for event buses, delivering events up to 80% faster. This enables broader use in latency-sensitive applications such as industrial and medical applications, with the lower latencies applied by default across all AWS Regions at no extra cost.

Amazon Aurora Serverless v2

Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 is now available in four additional Regions, expanding the reach of this scalable and cost-effective serverless database option. With Aurora Serverless v2, you can benefit from automatic scaling, pause-and-resume capability, and pay-per-use pricing, enabling you to optimize costs and manage your databases more efficiently.

Amazon SNS

Amazon SNS now supports message data protection in five additional Regions, ensuring the security and integrity of your message payloads. With this feature, you can encrypt sensitive message data at rest and in transit, meeting compliance requirements and safeguarding your data.

Serverless Blog Posts

April 2023

Apr 27 – AWS Lambda now supports Java 17

Apr 27 – Optimizing Amazon EC2 Spot Instances with Spot Placement Scores

Apr 26 – Building private serverless APIs with AWS Lambda and Amazon VPC Lattice

Apr 25 – Implementing error handling for AWS Lambda asynchronous invocations

Apr 20 – Understanding techniques to reduce AWS Lambda costs in serverless applications

Apr 18 – Python 3.10 runtime now available in AWS Lambda

Apr 13 – Optimizing AWS Lambda extensions in C# and Rust

Apr 7 – Introducing AWS Lambda response streaming

May 2023

May 24 – Developing a serverless Slack app using AWS Step Functions and AWS Lambda

May 11 – Automating stopping and starting Amazon MWAA environments to reduce cost

May 10 – Monitor Amazon SNS-based applications end-to-end with AWS X-Ray active tracing

May 10 – Debugging SnapStart-enabled Lambda functions made easy with AWS X-Ray

May 10 – Implementing cross-account CI/CD with AWS SAM for container-based Lambda functions

May 3 – Extending a serverless, event-driven architecture to existing container workloads

May 3 – Patterns for building an API to upload files to Amazon S3

June 2023

Jun 7 – Ruby 3.2 runtime now available in AWS Lambda

Jun 5 – Implementing custom domain names for Amazon API Gateway private endpoints using a reverse proxy

June 22 – Deploying state machines incrementally with versions and aliases in AWS Step Functions

June 22 – Testing AWS Lambda functions with AWS SAM remote invoke


Serverless Office Hours – Tues 10AM PT

Weekly live virtual office hours. In each session we talk about a specific topic or technology related to serverless and open it up to helping you with your real serverless challenges and issues.

YouTube: youtube.com/serverlessland
Twitch: twitch.tv/aws

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/company/serverlessland

April 2023

Apr 4 – Serverless AI with ChatGPT and DALL-E

Apr 11 – Building Java apps with AWS SAM

Apr 18 – Managing EventBridge with Kubernetes

Apr 25 – Lambda response streaming

May 2023

May 2 – Automating your life with serverless 

May 9 – Building real-life asynchronous architectures

May 16 – Testing Serverless Applications

May 23 – Build faster with Amazon CodeCatalyst 

May 30 – Serverless networking with VPC Lattice

June 2023

June 6 – AWS AppSync: Private APIs and Merged APIs 

June 13 – Integrating EventBridge and Kafka

June 20 – AWS Copilot for serverless containers

June 27 – Serverless high performance modeling

FooBar Serverless YouTube channel

April 2023

Apr 6 – Designing a DynamoDB Table in 4 Steps: From Entities to Access Patterns

Apr 14 – Amazon CodeWhisperer – Improve developer productivity using machine learning (ML)

Apr 20 – Beginner’s Guide to DynamoDB with AWS CDK: Step-by-Step Tutorial for provisioning NoSQL Databases

Apr 27 – Build a WebApp that uses DynamoDB in 6 steps | DynamoDB Expressions

May 2023

May 4 – How to Migrate Data to DynamoDB?

May 11 – Load Testing DynamoDB: Observability and Performance tuning

May 18 – DynamoDB Streams – THE most powerful feature from DynamoDB for event-driven applications

May 25 – Track Application Events with DynamoDB streams and Email Notifications using EventBridge Pipes

June 2023

Jun 1 – How to filter messages based on the payload using Amazon SNS

June 8 – Getting started with Amazon Kinesis

Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has more information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.

You can also follow the Serverless Developer Advocacy team on Twitter to see the latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

AWS Week in Review – Generative AI with LLM Hands-on Course, Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler Updates, and More – July 3, 2023

Post Syndicated from Donnie Prakoso original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-week-in-review-generative-ai-with-llm-hands-on-course-amazon-sagemaker-data-wrangler-updates-and-more-july-3-2023/

In last week’s AWS Week in Review post, Danilo mentioned that it’s summer in London. Well, I’m based in Singapore, and it’s mostly summer here. But, June is a special month here as it marks the start of durian season.

Starting next week, I’ll be travelling to Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. But before I go, I want to share some interesting updates from last week for you.

Let’s get started.

Last Week’s Launches
Here are some launches that caught my attention:

New Hands-on Course: Generative AI with Large Language Models – Generative AI has been a technology highlight for the past few months. If you are on your journey to learn large language models (LLM), then you can try the new hands-on course Generative AI with LLMs at Coursera. Antje wrote a post to announce this collaboration course between DeepLearning.AI and AWS. This course is designed to prepare data scientists and engineers to become experts in selecting, training, fine-tuning, and deploying LLMs for real-world applications.

Generative AI with large language models

Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler direct connection to Snowflake – With this announcement, you can now browse databases, tables, schemas, and query data from Snowflake in SageMaker Data Wrangler. This unlocks the possibility for you to join your data with other popular data sources, such as S3, Amazon Athena, Amazon Redshift, Amazon EMR and over 50 SaaS applications to create the right data set for machine learning.

Amazon SageMaker Role Manager now provides CDK library to create fine-grained permissions — The CDK support for Amazon SageMaker Role Manager lets you define permissions with fine-grained access for SageMaker users, jobs, and SageMaker pipelines programmatically. This will reduce manual efforts and consistent permissions management. For example, the following code grants permissions with a set of related machine learning activities specific to a persona.

export class myCDKStack extends cdk.Stack {
  constructor(scope: cdk.App, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
    super(scope, id, props);

    const persona = new Persona(this, 'example-persona-id', {
        activities: [
            Activity.runStudioAppsV2(this, 'example-id1', {}), 
            Activity.accessS3Buckets(this, 'example-id2', {s3buckets: [s3.S3Bucket.fromBucketName('DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET')]}) 
            Activity.accessAwsServices(this, 'example-id3', {})

    const role = persona.createRole(this, 'example-IAM-role-id', 'example-IAM-role-name');

AWS SDK for SAP ABAP – Great news for SAP ABAP developers! We just recently announced the general availability of the AWS SDK for SAP ABAP. With this, ABAP developers can use simple, secure and configurable connections between ABAP environments and 200+ supported AWS services in all AWS Regions, including AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. This AWS SDK helps ABAP developers to modernize their business processes with AWS services.

Amazon OpenSearch Ingestion now supports ingesting events from Amazon Security Lake – Amazon OpenSearch Ingestion now lets you bring data in the Apache Parquet format. As Amazon Security Lake also uses Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) in Apache Parquet format, it means you can easily ingest data from Amazon Security Lake.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

AWS Open-Source Updates
As always, my colleague Ricardo has curated the latest updates for open-source news at AWS. Here are some of the highlights.

lightsail-miab-installer – This handy command-line tool developed by my colleague Rio Astamal was designed to simplify the process of setting up Mail-in-a-Box on Amazon Lightsail. With lightsail-miab-installer, you can effortlessly streamline the installation and configuration of Mail-in-a-Box, making it even more accessible and user-friendly.

rdsconn – This amazing tool, created by AWS Hero Aidan Steele, simplifies the process of connecting to an AWS RDS instance within a VPC directly from your laptop. Using the recently launched EC2 Instance Connect, rdsconn eliminates the need for cumbersome SSH tunnels.

cdk-appflow – If you’re using AWS CDK to build your applications and Amazon AppFlow to create bidirectional data transfer integrations between various SaaS applications and AWS, then you’re going to love cdk-appflow, a new AWS CDK construct for Amazon AppFlow. It’s currently in technical preview, but you’re more than welcome to try it and provide us with your feedback.

Upcoming AWS Events
There are also upcoming events that you can join to learn. Let’s start with AWS Summit events:

And, let’s learn from our fellow builders and join AWS Community Days:

Open for Registration for AWS re:Invent
Before I end this post, AWS re:Invent registration is now open!

This learning conference hosted by AWS for the global cloud computing community will be held from Nov 27 to Dec 1, 2023 in Las Vegas.

Pro-tip: You can use information on the Justify Your Trip page to prove the value of your trip to AWS re:Invent.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Week in Review.

Happy building.

This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Let’s Architect! Open-source technologies on AWS

Post Syndicated from Vittorio Denti original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/lets-architect-open-source-technologies-on-aws/

We brought you a Let’s Architect! blog post about open-source on AWS that covered some technologies with development led by AWS/Amazon, as well as well-known solutions available on managed AWS services. Today, we’re following the same approach to share more insights about the process itself for developing open-source. That’s why the first topic we discuss in this post is a re:Invent talk from Heitor Lessa, Principal Solutions Architect at AWS, explaining some interesting approaches for developing and scaling successful open-source projects.

This edition of Let’s Architect! also touches on observability with Open Telemetry, Apache Kafka on AWS, and Infrastructure as Code with an hands-on workshop on AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK).

Powertools for AWS Lambda: Lessons from the road to 10 million downloads

Powertools for AWS Lambda is an open-source library to help engineering teams implement serverless best practices. In two years, Powertools went from an initial prototype to a fast-growing project in the open-source world. Rapid growth along with support from a wide community led to challenges from balancing new features with operational excellence to triaging bug reports and RFCs and scaling and redesigning documentation.

In this session, you can learn about Powertools for AWS Lambda to understand what it is and the problems it solves. Moreover, there are many valuable lessons to learn how to create and scale a successful open-source project. From managing the trade-off between releasing new features and achieving operational stability to measuring the impact of the project, there are many challenges in open-source projects that require careful thought.

Take me to this video!

Heitor Lessa describing one the key lessons: development and releasing new features should be as important as the other activities (governance, operational excellence, and more)

Heitor Lessa describing one of the key lessons: development and releasing new features should be as important as the other activities (governance, operational excellence, and more).

Observability the open-source way

The recent blog post Let’s Architect! Monitoring production systems at scale talks about the importance of monitoring. Setting up observability is critical to maintain application and infrastructure health, but instrumenting applications to collect monitoring signals such as metrics and logs can be challenging when using vendor-specific SDKs.

This video introduces you to OpenTelemetry, an open-source observability framework. OpenTelemetry provides a flexible, single vendor-agnostic SDK based on open-source specifications that developers can use to instrument and collect signals from applications. This resource explains how it works in practice and how to monitor microservice-based applications with the OpenTelemetry SDK.

Take me to this video!

With AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry, you can collect data from your AWS resources.

With AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry, you can collect data from your AWS resources.

Best practices for right-sizing your Apache Kafka clusters to optimize performance and cost

Apache Kafka is an open-source streaming data store that decouples applications producing streaming data (producers) into its data store from applications consuming streaming data (consumers) from its data store. Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) allows you to use the open-source version of Apache Kafka with the service managing infrastructure and operations for you.

This blog post explains how the underlying infrastructure configuration can affect Apache Kafka performance. You can learn strategies on how to size the clusters to meet the desired throughput, availability, and latency requirements. This resource helps you discover strategies to find the optimal sizing for your resources, and learn the mental models adopted to conduct the investigation and derive the conclusions.

Take me to this blog!

Comparisons of put latencies for three clusters with different broker sizes

Comparisons of put latencies for three clusters with different broker sizes

AWS Cloud Development Kit workshop

AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development framework that allows you to provision cloud resources programmatically (Infrastructure as Code or IaC) by using familiar programming languages such as Python, Typescript, Javascript, Java, Go, and C#/.Net.

CDK allows you to create reusable template and assets, test your infrastructure, make deployments repeatable, and make your cloud environment stable by removing manual (and error-prone) operations. This workshop introduces you to CDK, where you can learn how to provision an initial simple application as well as become familiar with more advanced concepts like CDK constructs.

Take me to this workshop!

This construct can be attached to any Lambda function that is used as an API Gateway backend. It counts how many requests were issued to each URL.

This construct can be attached to any Lambda function that is used as an API Gateway backend. It counts how many requests were issued to each URL.

See you next time!

Thanks for joining our conversation! To find all the blogs from this series, you can check out the Let’s Architect! list of content on the AWS Architecture Blog.