With CodeStar, AWS Makes Its Latest Dev Play

Unveiled at its AWS Summit event in San Francisco last week, CodeStar is Amazon Web Services' new solution for building and deploying applications on the AWS cloud.

CodeStar is designed to integrate with existing IDEs and abstract some of the steps needed to build a toolchain for continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) on AWS. The initial release supports development in five programming languages: Java, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby and Python.

It comes pre-configured with a project management dashboard, an automated CD pipeline, and a Git code repository using AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeDeploy. It also provides out-of-the-box integration with Atlassian's JIRA Software, which adds project management and issue tracking.

CodeStar (not to be confused with a lightweight WordPress framework of the same name) is free, but users pay for additional AWS services.

Werner Vogels,'s CTO, introduced the new service during his keynote presentation at the Summit. The new service allows users to "easily manage your software development activities in one place...and set up your entire continuous delivery toolchain in minutes," he said. CodeStar comes with more than 20 templates, which can be used to configure the service to support the development of Web sites, Web services, microservices and Alexa Skills (voice capabilities for devices such as the Amazon Echo).

CodeStar also comes with a project dashboard (a Web page) that provides an overall view of a project, its toolchain and important events, Vogels explained. Through this dashboard, users can view recent code commits and track things like the status of code changes, build results and deployments.

Vogels was especially enthusiastic about CodeStar's AWS Lambda template. "The cool thing in all this is that Lambda is one of the targets," he told Summit attendees, "so you can immediately set up continuous integration and deployment toward Lambda as one of your target environments."

But the service also comes with templates for the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Elastic Beanstalk, a service for deploying and scaling Web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go and Docker on a range of servers, including Apache, Nginx, Passenger and IIS.

CodeStar also comes with sample code to help users get up and running quickly with popular IDEs, including Visual Studio and Eclipse, but also any code editor that supports Git, the company says.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at


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