At AWS re:Invent 2022, we previewed AWS Application Composer, a visual builder for you to compose and configure serverless applications from AWS services backed by deployment-ready infrastructure as code (IaC).
In the keynote, Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com said:
Developers that never used serverless before. How do they know where to start? Which services do they need? How do they work together? We really wanted to make this easier. AWS Application Composer simplifies and accelerates the architecting, configuring, and building of serverless applications.
During the preview, we had lots of interest and great feedback from customers. Today, I am happy to announce the general availability of AWS Application Composer with new improvements based on customer feedback. I want to quickly review its features and introduce some improvements.
Introduction to AWS Application Composer
To get started with AWS Application Composer, choose Open demo in the AWS Management Console. This demo shows a simple cart application with Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, and Amazon DynamoDB resources.
You can easily browse and search for AWS services in the left Resources panel and drag and drop them onto the canvas to expand your architecture.
In the middle Canvas panel, you can connect resources together by clicking and dragging from one resource port to another. Permissions are automatically composed for these resources to interact with each other using policy template, environment variables, and event subscriptions. Grouping resources is very useful to select one visual organization. For above example, API Compute group is compsite of Lambda functions. When you double-click on a specific resource, you can name and configure your properties in the right Resource properties panel.
As well as featured resources available in the visual resource palette, you can use hidden and read-only resources will populate on the canvas when you load an existing template that includes them.
In this example, the MyHttpApi resource is a hidden resource. It is not available from the resource palette but does appear on the canvas in color. The resource named MyHttpApiRole (in this case, an
AWS::IAM::Role resource) is read-only. It grayed out on the canvas greyed out. To learn more about all supported resources, see AWS Application Composer featured resources in the AWS documentation.
When you select the Template menu, you can view, edit or manually download your IaC, such as AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM). Your changes are automatically synced with your canvas.
When you start Connected mode, you can use Application Composer with local tools such as an integrated development environment (IDE). Any changes activate the automatic synchronization of your project template and files between Application Composer and your local project directory.
It is useful to incorporate into your existing team processes, such as local testing with AWS SAM Command Line Interface (CLI), peer review through version control, or deployment through AWS CloudFormation and continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.
This mode is supported on Chrome and Edge browsers and requires you to grant temporary local file system access to your browser.
AWS Application Composer can be used in real-world scenarios such as:
- Building a prototype of serverless applications
- Reviewing and collaboratively evolving existing serverless projects
- Generating diagrams for documentation or Wikis
- Onboarding new team members to a project
- Reducing the first steps to deploy something in an AWS account
To learn more real-world examples, see Visualize and create your serverless workloads with AWS Application Composer in the AWS Compute Blog, How I Used AWS Application Composer to Make Analyzing My Meetup Data Easy in BuildOn.AWS, or watch a breakout session video (SVS211) from AWS re:Invent 2022.
Improvements Since Preview Launch
Here is a new feature to improve how you work with Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queues.
You can now directly connect Amazon API Gateway resources to Amazon SQS without routing requests through AWS Lambda function. You can remove the complexity of the Lambda function’s execution and increase the reliability while reducing lines of code.
For example, you can drag API Gateway and Amazon SQS onto the canvas and connect the two resources. When the user drags the connector from API route to SQS,
Send message appears. You can connect the API route to the SQS queue via their choice of integration target.
The new Change Inspector provides a visual diff of template changes made when you connect two resources on the canvas. This information is available as a notification when you make the connection, which helps you understand how Composer manages integration configuration in your IaC template as you build.
Here are some more improvements to your experience in the user interface!
First, we reduced the size of resource cards. The larger cards made it difficult for the users to read and view their template on the canvas. Now, you can arrange more resource cards easily and save space on the canvas.
Also, we added zoom in and out and zoom to fit buttons so that users can quickly view the entire screen or zoom to the desired level. When you load a large template onto the canvas, you can easily see all the resource cards in any size.
AWS Application Composer is now generally available in the US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (Stockholm) Regions, adding three more Regions to the six Regions available during preview. There is no additional cost, and you can start using it today.