Engineers at nClouds possess extensive expertise in AWS CloudFormation (CloudFormation) and the creation of infrastructure as code as a result of their involvement in numerous projects (IaC). While CloudFormation is efficient, reliable, and effective, it presents challenges in terms of testing and debugging, as well as limitations in scalability and reusability. AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) has swiftly emerged as an indispensable tool for our developer-centric DevOps teams. We believe that AWS CDK signifies the commencement of a new era for IaC.
In this article, I shall elucidate the nature of AWS CDK and expound upon why your DevOps teams should embrace its usage.
What precisely is AWS CDK?
The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development platform that empowers you to depict the resources of your cloud application using common programming languages. The AWS CDK Toolkit provides a command-line interface for CDK programs, enabling developers to generate artifacts such as AWS CloudFormation templates, deploy stacks to development AWS accounts, and ascertain the impact of a code change by performing diffs against deployed stacks.
Stacks and constructs are two fundamental concepts within AWS CDK.
Stacks are modular building blocks of deployment within AWS CDK. A project may incorporate one or more stacks, which can share values by consuming resources from other stacks. Behind the scenes, AWS CDK leverages the CloudFormation import value to facilitate the intercommunication of multiple CloudFormation stacks.
Why is CDK Utilized?
The AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) is a framework that empowers engineers to conceptualize their infrastructure as code within a familiar programming language, surpassing the need for manual management or the composition of raw CloudFormation scripts.
Personally, I employ CDK in TypeScript for my project, although it is also available in Python and Java. I find the process of writing CloudFormation cumbersome and verbose; thus, I am grateful for having made the transition to CDK.
What Distinguishes AWS CDK from SDK?
CDK represents Infrastructure as Code, enabling the generation of AWS resources such as API Gateway, DynamoDB, and Lambda through code. Conversely, SDK facilitates interaction with various AWS services, encompassing tasks such as retrieving objects from DynamoDB or listing the contents of an S3 bucket.
Advantages of AWS CDK
CDK offers several benefits, rendering it a highly recommended choice for programmatically controlling infrastructure.
Simplified Cloud Adoption
CDK allows the construction of a cloud infrastructure using familiar skills and technologies. Developers can continue utilizing their preferred integrated development environment (IDE) and programming language to create CDK applications. Moreover, CDK provides a range of high-level components that streamline the preconfiguration of cloud resources using established defaults, facilitating AWS development without requiring expertise in every aspect.
Accelerated Development Process
The expressive power of programming languages and the inclusion of features such as objects, loops, and conditions significantly expedite the development process. Additionally, it is possible to create unit test cases for infrastructure components. The ability to conduct unit tests on infrastructure code is immensely valuable, as it instills confidence in developers whenever modifications are made.
Shareable and Customizable
CDK empowers the expansion of existing components to craft bespoke elements tailored to the security, compliance, and governance requirements of your organization. These components can be readily shared throughout the company, enabling swift project initiation with best practices in place by default.
With CDK, it is feasible to utilize the same programming language for both runtime code and the description of AWS resources, as well as continue employing the same IDE for runtime code and infrastructure development. The AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code further enhances this integration by providing visibility into CDK application stacks and resources. This toolkit delivers a comprehensive development experience for serverless applications, encompassing a getting-started guide, step-by-step debugging, and IDE-based deployment capabilities.
AWS CDK represents a code-centric approach to defining cloud application infrastructure. Embracing the “release early, release frequently” philosophy, more than 30 versions of AWS CDK have been launched thus far, delivering new functionality with remarkable speed. As the popularity of AWS CDK continues to grow, we can anticipate the rapid creation and delivery of additional features.