AWS Cloud9 has been a boon for developers, as this cloud-based integrated development environment (IDE) facilitates them in debugging, writing, and running code. With a stronger integration with AWS services, Cloud9 enables developers to create serverless applications, for defining resources and switching between remote and local execution of a serverless application.

Integrated with AWS CodeStar, Cloud9 is a service for cloud deployment and management of end-to-end application development. This IDE underpins mainstream languages such as Python, PHP, and JavaScript among other languages. Also, AWS Cloud9 is free for organizations eyeing software development on AWS. AWS Cloud9 is a bid by Amazon for attracting developers to leverage its infrastructure. It ultimately drives the consumption of network, storage, and compute services that have a direct impact on an organization’s revenue.

Key Features Of AWS Cloud9

Here are some key aspects of Cloud9 that eliminate the significant amount of time and effort needed in setting up IDEs.

  • Git Integration: Cloud9 offers default support for Git, which is the defacto standard of source control management.
  • SAM Support: Implementation and execution of the Serverless Application Model (SAM) is both time-intensive and demanding, as it requires a Docker service as a backup. This further leads to pressure on local systems, as developers have their IDEs and other services that run on local systems. These issues are eliminated with Cloud9, with a pre-installed SAM local environment and CLI that offers developers with hassle-free operations.
  • Docker Support: The pre-installed Docker in the Cloud9 environment enables local testing of SAM applications, allowing them to work with containers. This further caters to all needs of the container-based application development.
  • AWS CLI Environment: The pre-configured AWS CLI environment in AWS Cloud9 eliminates the need of going through IAM for generating the access keys. It also eliminates the need to install AWS CLI on the local system. 
  • AWS Resource Explorer: The AWS Resources tab is another key feature of AWS Cloud9, wherein the developers can find all imported as well as remote Lambda functions. This helps the Lambda developers envision the convenience of packaging dependencies, as the complete Lambda function folder is deployed in a single execution.
  • Pair Programming: One of the attractive features of Cloud9 is the ‘user environment sharing’. This facilitates pair programming as an agile practice using the IDE’s ‘share’ option wherein every IAM user is listed. The users with access to an organization’s environment can log in with their IAM credentials and share the development environment in real-time.
  • Other Useful Plugins: There are few other novel features of AWS Cloud9, such as Markdown Preview, wherein users can just right click on a Markdown file for viewing it on the Cloud9 browser. This feature facilitates developers in areas such as browsing repositories where Readme.md usually accompanies the codebase.

Time Effectiveness and Greater Productivity

With AWS Cloud9, organizations are able to write, debug, and run codes with the help of a web browser. It eliminates the need for downloading software, configuring the environment, or setting up an IDE as well as the configuration of systems. While producing the Cloud9 environment is rapid, even the default AMI provides most things that organizations need. These include Docker, AWS CLI, and Git, along with temporary keys and most widely used programming languages. 

Moreover, the AWS Cloud9 has a built-in terminal comprising a direct, real SSH connection to the environment-driving EC2 instance. In case the projects of an organization require something that is more customizable, Cloud9 offers them the option to leverage their own EC2 instances. All they need to do is simply launch and configure EC2 instances with the tools required for their projects.

Cloud9 Ensures Similar IDE for All Developers

Differences in environments, which include installed libraries, operating systems, and environment variables, rapidly result in an epidemic where organizations are comfortable with the way their system operates. Adoption of AWS Cloud9 will help organizations ensure their developers on different teams utilize a similar development environment. Besides developers’ local environment, the Cloud9 environment can be used with a similar AMI that standardizes their development environments in terms of operating systems, libraries, packages, and tools.

Organizations can switch between multiple environments for creating applications, wherein each environment is used for a certain development project. Projects of organizations no longer require to be confined in a single system or server, as they can store their environment in the AWS cloud. This further enables organizations to perform tasks such as easy switching between systems and faster onboarding of developers.

To Sum Up

 The popularity of AWS Cloud9 is driven by its convenience factor. While it is not designed for a particular language, it will not serve an organization’s Java development team or provide the customization features similar to the Visual Studio Code. However, the AWS Cloud9 enables organizations in streamlining their software development in groups of diversified developers. This gives organizations the opportunity for productivity improvement on systems, which would otherwise not deliver on the back of local hardware limitations.

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