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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Previews Application Composer to Visualize and Create Serverless Workloads

AWS Previews Application Composer to Visualize and Create Serverless Workloads

At the recent re:Invent conference, AWS announced the preview of Application Composer, a visual designer to build serverless applications from multiple AWS services. The new option helps create the architecture by dragging, grouping, and connecting services in a visual canvas.

Application Composer maintains a real-time visual representation of the application and generates the configuration with default settings based on the services that define the architecture. Luca Mezzalira, principal specialist solutions architect at AWS, writes:

In distributed systems, empowering teams is a cultural shift needed for enabling developers to help translate business capabilities into code. This does not mean every team works in isolation. Different teams or even new-joiners must understand what they are building to contribute to a project. The best way to understand architecture quickly is by using diagrams. Unfortunately, architectural diagrams are often outdated. Often, when releasing a workload in production, there are already discrepancies from the initial design and infrastructure.


The new visual builder works with common serverless services like Lambda, Step Functions, and EventBridge, but it can be used to compose any service supported by AWS CloudFormation resources.

Among the use cases for Application Composer, the cloud provider suggests rapid prototyping, reviewing existing serverless projects, generating diagrams for documentation, or onboarding new team members. Goran Opacic, AWS Data Hero, tweets:

The educational effects of Application Composer will be enormous.

The service maintains a model of the architecture that it translates into IaC definitions that can be viewed in the editor or exported. Application Composer converts the connection between two services into the corresponding IaC configuration, including IAM permissions. For example, by adding an S3 bucket and connecting it to a Lambda function, the service creates the configuration for the IAM policy, event subscription, and Lambda files. Eric Johnson, principal developer advocate at AWS, tweets:

AWS Application Composer is a huge step in visually designing AWS architectures. It allows you to quickly prototype your serverless applications and deploy them using AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM).

In 2021 the development team behind Stackery, a solution to build and manage serverless infrastructure, was hired by AWS. Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, highlights the connection with the new service:

I was a happy Stackery customer, and was sad when it got shut down. I'm super excited to kick the tires on Amazon Basics Stackery. I mean, AWS Application Composer.

The public preview of Application Composer is available in a subset of AWS regions, including Ireland, Ohio, and North Virginia using the management console. The service is free, customers pay for the underlying resources.

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