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InfoQ Homepage News Amazon CodeCatalyst Moves to GA with Amazon CodeWhisperer Support

Amazon CodeCatalyst Moves to GA with Amazon CodeWhisperer Support

Amazon moved CodeCatalyst into full general availability with a number of new features. CodeCatalyst provides templates to streamline creating the project's infrastructure, CI/CD pipelines, development environments, and issue management system. New features with the GA release include better support for GitHub repos, integration with Amazon CodeWhisperer, and support for AWS Graviton processors.

Released at re:Invent in 2022, CodeCatalyst is built on four foundational elements: blueprints, CI/CD automation, remote development environments, and issue management. Blueprints set up the application code repository, including a sample app, define the infrastructure, and run pre-defined CI/CD workflows.

With the GA release, there are now blueprints for static websites built with Hugo or Jekyll and intelligent document processing workflows. These join the already released blueprints that support building single-page applications, .NET serverless applications, and AWS Glue ETLs.

When a project is created from a blueprint, a full CI/CD pipeline is also provided. This pipeline can be modified with actions from the provided library. As well, any GitHub action can be used directly within a project either within an existing pipeline or to build a net-new pipeline. Editing the pipeline can be done either via a graphical drag-and-drop editor or by editing the YAML directly.

CodeCatalyst provides developer environments that are hosted within AWS. These environments are defined using the devfile standard providing a repeatable and consistent workspace. The devfile standard is an open standard for defining containerized developer environments. These environments can integrate with a number of IDEs such as AWS Cloud9, VS Code, and JetBrains IDEs.

Finally, CodeCatalyst projects provide built-in issue management tied to the code repository. This facilitates assigning code reviews and pull requests. Adding new teammates to a project does not require an AWS account per user. Instead, users can be added to an existing project via their email address.

Additional new features include support for creating new projects from existing GitHub repositories. Note that empty or archived repos can't be used and the GitHub repositories extension isn't compatible with GitHub Enterprise Server repos. The CodeCatalyst Dev Environments now also supports GitHub repositories. This supports cloning an existing branch of the linked GitHub repo into the Dev Environment.

CodeCatalyst Dev Environments also now support Amazon CodeWhisperer. Amazon CodeWhisperer is an AI-supported coding assistant that generates code suggestions within the IDE. At the time of release, only AWS Cloud9 and VisualStudio Code are supported. Amazon CodeWhisperer is similar to GitHub's Copilot, which recently released a new AI model.

This release also adds support for running workflow actions on either on-demand or pre-provisioned AWS Graviton processors. According to Brad Bock, senior product marketing manager at AWS, and Brian Beach, principal tech lead at AWS, "AWS Graviton Processors are designed by AWS to deliver the best price performance for your cloud workloads running in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)".

As noted by Bock and Beach, CodeCatalyst is about reducing the cognitive load on developers:

Teams deliver better, more impactful outcomes to customers when they have more freedom to focus on their highest-value work and have to concern themselves less with activities that feel like roadblocks.

Cognitive load has been receiving more attention as developers have increased responsibilities to manage and maintain to deliver working software to production. Paula Kennedy, COO at Syntasso, echos this sentiment:

With the evolution of "DevOps" and the mantra "you build it, you run it", we've seen a huge increase in cognitive load on the developers tasked with delivering customer-facing products and services.

Amazon CodeCatalyst can be used on the AWS Free Tier. More details about the release can be found on the AWS blog as well as within the documentation.

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