Announcing Coherence 2.0 and CNC, the first open source IaC framework
All posts

AWS Services for Developers: Core Offerings

Explore core AWS infrastructure and development services like EC2, S3, Lambda, and more to empower developers to build, deploy, and manage applications efficiently in the cloud.

Zan Faruqui
May 16, 2023

Most developers would agree that building, deploying, and managing applications in the cloud can be challenging.

Luckily, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a robust suite of managed services tailored specifically for developers to simplify cloud development.

In this post, we'll explore the core AWS infrastructure and development services like EC2, S3, Lambda, and more that give developers the essential building blocks for delivering scalable cloud applications.

Introduction to AWS Services for Developers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a wide range of cloud computing services that empower developers to build, deploy, and manage applications efficiently. Key AWS services that are essential for developers include:

  • Amazon EC2: Provides scalable compute capacity to run applications in the AWS cloud. Developers can launch virtual server instances and scale capacity up or down as per demand.

  • Amazon S3: Offers highly durable and available object storage for storing application assets like images, videos, archives, static websites, etc. Provides easy management features and integration.

  • AWS Lambda: Enables running code without provisioning servers. Developers can run code in response to events, automatically managing the compute resources.

  • Amazon DynamoDB: Fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast performance at any scale. Simplifies database administration tasks.

  • Amazon VPC: Allows launching AWS resources in a private virtual network, controlling the network configuration like IP addresses, subnets, routing, etc.

These and many other AWS services help developers focus on building application logic without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

Exploring the Best AWS Services for Developers

Some of the most popular AWS services for developers are:

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Quickly deploys and scales web applications using platforms like Node.js, .NET, PHP, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker. Automates infrastructure provisioning and application management.

  • Amazon API Gateway: Creates, publishes, maintains, monitors, and secures APIs at scale. Perfect for creating RESTful APIs that connect backend systems to mobile and web applications.

  • AWS Amplify: Set of tools and services that helps frontend web and mobile developers build full-stack applications on AWS, with capabilities like authentication, storage, REST API development, analytics, etc.

  • AWS CodeCommit: Fully managed source control service that hosts secure Git-based repositories. Enables collaborating on code and tracking code changes.

These services integrate seamlessly with other AWS services like Lambda, DynamoDB, S3, etc. to create a complete cloud-native application architecture.

The Role of AWS Software Development Kit

AWS Software Development Kits (SDKs) make it easier for developers to access AWS services programmatically within their preferred programming language and environment.

Key benefits of AWS SDKs include:

  • Handling low-level details like cryptographic signing, retries, error handling, etc.
  • Providing language-specific interfaces to AWS services.
  • Supporting rapid iteration with API requests, responses and error handling.
  • Integrating with popular IDEs and development tools.
  • Enabling deployment automation through Infrastructure as Code.

AWS provides SDKs for languages like JavaScript, Python, .NET, Ruby, Java, Go, C++, etc. so developers can be productive in their chosen environment. The SDKs simplify coding, testing and deployment workflows.

Which AWS computing service would a developer use?

AWS Lambda is an ideal compute service for developers looking to run code without managing servers. With Lambda, you simply upload your code and Lambda runs the code on high availability compute infrastructure. When your code is not running, you don't get charged. This makes Lambda very cost-effective.

Here are some key benefits of using AWS Lambda as a developer:

  • Serverless - No need to provision or manage servers. Lambda manages the compute fleet for you.
  • Event-driven - Lambda functions can be triggered by various AWS events and services. This makes it easy to build event-driven applications.
  • Pay per use - You only pay for the compute time used to run your code. There is no charge when code is not running.
  • Integrations - Lambda has deep integrations with many AWS services like DynamoDB, S3, SQS, etc. This makes it easy to connect services.
  • Scalable - Lambda functions scale automatically from a few requests per day to thousands per second. No capacity planning required.

In summary, AWS Lambda is a highly scalable and cost-effective compute service that is purpose-built for developers. By handling all the server management, Lambda enables developers to focus on writing code. Its event-driven nature and tight integration with AWS services make it easy to build modern applications quickly.

What do developers use AWS for?

Developers use AWS for a variety of purposes to build, deploy, and manage applications efficiently. Some of the most popular AWS services for developers include:

Compute Services

  • Amazon EC2 provides scalable compute capacity to run applications. Developers can launch EC2 instances and scale up or down based on demand.

  • AWS Lambda runs code without provisioning servers. Developers can run code in response to events, only paying for compute time consumed.

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides auto-scaling platform to deploy web applications. Developers can quickly deploy code without infrastructure management.

Storage Services

  • Amazon S3 offers scalable object storage. Developers store static files, media, datasets and more.

  • Amazon DynamoDB provides managed NoSQL database. Developers can build apps needing low latency data access at any scale.

Networking & Content Delivery

  • Amazon VPC enables launching AWS resources in a private virtual network. Developers can isolate and customize application infrastructure.

  • Amazon CloudFront speeds up distribution of static and dynamic content. Developers deliver high performance by caching content at edge locations.

In summary, developers leverage AWS services for on-demand compute, serverless code execution, auto-scaling platforms, distributed storage, managed databases, private networks and content delivery. AWS empowers developers to build, deploy and scale applications rapidly without managing infrastructure.

What is the service provided by AWS that enables developers?

AWS offers a robust suite of services to empower developers building cloud-native applications. Two key services are:

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that enables developers to run code without provisioning infrastructure. Key benefits include:

  • Pay per use pricing - Only pay for compute time used to execute code
  • Auto-scaling - Lambda automatically scales compute resources as needed
  • Event-driven - Lambda functions can be triggered by various events like HTTP requests, changes to S3 buckets, schedules, etc.
  • Fully managed - AWS handles provisioning, OS patching, capacity planning, etc.

Developers can write Lambda functions in Node.js, Python, Java, C# and other languages. Use cases include building APIs, processing streams of data, implementing cron jobs, and more.

Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy to create, publish, monitor and secure APIs at any scale.

  • Create REST and WebSocket APIs
  • Enable API caching, throttling, monitoring, and access controls
  • Scale effortlessly to support billions of requests
  • Pay only for what you use

API Gateway handles undifferentiated heavy lifting like capacity provisioning, logging, access control, etc. allowing developers to focus on business logic.

Together, Lambda + API Gateway provide a powerful platform for developers to rapidly build and deploy serverless applications. With no servers to manage, developers can iterate quickly and scale automatically.

Which AWS service helps developers quickly deploy?

AWS CodeStar enables developers to quickly develop, build, and deploy applications on AWS through a unified user interface. It streamlines the process by providing a central place to manage software development activities.

Some key benefits of using AWS CodeStar for rapid application development and deployment include:

  • Pre-configured AWS services - CodeStar sets up the necessary AWS services like CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy and CloudFormation out of the box. This saves significant developer time and effort in manually configuring each service.

  • Managed continuous delivery pipelines - It automates builds, tests and deployments by integrating with CodePipeline. This enables continuous delivery of code changes.

  • Choice of platforms and languages - CodeStar supports developing applications in Java, JavaScript, Python and more. It lets you build web apps, microservices, Lambda functions and containerized apps.

  • Collaboration tools - The IDE toolkit integrates with third-party tools like Atlassian JIRA and GitHub to enable coding, task tracking and version control.

  • Quick start - You can select a sample application template and quickly deploy it on AWS with minimal setup. This helps build and modify apps faster.

In summary, AWS CodeStar is the go-to service for developers looking to save time on infrastructure management and accelerate application development cycles on AWS through automated CI/CD pipelines.


Core AWS Infrastructure Services

Explore fundamental infrastructure building blocks for developing cloud-based solutions on AWS.

Amazon EC2: The Backbone of Scalable Compute

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the AWS cloud. As the backbone of AWS, EC2 enables developers to launch virtual server instances on demand to meet the needs of their applications.

Some key features of Amazon EC2 include:

  • On-Demand Instances - Pay for compute capacity by the hour or second with no long-term commitments. This is useful for applications with short term, spiky, or unpredictable workloads.

  • Reserved Instances - Reserve capacity for 1-3 years and receive discounts of up to 75% compared to On-Demand. Ideal for steady-state applications like databases or analytics engines.

  • Spot Instances - Bid on spare EC2 capacity and run fault-tolerant apps for up to 90% off. Useful for batch jobs, containerized workloads, big data analysis, and more.

  • Auto Scaling Groups - Automatically scale capacity out and in to maintain performance during traffic spikes and dips. Ensures optimal resource utilization.

With multiple instance types optimized for different use cases, flexible pricing models, and auto scaling functionality, EC2 forms the compute foundation for scalable cloud-based apps on AWS.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for Data Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offers a highly durable and available object storage service to store and retrieve any amount of data. Developers can leverage S3 for purposes like:

  • Storing static assets such as images, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Backing up databases and logs
  • Hosting static websites
  • Storing data lakes and analytics datasets

With 99.999999999% durability and 99.99% availability, S3 provides reliable and secure data storage across multiple Availability Zones and regions. Features include versioning, encryption, access controls, tiered storage classes like S3 Glacier for long term archival, and integration with other AWS services. These capabilities make S3 ideal for cloud-native apps at any scale.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for Network Isolation

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables launching AWS resources in a logically isolated virtual network defined by the developer. This private network resembles traditional on-premises infrastructure while leveraging AWS's global network.

Developers can define subnets, route tables, network gateways, and security settings within their VPC to control network access. Benefits include:

  • Isolation - Ensure workloads and data are private and secure
  • Access Control - Restrict network traffic with security groups and network access control lists
  • Scalability - Easily scale networks up as usage grows
  • Connectivity - Connect seamlessly to on-prem infrastructure using VPN or AWS Direct Connect

With Amazon VPC, developers obtain full control over virtual networking in AWS for secure and robust application architectures.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for Persistent Storage

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) provides block-level storage volumes that can be attached to and detached from EC2 instances. EBS volumes persist independently from the lifecycle of instances, enabling reliable storage for use cases like databases, analytics engines, file systems, and more.

Developers can tailor EBS based on performance needs via volume types like General Purpose SSD, Provisioned IOPS SSD, Throughput Optimized HDD, Cold HDD, and Magnetic. Volumes scale automatically up to 16 TiB, while snapshots provide easy backups and lifecycle management.

With high availability, reliability, and flexibility, Amazon EBS delivers secure and scalable block storage for EC2 cloud deployments.

Serverless Computing Services

Serverless computing services from AWS allow developers to build and run applications without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. These services abstract away infrastructure management, so developers can focus on writing code.

AWS Lambda: Pioneering Serverless Computing

AWS Lambda is a pioneering serverless compute service that lets developers run code in response to events without having to provision or manage servers. Key benefits include:

  • Automatic scaling - Lambda automatically scales compute capacity based on demand to handle any volume of events with consistent performance and millisecond latency. No capacity planning required.

  • Pay per use pricing - Only pay for the compute time used to run code. No charges when code is not running. This makes Lambda very cost-effective.

  • Integrations - Lambda natively integrates with over 200 AWS services and features for triggers like uploads to S3, DynamoDB events, API calls, etc. This makes it easy to connect serverless code to cloud services.

  • Programming languages - Developers can write Lambda functions in Python, Node.js, .NET, Go, Java, and more. This flexibility allows using preferred languages.

Amazon DynamoDB: Fully Managed NoSQL Database

Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value and document NoSQL database that delivers reliable performance at any scale. DynamoDB benefits include:

  • Fully managed - As a fully managed service, DynamoDB handles hardware provisioning, software configuration, replication, failure recovery, auto scaling, monitoring, and more with zero operational overhead.

  • High performance - DynamoDB offers single-digit millisecond response times at any scale and provides built-in security, backup, and in-memory caching.

  • No capacity planning - DynamoDB instantly scales up and down based on actual traffic volumes and throughput needs. No manual capacity planning required.

Amazon API Gateway for REST and WebSocket APIs

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service for creating, publishing, maintaining, monitoring, and securing APIs at scale. Key features include:

  • REST & WebSocket APIs - API Gateway handles both REST and WebSocket APIs using standard HTTP verbs and status codes for REST and bidirectional communication for WebSockets.

  • Scales effortlessly - API Gateway seamlessly handles increasing API calls and traffic without any provisioning on the developer's part. It can handle billions of requests per day.

  • Monitoring and logging - Detailed metrics and logs provide API usage data and caller insights. This helps track and debug issues.

  • Security - Authentication, access control, and TLS encryption help secure API access and data. Throttling protects against denial of service attacks.

Application Deployment Services

Deploying applications can be complex, especially when trying to scale. AWS offers several services that help simplify application deployment by providing managed load balancing, auto-scaling, blue/green deployments, and more. These services allow developers to focus on building their applications rather than managing infrastructure.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Easy-to-Use Deployment

AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides an easy way to quickly deploy and scale web applications and services developed in various languages like Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker. It handles provisioning AWS resources, application health monitoring, and auto-scaling with just some configuration settings.

Elastic Beanstalk automatically scales up or down based on demand to maintain application performance while optimizing cost. It supports multiple environments such as development, test, and production for each application. With features like managed updates, custom platforms, saved configurations, and in-place updates, Elastic Beanstalk simplifies application deployment and lifecycle management.

AWS Fargate: Serverless Container Deployment

AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine for containers that allows running applications without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. This makes it easy to deploy and scale containerized applications while only paying for the resources consumed.

Fargate works with both Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). It instantly provisions the right amount of compute needed to run containers, ensuring high availability and security. Fargate removes the need to select server types, decide when to scale infrastructure, or optimize cluster packing. This simplifies building scalable containerized applications.

Amazon Lightsail for Simple Virtual Private Servers

For less complex workloads like websites, blogs, or development environments, Amazon Lightsail provides simple virtual private servers. It

AWS Tools for DevOps and Continuous Delivery

AWS offers a robust set of tools to support DevOps practices and streamline continuous integration and delivery pipelines. These services empower developers to automate infrastructure provisioning, deploy applications consistently, and maintain version control.

AWS CodeSuite: Integrating CI/CD into Development

The AWS CodeSuite integrates continuous integration and delivery capabilities directly into the development process.

  • AWS CodeCommit provides a fully-managed source control service to host Git repositories. Developers can collaborate on code and track revisions.
  • AWS CodeBuild automates build steps like compiling, running tests, and producing packages ready for deployment. It scales automatically to meet demand.
  • AWS CodeDeploy automates application deployments, allowing rapid releases to EC2 instances, on-premises servers, or Lambda functions.
  • AWS CodePipeline orchestrates the entire CI/CD workflow connecting CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy and other services like CloudFormation.

Together these services streamline releasing changes rapidly and reliably. Developers focus on code while AWS handles provisioning and scaling the underlying infrastructure.

AWS CloudFormation for Infrastructure as Code

AWS CloudFormation allows developers to define reusable templates for provisioning groups of related AWS resources. These templates can be version controlled and deployed repeatedly to stand up production-ready stacks.

With CloudFormation, infrastructure can be treated as code. Teams benefit from increased consistency, standardized deployments, and infrastructure changes that align with development processes.

Amazon EKS for Managed Kubernetes

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) makes it easy to deploy and run Kubernetes applications on AWS without needing to install, operate, and maintain your own Kubernetes control plane.

Amazon EKS removes complexity around managing clusters and optimizes running Kubernetes workloads at scale. Developers can build modern applications and focus on shipping code rather than infrastructure operations.

Enhancing Development with AWS Developer Tools

AWS offers a robust set of tools and services aimed at improving developer productivity across the full application development lifecycle. From building frontends to deploying backends, AWS empowers developers to build scalable, resilient applications efficiently.

AWS Amplify for Fullstack App Development

AWS Amplify provides a set of tools and services that enable developers to quickly build fullstack web and mobile applications. Key capabilities include:

  • Simplified frontend development with React, Angular, Vue, or plain JavaScript. Amplify provisions hosting and continuous deployment automatically.
  • Mobile app development with cross-platform SDKs, authentication, analytics, and offline data sync.
  • Serverless backends powered by AWS Lambda, GraphQL, REST APIs, file storage, machine learning, and more.

With Amplify, developers can focus on creating app logic instead of provisioning and managing infrastructure.

Integrating AWS SDKs and Developer Tools

AWS offers over 25 SDKs for simplified integration across services like S3, DynamoDB, Lambda, and more. SDKs are available for JavaScript, Python, .NET, Go, Java, and other languages.

Developers can also leverage purpose-built tools like:

  • AWS Cloud9 for cloud IDE and debugging
  • AWS CodeStar for project templates and CI/CD
  • AWS X-Ray for application tracing and debugging

These services improve developer workflows for testing, deploying, and monitoring applications.

Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora for Database Services

For relational databases, Amazon RDS and Aurora provide fully-managed services for engines like PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and SQL Server. Benefits include:

  • Automated provisioning, operating system patching, and backups
  • High availability with multi-AZ deployments
  • Scalable read replicas for read-heavy workloads
  • Serverless option available to scale capacity on demand

Amazon Aurora offers up to 5x better performance over MySQL and up to 3x over PostgreSQL at a lower cost.

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for Security

AWS IAM enables granular access controls by allowing administrators to manage permissions to AWS resources centrally. Developers can be granted least-privilege access to only the services needed for their apps.

Key features include:

  • Identity federation with enterprise directories
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Cross-service permissions with policy documents
  • Integration with AWS KMS for encryption key management

IAM is crucial for securing access across AWS, enabling developers to build securely from the start.


AWS offers a robust set of services and tools to empower developers to build, deploy, and manage applications efficiently. Core offerings like EC2 provide scalable compute capacity while S3 offers durable and highly available object storage. Lambda enables running code without provisioning servers, making it easy to implement serverless architectures.

These services, combined with developer tools like AWS SDKs, AWS CLI, CloudFormation for infrastructure as code, and services like CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy, and CodePipeline for CI/CD, provide a rich platform for developers to be productive. Key capabilities like provisioning infrastructure on-demand, deploying updates with zero downtime, and auto-scaling based on demand allow developers to focus on application logic rather than infrastructure management.

By leveraging these AWS building blocks and automating manual processes, teams can achieve greater agility and innovation velocity while ensuring reliability, security, and compliance. The breadth and depth of AWS spans storage, compute, databases, analytics, machine learning, IoT, security, and more - providing an integrated suite of services for developers to build sophisticated cloud-native applications. With AWS, developers can implement best practices around decoupled and distributed architectures to achieve scalability, fault tolerance, and cost optimization.

Related posts