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Automating CI/CD With AWS CodePipeline 


A Comprehensive Overview Of CI/CD: 

Think you’ve got CI/CD down? Test your knowledge, skip ahead. Need a helping hand? Stay put, we’ve got you covered! 

Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines are like handy assistants that automate key tasks in delivering software – things like building, testing, and deploying. Picture it as a safe playground where you can celebrate without worry. Feel free to break into your happy dance; there’s no judgment here! 

The CI stage, short for continuous integration, encompasses building and testing phases. It ensures that the crafted change is not only successfully built but also secure for deployment. It’s worth mentioning that CD can stand for continuous delivery if the deployment phase isn’t entirely automated. For the context of this blog, CD signifies continuous deployment, where all modifications are automatically rolled out to a production environment. Feeling a bit uneasy? Consider deploying to a staging environment before taking the plunge into the production setting. 

Some Benefits of CI/CD Pipelines: 

1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency: CI/CD pipelines leverage automation to streamline repetitive tasks within the software delivery lifecycle, minimizing manual intervention and consequently reducing the potential for human error. This optimized workflow promotes consistent outcomes and increases overall process efficiency. 

2. Accelerated Time to Market: By automating key stages of the software delivery lifecycle, CI/CD pipelines enable faster deployment cycles and shorter time-to-market for new features and updates. This agility enhances responsiveness to market demands and facilitates quicker delivery of value to stakeholders. 

3. Improved Software Reliability: The rigorous testing mechanisms incorporated within CI/CD pipelines provide comprehensive insights into software functionality and performance. This proactive approach identifies and eliminates potential issues before deployment, thereby enhancing the reliability and stability of the released software. 

4. Standardized Development Workflow: CI/CD pipelines establish a consistent and replicable workflow that applies across all phases of the software delivery lifecycle, from development through testing and deployment. This standardization minimizes variability and reduces the risk of configuration errors in different environments, while also promoting collaboration and team efficiency. 

Overall, the implementation of CI/CD pipelines fosters a more efficient, faster, and reliable software delivery process. This translates to tangible benefits for organizations in terms of increased agility, enhanced competitive advantage, and improved user satisfaction. 
Let’s dive in! In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the process I followed to establish a CI/CD pipeline for a Java application using AWS CodePipeline. Our ultimate goal is to deploy this Java application onto Microsoft Azure. Additionally, we’ll construct the necessary infrastructure on Azure, including the Azure App Service, App Monitor, MySQL server, and the associated database, utilizing a Terraform script available in our repository. With the assistance of CodePipeline, we’ll seamlessly orchestrate the deployment of our Java application onto the Azure App Service. 

AWS CodePipeline: A Comprehensive CI/CD Orchestrator: 

AWS CodePipeline emerges as a robust and flexible CI/CD solution within the AWS cloud ecosystem. It empowers developers to define and execute multi-stage pipelines through an intuitive visual interface, encompassing: 

  • Source Code Integration: Seamlessly pull code changes from various sources, including GitHub, CodeCommit, and S3 buckets. 
  • Build and Test Automation: Trigger automated builds and comprehensive testing suites to ensure code quality and stability. 
  • Infrastructure Provisioning: Leverage integration with services like CloudFormation and Terraform to manage and provision infrastructure resources. 
  • Deployment Orchestration: Automate deployments to various environments, including on-premises, cloud platforms, and containerized deployments. 
  • Continuous Monitoring and Feedback: Integrate with services like CloudWatch and CodeDeploy to monitor deployments and gather valuable feedback for ongoing improvement. 

Benefits of Employing AWS CodePipeline: 

The advantages of utilizing AWS CodePipeline are multifaceted and compelling: 

  • Enhanced Software Quality: Automated testing and validation within the pipeline minimize human error and ensures consistent code quality. 
  • Faster Delivery Cycles: Streamlined build, test, and deployment processes significantly reduce release times, bringing features and updates to users faster. 
  • Improved Operational Efficiency: Automation frees up developer resources from tedious tasks, enabling them to focus on core development activities. 
  • Increased Scalability and Cost Optimization: Seamless integration with other AWS services fosters efficient resource utilization and minimizes infrastructure costs. 
  • Greater Control and Visibility: Pipeline stages and deployment policies provide increased control over the release process and enhance visibility into its status. 

Now that we possess a clear understanding of both CI/CD practices and the potent capabilities of AWS CodePipeline, we’re primed to translate this knowledge into tangible efficiency gains. Let’s dive into the practical world and begin crafting our very own AWS CodePipeline, step-by-step and unleash its automation potential. 

Create an AWS Account: 

The very first step is to have an AWS Account. It’s free to create, and for the first 12 months you get free access to many resources! (Read more about the AWS Free Tier.) 

In Amazon Web Services (AWS), there are two main accounts: the Root User and IAM (Identity Access Management) User. The Root User is the first account created when setting up AWS, but it’s safer not to use it for daily tasks. Instead, AWS recommends creating IAM Users for better security. 

The Root User has a lot of power but should be used sparingly to reduce security risks. As a best practice, it’s a good idea to disable or delete the default Root User for everyday tasks. IAM Users can be created by the Root User or another IAM User with the right permissions. 

Why IAM Users Outshine the Root User: 

  • Enhanced Security: Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for IAM Users, adding an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access. 
  • Granular Control: Tailor IAM User access to specific tasks and resources, minimizing attack surfaces and protecting sensitive data. 
  • Transparency and Accountability: Track user activity and resource utilization, enabling audit trails and facilitating timely response to security incidents. 


  • IAM Users for the Win: Always prioritize IAM Users for daily operations, never relying on the Root User. 
  • Root in Reserve: Keep the Root User dormant, accessible only for emergency actions and configuration changes. 

This simple switch not only improves security but also provides flexibility in managing different users and tasks. Now go forth, brave cloud architects, and wield the IAM sword with wisdom, for a well-governed cloud is a secure cloud! 

AWS CodeCommit: Your Code’s Safe Haven 

AWS CodeCommit is like a secure vault for your code. It’s a fully-managed source control service that makes it easy for teams to host secure and scalable Git repositories. Instead of worrying about where to keep your code, CodeCommit lets you focus on building and improving your software. 
AWS CodeCommit comes with: 

  • Private Git Repositories: Create private Git repositories to store, manage, and collaborate on your code, whether it’s Java applications, Terraform scripts, or any other type of codebase. 
  • Scalability and Availability: Enjoy limitless scalability and high availability, ensuring your repositories remain accessible even during peak activity. 
  • Seamless Integration: Integrate seamlessly with other AWS services like CodePipeline, CodeBuild, and CodeDeploy to automate your development workflows. 

Benefits of Using AWS CodeCommit: 


  • ● Data Encryption: Your code is encrypted both at rest and in transit, shielding it from prying eyes. 
  • ● Access Control: Precise access control mechanisms ensure only authorized users can view and modify code. 
  • ● Compliance: Align with industry standards and regulatory requirements with ease. 


  • Pull Requests: Foster efficient code reviews and feedback with pull requests. 
  • Branching and Merging: Experiment without fear using branches and merging capabilities. 
  • Notifications: Stay informed about code changes with notifications. 


  • Handle Any Project Size: Accommodate repositories of any size without worrying about infrastructure constraints. 
  • Grow with Your Needs: Scale effortlessly as your codebase and team expand. 


  • AWS Ecosystem: Unlock seamless integration with various AWS services for a streamlined development experience. 
  • Third-Party Tools: Connect with popular third-party tools like Git clients and IDEs. 

In the next few minutes, I’ll delve into how I’ve leveraged AWS CodeCommit to securely store my Java application and Terraform scripts for Azure infrastructure deployment. 

Storing Code with AWS CodeCommit: Easy Steps 

Now, let’s securely store our code using AWS CodeCommit. Go to your AWS Console, search for CodeCommit, and hit the “Create repository” button. AWS will guide you to the repository creation page. 

On this page, provide your repository’s name (let’s call it MyShuttle). Optionally, add a description, tags, and configure additional settings. You can even enable Amazon CodeGuru Reviewer for Java and Python to get recommendations for code quality improvement (totally optional). Once you’ve filled in the details, hit the “Create” button to set up your empty Git Repo in AWS CodeCommit. 

For the next step, you can either clone the repository to your local machine or push changes from your local git repository to this remote counterpart using basic git commands. If you’ve already initialized git and committed your code locally, use the commands below to push your code to the AWS CodeCommit repository. 

 After applying these commands, you’ll see your code in the repository, in this case, named MyShuttle. Easy, right? 

 Moving ahead, let’s build our application using AWS CodeBuild. But what exactly is CodeBuild, and why should we use it? 

AWS CodeBuild: What is it?  

AWS CodeBuild is a fully managed build service that compiles source code, runs tests, and produces ready-to-deploy software packages. It’s a scalable and flexible solution designed to eliminate the need for manual intervention in the build process. 

Benefits of Using AWS CodeBuild: 

  • Fully Managed: CodeBuild is a serverless service, meaning you don’t have to worry about provisioning or managing the build servers. AWS takes care of it for you. 
  • Scalable: CodeBuild automatically scales based on your build volume, ensuring efficient and speedy builds even as your project grows. 
  • Customizable Environments: You can use pre-configured build environments provided by AWS or create custom environments to match your specific requirements. 
  • Integrated with AWS Services: Seamless integration with other AWS services, allowing you to easily deploy artifacts to services like AWS S3, AWS CodeDeploy, or AWS Elastic Beanstalk. 
  • Cost-Effective: Pay only for the compute resources you consume during the build process, making it a cost-effective choice for projects of any size. 

In the upcoming segment of our journey, we’ll delve into the practical application of AWS CodeBuild to construct our Java application and Terraform scripts. Stay tuned as we unlock the potential of this powerful tool! 
Building Your Application with AWS CodeBuild: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Let’s delve into the process of setting up your build pipeline with AWS CodeBuild. Follow these detailed steps to seamlessly build your Java application and deploy it on Azure. 
1. Navigate to AWS CodeBuild 

  • ● Go to your AWS Console. 
  • ● In the search bar, look for “CodeBuild.” 
  • ● Click on the “Create project” button. 

2. Fill in Project Details 


  • ● Provide a project name (e.g., MyShuttle). 
  • ● Choose the source repository (AWS CodeCommit in our case). 
  • ● Select the Reference type as “Branch,” and set the branch name to “master.” 

3. Configure Environment Settings 

In the “Environment” section: 

  • ● Choose the Environment image as “Managed image” (Use an image managed by AWS CodeBuild). 
  • ● Set Compute to “EC2.” 
  • ● Choose the Operating system as “Ubuntu.” 
  • ● Select Runtime as “Standard” and Image as “aws/codebuild/standard:7.0” (always choose the latest). 
  • ● For the Service role, choose “New service role,” and AWS will create a new role for you. 

4. Define Build Spec 

In the “Build spec” section: 

  • ● Choose “Use a buildspec file” if you have a buildspec.yaml file in your repository. 
  • ● Alternatively, choose “Insert build commands” to write the build spec directly. 

5. Examine the Buildspec File 

Phase by Phase: 

Install Phase: 

  • ● Updates the package list and installs Java 11, laying the foundation for building the app. 

Pre-build Phase: 

  • ● Installs Maven, preparing it for building the Java code. 

Build Phase: 

  • ● Invokes Maven with the –Dmaven.test.skip=true flag to prioritize building the app without running tests. 

Post-build Phase: 

  • ● Prints the current directory for confirmation. 
  • ● Installs jq, a helpful JSON processor. 
  • ● Zips the built application into for easy deployment. 
  • ● Installs the AWS CLI for cloud resource interaction. 
  • ● Runs the script for security scanning. 

Define Artifacts to Store 

  • ● In the “Artifacts” section: 
  • ● Specify what to store after the build, such as myshuttledev.war, appspec.yml, various scripts and Terraform files, and CreateMYSQLDB.sql. 

6. Configure AWS CodeBuild Artifacts 

  • ● In the “Artifacts” section: 
  • ● Choose the Type as “Amazon S3.” 
  • ● Select the Bucket name. 
  • ● For Artifacts packaging, choose “Zip.” 

7. Optional: Configure CloudWatch Logs 

  • ● Optionally, in the “Logs” section, select “CloudWatch logs – optional.” 
  • ● This uploads build output logs to CloudWatch. 
  • ● Click on the “Create build project” button to complete the setup. 

8. Initiate Build 

  • ● Visit the Build projects page to find your project. 
  • ● Click on the project and then “Start build” to initiate the build process. 
  • ● Explore options like Build history, Batch history, Build details, Build triggers, and Metrics. 

 Congratulations! You’ve successfully configured AWS CodeBuild for building and preparing your Java application for deployment to the Azure cloud. 

Deploying to Azure with AWS CodeDeploy: A Brief Walkthrough 

Now, it’s time to seamlessly deploy our code to Azure, and we’re going to achieve this effortlessly with the assistance of AWS CodeDeploy. Let’s delve into a brief explanation of what CodeDeploy is and highlight its key benefits. 

Deploying to Azure with AWS CodeDeploy 

Automation at Its Best: AWS CodeDeploy streamlines the deployment process, automating the release of new features and updates to Azure, ensuring efficiency and consistency. 
Managed Deployment Service: AWS CodeDeploy is a managed service that takes the complexity out of application deployments, automating the entire process for a smoother and error-resistant experience. 

Benefits of AWS CodeDeploy 

  • Automated Precision: Enjoy automated deployments that reduce manual errors and ensure a precise release of application code. 
  • Deployment Flexibility: CodeDeploy supports diverse deployment strategies, including in-place, blue/green, and canary deployments, offering flexibility tailored to your needs. 
  • Multi-Cloud Compatibility: Despite being an AWS service, CodeDeploy extends its functionality beyond AWS, allowing the deployment of applications on different cloud platforms. 
  • Rollback Capability: Fear not during deployments; CodeDeploy has a rollback mechanism that lets you revert to a previous version swiftly in case of issues. 

Deploying Code to Azure with AWS CodeDeploy: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Let’s embark on the journey of deploying our code to Azure, utilizing the robust capabilities of AWS CodeDeploy. We’ll break down the process into detailed steps, ensuring a smooth and insightful deployment experience. 

Initiating the Deployment Process 

AWS Console Navigation: 

Begin by navigating to the AWS Console, the command center for managing AWS services. 

Locate CodeDeploy: 

In the AWS Console, locate the CodeDeploy service. This is your gateway to orchestrating seamless deployments. 

Create Application: 

  • ● Click on the “Create application” button to initiate the deployment setup. 
  • ● Provide a meaningful application name; for example, “MyShuttleU.” 
  • ● Set the Compute platform to EC2/On-premises, catering to the deployment environment. 
  • ● Optionally, add tags for better organization. 

Creating Deployment Group 

Name and Role: 

  • ● After creating the application, proceed to create a Deployment group. 
  • ● Assign a unique identifier to the deployment group, like “MyShuttle-Prod-Deployment.” 
  • ● Choose a service role, akin to a pilot’s license, granting CodeDeploy access to Azure resources. 

Deployment Type: 

Select the deployment type based on your strategy: 

  • In-place: Update existing instances with minimal downtime. 
  • Blue/green: Deploy to new instances, smoothly transitioning traffic for zero downtime. 

Deployment Configuration: 

  • ● Choose a deployment configuration that aligns with your deployment speed preferences. 

Load Balancer: 

  • ● Pick a load balancer to efficiently distribute traffic during deployment. 
  • ● Click on the “Create deployment group” button to proceed. 

Create Deployment: 

  • ● Click on the “Create Deployment” button to proceed. 
  • ● Select the deployment group you just created, e.g., “MyShuttle-Prod-Deployment.” 

Deployment Configuration Details 

Revision Type: 

  • ● Indicate that the application is stored in Amazon S3, as My Shuttle’s app is residing there. 

Revision Location: 

  • ● Provide the S3 bucket address where your WAR file is stored. This is like handing over the launch codes to CodeDeploy. 

Deployment Description: 

  • ● Add a brief description of the deployment, such as “MyShuttle v2.0 launch.” 

Additional Settings: 

  • ● Fine-tune parameters, such as actions during application stop failures or content clashes. 

Create Deployment: 

  • ● Click “Create deployment” and witness CodeDeploy in action. 
  • ● CodeDeploy will download the app, configure the Azure environment, and seamlessly launch My Shuttle into the cloud. 

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll harness the power of AWS CodeDeploy to elegantly deploy your code to Azure, ensuring a controlled and efficient deployment process. 

Creating AWS CodePipeline: A Detailed Walkthrough 

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of setting up AWS CodePipeline for your project. Follow these detailed instructions to seamlessly orchestrate your software delivery pipeline. 

1. Initiate CodePipeline Creation: 

1.1. Navigation: 

  • ● Begin by entering “CodePipeline” in the AWS Console search bar. 
  • ● Open the CodePipeline console. 

1.2. Pipeline Settings: 

  • ● Click on “Create pipeline.” 
  • ● Enter your desired pipeline name; for instance, “MyShuttle.” 
  • ● In the Service role section, opt for “New service role” to let CodePipeline create a new service role in IAM. 
  • ● Click “Next.” 

2. Add Source Stage: 

2.1. Source Configuration: 

  • ● In the “Add source stage,” select the source provider. 
  • ● Choose “AWS CodeCommit” as the action provider. 
  • ● Set the Action name to “Source.” 
  • ● Specify the Repository name as “MyShuttle” and Branch name as “master.” 
  • ● Change detection options are optional, and you can keep other settings as default. 
  • ● Click “Next.” 

3. Add Build Stage: 

3.1. Build Configuration: 

  • ● In the “Add build stage,” choose the action name as “CodeBuild.” 
  • ● Select “AWS CodeBuild” as the action provider. 
  • ● Choose your preferred region. 
  • ● Set Input artifacts as “Source Artifacts.” 
  • ● Give the project name, such as “MyShuttle.” 
  • ● Set Build type as “single build” and keep other options as default. 
  • ● Click “Next.” 

Setting Up Manual Approval Stage in CodePipeline: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Let’s delve into the detailed process of creating a manual approval stage in AWS CodePipeline to ensure a meticulous and controlled pipeline execution. 

1. Create an SNS Topic: 

1.1. Navigate to SNS: 

  • ● Head over to the AWS Console and search for “Simple Notification Service (SNS).” 
  • ● Create a new topic and choose the “Standard” option. 
  • ● Provide a unique name (e.g., “ManualApprove”) and save changes. 

1.2. Subscription Creation: 

  • ● Create a subscription by selecting “Create Subscription.” 
  • ● The topic ARN will be provided automatically. 
  • ● Choose the protocol as “email” and provide your email as the endpoint. 
  • ● Select “Create Subscription.” 
  • ● Confirm the subscription through the email confirmation message. 

4. Add Manual Approval Stage to CodePipeline: 

4.1. Edit Pipeline: 

  • ● Head back to CodePipeline. 
  • ● Select the pipeline and choose the “edit” option. 

4.2. Add Manual Approval Stage: 

  • ● Select “Add Stage” and name it “manual approve.” 
  • ● Set up the manual approve stage and select “Add Action Group.” 

4.3. Configure Manual Approval: 

  • ● Provide an action name. 
  • ● Choose “Manual Approval” as the action provider. 
  • ● Use the SNS topic ARN created earlier for the SNS topic ARN field. 

4.4. Real-world Consideration: 

  • ● In a real-world scenario, you could use a review URL for team collaboration. 
  • ● Save the changes. 

4.5 Release Changes and Approval Process: 

4.5.1. Release Pipeline Changes: 

  • ● Release the changes made to the pipeline. 

4.5.2. Email Notification: 

  • ● A manual approval notification is sent to your email. 
  • ● The email informs you about the pending approval for the pipeline. 

4.5.3. Pipeline Review: 

  • ● Go back to CodePipeline and click on the review option. 
  • ● If the pipeline review passes the QA team’s inspection, approve it by adding a comment. 

4.6 Post-Approval Deployment: 

4.6.1. Post-Approval Execution: 

  • ● With the approval, the pipeline progresses through the stages as it did before the manual approval addition. 
  • ● The deployment process is initiated again, ensuring a controlled and validated release. 

By meticulously following these steps, you have successfully integrated a manual approval stage into your AWS CodePipeline, providing a crucial checkpoint for code quality and team collaboration in your software delivery process. 

5. Add Deploy Stage: 

5.1. Deployment Configuration: 

  • ● In the “Add deploy stage,” choose the action name as “CodeDeploy.” 
  • ● Select “AWS CodeDeploy” as the action provider. 
  • ● Choose the region. 
  • ● Set Input artifacts as “Build Artifacts.” 
  • ● Specify the Application name (e.g., “MyShuttleU”) and choose the Deployment group. 
  • ● Click “Next.” 

6. Review and Create Pipeline: 

6.1. Pipeline Confirmation: 

  • ● Review the information presented. 
  • ● Choose “Create pipeline.” 

6.2. Pipeline Execution: 

  • ● The pipeline starts running immediately after creation. 
  • ● It downloads code from your CodeCommit repository, builds the application using AWS CodeBuild, ask for the approval and triggers a CodeDeploy deployment. 

Modifying Code in CodeCommit Repository: 

Revision in Code: 

  • ● Revise the contents of the “index.jsp” file in your CodeCommit repository. 
  • ● Modify the title or content. 
  • ● Commit the changes. 

Verifying Pipeline Execution: 

Pipeline Progress: 

  • ● Monitor the progress of the pipeline. 
  • ● Status changes from “No executions yet” to “In Progress” and finally to “Succeeded.” 

Viewing Changes: 

  • ● After the status displays “Succeeded” for the action, refresh the page. 
  • ● Witness the changes reflected in your deployed application. 

By following these comprehensive steps, you have successfully set up, executed, and validated your AWS CodePipeline, ensuring a streamlined and efficient software delivery process. 
In this comprehensive journey through the AWS DevOps landscape, we navigated the intricacies of setting up a robust CI/CD pipeline using AWS services. From AWS CodeCommit as the repository to AWS CodeBuild for building, AWS CodeDeploy for deployment and AWS CodePipeline for CI/CD each tool played a pivotal role in streamlining the software delivery lifecycle. 
In conclusion, the AWS DevOps tools demonstrated their prowess in transforming traditional software delivery into a streamlined, automated, and collaborative process. By leveraging these tools, teams can accelerate their delivery cycles, enhance code quality, and maintain a high level of control over the entire deployment lifecycle. Embracing AWS DevOps services paves the way for agile, reliable, and scalable software delivery in the cloud era. 

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