Utilizing function flags and different runtime configuration varieties is a fast-evolving know-how section. Adjusting your software program conduct with a minor configuration replace as an alternative of deploying code lets groups transfer quicker and extra safely. Moreover, releasing a function utilizing a function flag permits engineering groups to activate options to a restricted set of customers after which measure the influence. The aptitude can immediately flip off and roll again if one thing goes fallacious, considerably limiting the change’s influence. At Amazon, we name the observe of utilizing function flags and runtime configuration, Steady Configuration.
AWS AppConfig began in 2017 as an inner software for Amazon. It rapidly turned a top-used service for inner groups that wished a protected and measured method to handle their function flags and operational flags. In 2019, AWS launched AppConfig for exterior clients. This providing had all the discovered classes and finest practices for using runtime configuration and have flags constructed into the product. Now we’re saying AppConfig Extensions, which permits clients to increase the facility of dynamic configuration and have flags in new and revolutionary methods. After studying this publish, you’ll perceive what AppConfig Extensions are, what issues they remedy, and what extension varieties you may construct.
What are AppConfig Extensions?
Because the inner launch of AppConfig in 2017, and the exterior launch in 2019, we’ve added many options that clients have requested. These embrace integrations with Lambda, AWS CodePipeline, and Amazon CloudWatch, in addition to releasing an opinionated format for function flags in 2021. We’ve innovated on behalf of our clients, and we regularly obtain many requests for brand spanking new performance. One commentary we’ve had on these requests is that there are facets to them that make them impractical to construct in a generic manner. One other commentary was seeing how some clients have constructed options on prime of our service in ways in which had been particular to their very own workflows. Nonetheless, as an alternative of getting the AppConfig crew construct all new options as requested, we determined to empower others to construct on prime of AppConfig. We knew that permitting different engineers, each inner and exterior, to make the most of a framework to increase AppConfig can be a power multiplier, plus give the liberty to assist integrations into customer-specific programs and processes.
AppConfig Extensions are add-ons to AppConfig that improve the facility and security of the primary AppConfig service. Managing configuration sometimes follows a lifecycle much like growing code: create/replace, validate/check, deploy, and monitor. The AppConfig Extension framework exposes hooks, known as motion factors, at every of those lifecycle milestones. When an motion level is triggered, no matter actions (e.g. calling a Lambda perform) are outlined within the set of AppConfig Extensions relevant at that lifecycle step can be invoked.
The framework permits for simpler integration of different companies (AWS and in any other case) to assist clients enhance their velocity and security. Over the approaching months and years, we anticipate the variety of extensions to develop considerably, offering bespoke options created by AWS and our clients.
Self-authored AppConfig Extensions
To supply a way of the performance that AppConfig Extensions can present, we’ll illustrate some examples comparable to the lifecycle steps talked about above, beginning with the primary part: the creation of configuration information. Let’s say, for instance, that you simply wished so as to add a timestamp inside your hosted configuration information’s JSON every time it will get up to date. With an extension, you would hook into the PRE_CREATE_HOSTED_CONFIGURATION_VERSION motion level and write a easy AWS Lambda to insert the timestamp. Chances are you’ll subsequent resolve that you simply wish to export a replica of every model of your hosted configuration information right into a supply repository like Github, no matter its information format. You might create one other extension that additionally hooks into the PRE_CREATE_HOSTED_CONFIGURATION_VERSION motion level to export the hosted information into your repo each time the info adjustments. Whereas each extensions might be related to a selected Configuration Profile, you would as an alternative affiliate this extension to an Software which is able to trigger it to mechanically apply to all hosted Configuration Profiles in your Software, even these created at a later date. Persevering with down the lifecycle steps, you would possibly must merge information from one other supply, akin to a legacy configuration database, into your configuration information earlier than it deploys. Your extension would include an motion that triggers at PRE_START_DEPLOYMENT and calls a Lambda to retrieve the info and merge it into the to-be-deployed model of configuration information. As a remaining instance, you would set off check automation to run after you’ve deployed new configuration information by hooking into the ON_DEPLOYMENT_COMPLETE motion level that publishes a message to an SNS subject.
Out there Motion Factors
As famous above, an extension can hook into AppConfig Extension motion factors. At the moment, AppConfig exposes the next motion factors:
|PRE_CREATE_HOSTED_CONFIGURATION_VERSION||happens when an AppConfig hosted configuration is created or up to date, however simply earlier than it’s saved|
|PRE_START_DEPLOYMENT||happens simply earlier than a deployment begins|
|ON_DEPLOYMENT_START||happens when an AppConfig deployment begins|
|ON_DEPLOYMENT_STEP||happens throughout a deployment, and increments relying on the deployment technique step proportion|
|ON_DEPLOYMENT_BAKING||happens after the deployment completes, however bake time (if specified) begins|
|ON_DEPLOYMENT_COMPLETE||happens after the deployment and bake time is full|
|ON_DEPLOYMENT_ROLLED_BACK||happens if a deployment roll again initiates|
AWS-authored AppConfig Extensions
Along with the AppConfig extensions you create, we’ve got a handful of extensions which are already obtainable so that you can use. The AppConfig Notification Extensions permit clients to be notified for the ON_DEPLOYMENT_START, ON_DEPLOYMENT_COMPLETE, and ON_DEPLOYMENT_ROLLEDBACK motion factors. Clients can have these notifications despatched to Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Easy Notification Service (Amazon SNS), or Amazon Easy Queue Service (Amazon SQS). We even have an AppConfig Characteristic Flags Helper extension, which performs a job in our Characteristic Flags function and is mechanically related to Characteristic Flag Configuration Profiles, in addition to a Jira Integration extension that creates and manages Jira Points related to your function flags.
This preliminary launch of AppConfig Extensions lays the muse for the platforming of configuration information and have flags. Nonetheless, that is simply the beginning. Sooner or later, we anticipate to launch many AWS-owned extensions and a few third-party extensions. Furthermore, we’re wanting ahead to speaking to clients in regards to the extensions they’ve authored, and persevering with to innovate with our clients in how they’re using function flags and runtime configuration.
Get began with AWS AppConfig Extensions.
By Steve Rice and Jonathan (JT) Thompson
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