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AWS CodeBuild Tutorial

CodeBuild can be used by developers for compiling, testing, and deploying source code as build projects via AWS CLI (Command Line Interface).  The source code is first extracted from AWS CodeCommit, S3, and GitHub, after which a YAML file containing build commands, a compute type that manages CPU and memory, and source integrations that connect to external services are all specified by the developer. Unit tests may also be executed by AWS CodeBuild during the build phase.

Table of Contents:

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What is AWS CodeBuild?

AWS CodeBuild is a continuous integration service for compiling source code, running tests, and producing ready-to-deploy software packages.

CodeBuild frees you of the responsibility of maintaining build servers,  it automatically builds, manages, and scales them for you.

To avoid your build from going in a queue, CodeBuild keeps scaling and processing more than one build concurrently.

You always have the option to create your own custom-built environments, in which you can use your own built tools, or you can simply start using pre-defined build environments.

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AWS CodeBuild Benefits

AWS CodeBuild Benefits

  • Fully Managed

Setting up, patching, updating, and managing your own build servers and software is no longer necessary thanks to AWS CodeBuild. There isn’t any software to manage or install.

  • Pay as you go

You pay for AWS CodeBuild according to how long it takes to finish your build. As a result, you won’t have to worry about paying for unused server capacity.

  • Continuous scaling

To accommodate your build volume, AWS CodeBuild scales automatically. Each build you submit is quickly processed, and because it is capable of running many builds simultaneously, your builds are never left hanging in a queue.

  • Extensible

In addition to the preconfigured build tools and runtimes offered by AWS CodeBuild, you are also able to use your own build environments and programming runtimes.

  • Continuous integration and delivery

AWS CodeBuild is part of the AWS Code Services family, which allows you to develop a comprehensive, automated software release workflow for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD). Additionally, you can incorporate CodeBuild into your current CI/CD process.

  • Secure

Your build artifacts are encrypted with AWS CodeBuild using client-specific keys that the AWS Key Management Service(KMS) manages. Because CodeBuild and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) are connected, you may provide your build projects with user-specific rights.

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AWS CodeBuild Features

  • AWS CodeBuild supports
    • Java
    • Python
    • Ruby
    • js
    • Go
    • Android
    • Docker
    • .NET Core for Linux
  • With AWS CodeBuild you only need to specify the source code’s location and the required settings for the build. CodeBuild comes with preconfigured build environments in which your builds will be executed automatically.
  • You can either use a build command for uploading your code to an artifact repository, or the CodeBuild will by default store the code artifacts in an S3 bucket.
  • Depending on your development requirements you get to choose from 3 levels of computing capacity, all three of which vary by CPU and memory.
    • general1.small -3GB memory, 2vCPU
    • general1.medium – 7GB memory, 4vCPU
    • general1.large – 15GB memory, 8vCPU
  • With CloudWatch you can access your previous build.

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Build Process in CodeBuild

Below mentioned are the steps followed in the build process:

  • Source code can be extracted from the CodeCommit repository, it can also be saved on an S3 bucket in GitHub.
  • The buildspec.yml file, which contains several instructions to run during the build phases including Install, Pre-Build, Build, and Post-Build is used by the CodeBuild service. This file must be located in the project’s ROOT folder and committed to the repository.
  • The maven commands can also be used directly if you don’t want to use the buildspec.yml for the build.
  • The created artifacts, such as J2EE JAR, WAR, and EAR files, are then saved in the S3 bucket.
  • It is also possible to set up AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS) notifications to send the build results to the appropriate people.

Create Build Project

Launch the CodeBuild service from the AWS account and select create a new Build project.

Fill in all the details as

  • Project name: AWS-HelloWorld
  • Source provider: AWS CodeCommit
  • Repository: AWS-HelloWorld
  • Operating system: Ubuntu
  • Runtime: Java
  • Runtime version: OpenJDK-8
  • Build specification: specify build commands
  • Build commands: maven clean install
  • Output files: Target/AWS-HelloWorld-1.0.0.war
  • Artifacts: destination for storing artifacts from this build
  • Type: Amazon S3
  • Name: HWJavaWebTarget
  • Bucket name: hwcodebuildbucket

Take a look at these screenshots:

Tap Continue and then Save. Now, hitting the Start Build button will start the build.

Again click on the Start Build for viewing execution progress.

Now that the build has been successfully finished, the artifacts have been uploaded to an S3 bucket.

S3 bucket view

Now that the WAR file has been created, it can be deployed to the proper application servers.

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AWS CodeBuild Pricing

CodeBuild works on a pay-as-you-go pricing model.  There are no minimum or up-front fees. Only the resources you utilize are charged for.

Based on how long it takes for your build to run, you get billed for computing resources. The per-minute rate is determined by the compute type selected.

  • Build duration: From the time your build is submitted until it is completed, the build duration is estimated in minutes, rounded to the nearest minute.
  • Compute types: AWS CodeBuild comes with 3 different types of compute instances with each offering different amounts of CPU and memory.
  • Free Tier: AWS CodeBuild comes with 100 free build minutes per month, with general1.small or arm1.small instances. The free tier will not expire automatically after 12 months AWS free tier and is available for both new and existing users
  • Additional Charges: Additional charges may apply if your build transport data or use other AWS services. For instance, you might pay extra for building log streams with Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

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Every project has different specifications, and every CI/CD is different. But if you have such fantastic and simple-to-use tools at your disposal, you might as well use them more wisely.

AWS CodeBuild helps you save time and effort while safeguarding your secrets and automating tasks to lower the likelihood of error. The main distinction that developers make between AWS CodeBuild and its rivals is “pay per minute.”

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About the Author

Application Architect

Rupinder is a certified IT expert in AWS and Azure, working as a DevOps Architect and specializing in cloud and infrastructure. He designs and builds entire IT setups for important apps in banking, insurance, and finance.