Elastic Beanstalk (EB) Features for AWS Development

By John Paul Mueller

EB enables you to easily upload, configure, and manage applications of all sorts with AWS. An application isn’t useful unless people can access it with ease and make it perform whatever tasks it’s designed to perform in the most seamless manner possible.

Achieving these goals requires the hosting platform to support various programming methodologies on a variety of platforms so that developers can use the tools most suited to a particular need. When working with AWS, you can currently create web applications (in the easiest-to-access form available) using these languages (with more to follow):

  • Java
  • NET
  • PHP
  • Node.js
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Go
  • Docker

The applications run in managed containers for the language you choose. A managed container is one in which the host manages application resources and ensures that the application can’t easily crash the system. The container acts as a shield between the application you’re working with and every other application that the system hosts.

EB supports a number of platforms. The platform you choose for your development setup should match the platform for your organization. When a given platform lacks language support, development and administration must decide on an appropriate mix for the cloud, which often has different requirements than a local setup. Matching the language (to meet developer needs) with a platform (to meet administrator needs) on a host can prove difficult, but EB is up to the task because it provides support for these web application platforms:

  • Apache
  • Nginx
  • Passenger
  • IIS

EB is designed to simplify application deployment and management in a way that allows a developer more time to code. The three cornerstones of EB application support are the following:

  • Deployment: Getting the application onto the server so that someone can use it.
  • Management: Configuring the application as people find problems using it.
  • Scaling: Providing a good application experience for everyone by ensuring that the application runs fast, reliably, and without any security issues.

As part of this whole picture, EB also relies on application health monitoring through Amazon CloudWatch. The Amazon CloudWatch service helps you determine when application health issues require the host to make changes in the application environment, such as by using autoscaling to make sure that the application has enough resources to run properly.