Deploying Cloud Resources by using AWS Cloud9 and CDK


1. AWS Services and basic concept

An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of:

1. At least a source code editor;

2. Build automation tools;

3. Debugger.


The boundary between an IDE and other parts of the broader software development environment is not well-defined; sometimes a version control system or various tools to simplify the construction of a graphical user interface (GUI) are integrated. Many modern IDEs also have a class browser, an object browser, and a class hierarchy diagram for use in object-oriented software development.


2. AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK)

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development framework to define your cloud application resources using familiar programming languages.


AWS CDK deploy resources in a safely and repeatedly way, by utilizing AWS CloudFormation


You can define your application infrastructure model by coding, you can using programming language like TypeScript, Python, Java, .Net, go etc.


In short, letting you deploying resource using programming language through CDK, it is little bit like CloudFormation but coding version, if you are familiar to programming enough, it will be easier and faster on deploying than using JSON or CSV template.


You can define your application infrastructure with shorter code, also can define more details when you need.


Last but no least AWS CDK can also using CLI to export you CFN template, or you can just deploy it with CLI.

aws cloud9


3. AWS Cloud9

Cloud9 is a cloud integrated development environment, compare to traditional IDE, which need install in local environment to start with, Cloud9 don’t need any installation, you can operate through your browser. Another thing to mention when Cloud9 is being created, it will also install some common Linux packages included AWS CDK.


Until now Cloud9 support two types of operating system which is Amazon Linux and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.


If you have customization needs, you can customize Amazon Linux’s AMI for your development environment or even using SSH to connect Cloud9 instance.


The combination of AWS Cloud9 and CDK compare to deploy normal server based application, it more fit in deploy serverless architecture, because both of them are Coding as a Service.


Next, we will go through some AWS Cloud9 and CDK practices for showcasing.


Practices example

Task 1: Create a Cloud9 CDE

Task 2: Create a VPC and EC2 instance with CDK

Task 3: Modify the EC2 instance’s Subnet

Task 4: Export the building template and Clean up


Task1: Create a Cloud9 CDE

Step 1 Open AWS console and find Cloud9 service, click “Create Environment”

AWS Cloud9


Step 2 Enter Cloud9 environment’ name and description (can it left blank)

AWS Cloud9


Step 3 Configuring IDE environment type and Instance type In environment type we have 3 options, which is:

1. Create a new EC2 instance for environment (direct access)

2. Create a new no-ingress EC2 instance for environment (access via Systems Manager)

3. Create and run in remote server (SSH connection)

Here we will left as default.

About instance type it depends on your own needs, normally you will need more memory for building code. Since we are not going to build a large project we will left as default too.

AWS Cloud9


Step 4 Setting OS and Cost-saving setting

Last, choose the OS that you need. AWS support two type of OS natively, which is Amazon Linux and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. If you need other environment, you have to connect to instance and install yourself. At network settings, if you have to download packages from internet, make sure you have the right setting to connect to internet.


About cost-saving setting, when CDE aren’t being use for a certain time, it will stop the instance automatically to saving cost, the default setting is “After 30 minutes”.

AWS Cloud9


Step 5 Confirm all configurations, and click ”Create Environment”

AWS Cloud9


Step 6 Wait until it finish, open Cloud9 IDE we just created, and notice the layout.

The layout can be divided by three parts:

1. Editor: where you will coding at;

2. Terminal: where you use your command;

3. File management: all project’s files can be found here.

AWS Cloud9


Step 7 Create a directory for your application, and use cd command get inside of it.


AWS Cloud9


$ mkdir TestApp

$ cd TestApp/


Step 8 Using CDK init command and choose the programming language you want to use

You can choose between in JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, Java, C#, Go. I prefer Python so I choose it here, you can choose yours.

AWS Cloud9


$cdk init --language $(python)

$(python) can be replaced the programming language you want to use


Step 9 Check the CDK version and updates

Please check the CDK version is version 1 or 2, according different CDK version, the ways to define components and constructors are different too. For more detail, Please check AWS CDK official library.


Here we are going to use version 2.8.0.

AWS Cloud9Command:

$ npm install –g aws-cdk


Step 10 Find your main function and open it

AWS Cloud9


Step 11 Set the environment variable

Change the account build with and region you want your application stack build in.

AWS Cloud9


Step 12 Use cdk bootstrap command to setup import the environment variable

It also setup some roles you need before your first deploy with cdk. When It success it will show the variable you set.

AWS Cloud9


$ cdk bootsrtap


The environment setup is finish.


Task 2 Create a VPC and a EC2 instance

Using the CDE we just created, let see how CDK will help while build template.


Step 1 Find your stack constructor function

Everything you want to deploy will be defined here.

Path should look like: Testapp¥test_app¥

AWS Cloud9


Step 2 Use the CDK provided Library, define a VPC

Import CDK library, add code to define our VPC into constructor.


When you using CDK to define resource you want to deploy, you don’t need to define every details about your resource, CDK will according your code to determine what resource you will need to make it a fully functional application.


Here we only define the name and CIDR of the VPC, other details left as blank.

AWS Cloud9


Step 3 Use diff command to check what will be change when we deploy.

AWS Cloud9


$ cdk diff


Sometime it will run into an error when CDK module not found, use this command to fix it:

AWS Cloud9


$ pip install –r requiremnts.txt


Step 4 Check the resources will be deploy after using diff command

In the constructor we changed, only define we want to deploy one VPC, but check the resource will be deploy it shown resource we didn’t define, such as public and private subnets, routes, internet gateway and security group etc. that when you building an application the resources you need (according the AWS well-architecture).


These is how CDK help us to deploy, Resources are according our code to decide needed or not.

AWS Cloud9


Step 5 Add code to define our EC2 instance

EC2 instance details we will define:

1. Name;

2. Instance_type will be t2.micro;

3. Machine_image will be Amazon Linux;

4. VPC is the one we just defined.

aws cloud9


Step 6 Use diff command again to confirm the change

Because of ec2 instance, CDK added IAM role and security group change for it.

AWS Cloud9


Step 7 Use deploy command to create the stack

Confirm every resource, which will be build, are correct then use CDK deploy it.

aws cloud9Command:



$ cdk deploy


Step 8 After deployment is complete, confirm the stack ARN

After a successful deployment, Stack ARN will be shown.

aws cloud9


Step 9 Go to AWS console, CloudFormation service to confirm the stack is created.

aws cloud9


Step 10 Click Resources on the tab to check all resources we just built.

aws cloud9


Step 11 Go the EC2 console to check the instance we built.



Task 3 Modify the EC2 instance’s Subnet

CDK can let user modify and adjust the details of resources, here we will modify the EC2 instance’s subnet setting for showcase.


Step 1 Back to constructor of the EC2 instance, assign to a public subnet and deploy again.

aws cloud9


Step 2 Go to EC2 console and check the instance is changed.

aws cloud9


Task 4: Export the building template and Clean up

Using CDK to export JSON template, which can use by CloudFormation, and Clean up.


Step 1 Use synth command to export JSON template file

Export JSON file can let you deliver to other environment and setup the same application, without rewriting JSON or code.

aws cloud9Command:


$ cdk synth


Step 2 Find the JSON file from file management.

aws cloud9


Step 3 Use CDK destroy command to delete the stack you don’t need anymore.

When the stack became unneeded, you can delete it by using cdk command.

aws cloud9


$ cdk destroy


Step 4 Back to CloudFormation confirm the stack is already deleted.

aws cloud9


In concluded

By using AWS Cloud9 and CDK, you can use programming language to define your resources, and utilizing CDK automatically deploy the resources that are needs as a complete application. You can even using programming logic to deploy it reputably make it even faster and easier than normal deploying process.


Another thing to mention, because it is CaaS (Code as Service) you can take more advantage when you deploying serverless architecture.



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