Aligning DevOps with AWS: Planning Stage [Part 3 of 9]
In this article, 3rd in the series, we will discuss the Planning stage of DevOps using AWS and introduce some of the essential AWS services that can be leveraged as part of DevOps. Considering, the planning stage is activities are non-tangible we will also discuss some business and productivity applications that are offered by AWS.
The planning stage of DevOps is as its name suggests, a planning stage of a usual SDLC process. You plan for scope, cost, time, resource, risk, quality, integration, procurement, communication, and stakeholders as PMI’s PMP would suggest. In this article, we will review this stage from the AWS services perspective.
Activities of Planning Stage
The planning stage involves activities around the initial phases of project management, documentation, and taking decisions regarding various elements of the project. Decisions affecting the DevOps process are also taken at this stage.
In an iterative DevOps process, inputs for this stage come from previous iterations. Lessons learned, the next set of work activities, enhancement, and support requests form the bulk of the inputs. These inputs are taken into consideration in the planning phase and decisions regarding resource requirements, scope, risks, costs, procurement needs, quality issues, communication, and stakeholder management activities are made in this stage.
Aligning Services with Planning Stage
Getting to the interesting part; services that can be used here are:
- Amazon WorkDocs
- AWS CodeStar
- AWS Chime
- AWS Wickr
- Amazon WorkMail
- Alexa for Business
- Amazon Honeycode
Amazon Honeycode is a cloud-based, no-code application development platform. Although it can be used to create business applications that need not be a part of the DevOps process, its purpose is also there in creating business apps to improve the team’s productivity which is vital for the planning stage.
It is a cloud-based communication and collaboration service that provides chat, voice, and video conferencing, screen sharing, and file-sharing capabilities. An example of its competing product would be the Zoom Meeting application.
It is a secure messaging, conferencing, and file-sharing application. Its core objective is to provide collaboration and communication features like Amazon Chime and its core criteria is to provide information security realized by end-to-end encryption, thereby finding interested audiences amongst military, government, and enterprise users.
Amazon WorkMail is a cloud-based, fully managed, email and calendar service that can be integrated with client email applications of the user’s choice (like Microsoft Outlook).
It is a fully managed, secure, document creation, sharing, and collaborating service by Amazon. You can create and collaborate on text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. using this service.
Alexa for Business
It is a virtual assistant service for a business environment. Alexa syncs with the company information, calendar, user accounts, databases, etc., and provides a conversational interface to a user to assign tasks to Alexa (and other users) or simply ask questions (within the user’s restricted purview).
It is a collaborative platform for developing, building, and deploying applications on AWS. It supports popular programming languages, and frameworks and provides an easy & intuitive interface to create and manage projects and pre-configured environments & templates for development.
Use Case: How AWS Service can be used as a part of the DevOps Process?
Now that we have mentioned what AWS services are there for the planning phase, let’s briefly stitch a story as to how can these be brought into the fold, and utilized as a part of our DevOps process.
A team can use Amazon WorkMail for written communication. Depending on various criteria like security, depth of feature requirements, need for content sharing, budget, etc., users can choose between Amazon Chime or AWS Wickr. For instance, Amazon Chime’s counterpart would be Zoom Meeting, and AWS Wickr’s would be Microsoft Team.
While collaborating with the team in joint planning sessions, Amazon WorkDocs can be used to create business requirement documents that would be needed by the development team. Additionally, leads can quickly create, deploy, and share team productivity or business apps using Amazon Honeycode to streamline or enhance the DevOps process.
All this while, Alexa for Business can be used by the team members to simplify, delegate, or communicate some of their tasks and get some needed information for decision-making and staying up to date on important topics. For example, Alexa can get business information needed by personnel as per preset access level. Or Alexa can send emails to colleagues or set reminders for a task.
For preparing and writing requirements, user stories, work items, or tasks, the team can use Amazon CodeStar. To help in setting context using example, one of the major counterparts of this tool in the market would be Azure DevOps. Using Amazon CodeStar, a user would be able to manage the backlog of project requirements, manage development & testing, and track defects and deployment. Amazon CodeStar provides an interface to set up CI/CD for deployment also, details of which will be covered in another article.