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Which AWS Command Line tools are best for app development?

We use a variety of application development tools and want to streamline our efforts. Which AWS utilities and Command Line tools can help?

Software development kits rarely work in isolation, and developers often rely on a variety of tools to support...

or streamline their efforts. Amazon cloud customers have a variety of service-specific AWS Command Line tools and utilities to pick from, which can accelerate common tasks and automate frequently run processes. Several vendors and third parties offer similar tools and utilities for cloud services -- each with its own pros and cons -- which can create more legwork for busy development teams.

We spell out some AWS Command Line tools and utilities to help you find the right one -- from AWS API tools to integrated development environments to Windows-focused utilities.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) API Tools provide a client-side interface for EC2 services. Through the interface, users can register, launch and manage EC2 instances. Another option, the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Command Line Toolkit provides shells -- such as Bash and DOS -- that allow administrators to directly run Amazon RDS application programming interfaces (APIs). Additionally, Amazon Route 53 Authentication Tool for Curl provides a Perl script that can determine the most suitable AWS Route 53 authentication signature for the commonly used Curl Command Line tool.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud API Tools provide a client-side interface for EC2 services. Through the interface, users can register, launch and manage EC2 instances.

AWS also offers complete integrated development environment (IDE) toolkits that aim to speed development, debugging and deployment of Java and .NET applications that use Amazon cloud services. The AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, for example, is an open source plug-in for the Eclipse Java IDE; the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio is an extension for Microsoft's Visual Studio applications.

Administrators can also use the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) to make calls to a wide range of AWS cloud services directly from the Command Line. AWS Command Line tools allow developers and administrators to access, configure or monitor AWS products without having to write unnecessary code. For example, if an application is designed to access a particular cloud instance with data, a developer could use the CLI to prepare that instance and data in advance. The developer wouldn't have to write the application ahead of time.

The AWS Command Line Interface supports popular operating systems and is preinstalled on Amazon Linux machine images. Linux installs require at least Python 2.6.5 and use the pip tool for installing Python software packages. Windows 32- and 64-bit installation packages are also available.

Windows-based shops or developers, however, might want AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell. This package adds cmdlets to PowerShell, allowing developers and administrators to manage and script AWS products directly from the PowerShell console. This is based on much of the same functionality found in the AWS SDK for .NET.

Finally, the AWS Marketplace is a good source for finding application development tools and services. While some AWS tools are free of cost, many tools and services available in the AWS Marketplace carry an additional cost that developers should consider.

Next Steps

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This was last published in May 2016

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