AWS Developer Tools Blog

AWS Toolkit for Eclipse Integration with AWS CodeDeploy (Part 1)

We are excited to announce that the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse now includes integration with AWS CodeDeploy and AWS OpsWorks. In addition to the support of AWS Elastic Beanstalk deployment, these two new plugins provide more options for Java developers to deploy their web application to AWS directly from their Eclipse development environment.

In this blog post series, we will take a look at the CodeDeploy plugin and walk you through its features to show you how it can improve your deployment automation.

How to Install?

The AWS CodeDeploy and OpsWorks plugins are available at the official AWS Eclipse Toolkit update site ( Just follow the same steps you took when you installed and updated the AWS plugins, and you will see the two new additions in the plugin list of our update site.

For more information about the installation and basic usage of the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, go to our official documentation site.

AWS CodeDeploy

If you haven’t heard of it yet, AWS CodeDeploy is a new AWS service that was just launched last year during re:Invent 2014. The service allows you to fully automate the process of deploying your code to a fleet of EC2 instances. It eliminates the need for manual operations by providing a centralized solution that allows you to initiate, control and monitor your deployments.

If you want to learn more about CodeDeploy, here are some useful links:

One of the major design goals of AWS CodeDeploy is to be platform and language agnostic. With a command-based install model, CodeDeploy allows you to specify the commands you want to run during each deployment phase (a.k.a. lifecycle event), and these commands can be written in any kind of code.

The language-agnostic characteristic of CodeDeploy brings maximum flexibility and makes it usable for all kinds of deployment purposes. But meanwhile, because of its generality, the service may not natively support some common use cases that are specific to a particular development language. For example, when working with Java web applications, we would likely not want to deploy the Java source code directly to our hosts – the deployment process always involves some necessary building and packaging phases before publishing the content to the hosts. This is in contrast to many scripting languages where the source code itself can be used directly as the deployment artifact. In its deployment workflow model, CodeDeploy also requires the developer to prepare a revision every time he/she wants to initiate a deployment. This could be either in form of a snapshot of the GitHub repo or an archive bundle uploaded to Amazon S3. This revision should include an Application Specification (AppSpec) file, where the developer’s custom deployment commands are specified.

To summarize, as the following diagram shows, deploying a Java web application via CodeDeploy would require non-trivial manual operations in the development environment, before the deployment actually happens.

Ideally, we would want a tool that is able to:

  • automate the building, packaging, and revision preparation phases for a Java web app
  • support creating configurable and repeatable deployment tasks

In the next part of our blog series, we will walkthrough a simple use case to demonstrate how the AWS CodeDeploy Eclipse plugin solves these problems and makes the deployment as easy as a number of mouse-clicks. Stay tuned!