Best Ways to Accelerate Product Development on AWS

Best Ways to Accelerate Product Development on AWS
November 20, 2019

One of the biggest challenges most businesses face is taking their products to the market at the right time. They need to ensure that their solution reaches the consumer when there is a need for it and before trends change. But achieving a remarkable product at that speed often means compromising on the quality of it. That’s where product development on AWS comes in.

As per the Harvard Business Review, Amazon has a software change every 11 seconds. It goes through 8,000 changes every day. Now when you compare this to other businesses in the same industry, no wonder Amazon is a leader. Simply put, the faster a company can develop products, the greater its chance to conquer a target market.

But as projects become larger and more complex, how can companies use developer tools in AWS to accelerate product development? Here are 5 effective ways to accelerate product development on AWS:

1. Define your product development strategy

The first step to accelerate product development on AWS is to define your strategy. This is documentation that not just defines the purpose of the application but also lays down the roadmap to improve it as the market needs changes. It goes into detail by listing down all the necessary steps that will be required to make changes along the way – right from the number of product iterations to how they will be launched.

Here are the three things your strategy must include for effective product development on AWS:

  1. Defined target market – Defining the target market includes finding the needs of your audience, the benefits of the new product, the MVP of the product in the current market, the features you want to incorporate, and how they’re associated with the current and changing market needs.
  2. Fixed time frame – Deciding on a timeframe to incorporate all the desired changes in the product. This helps in better resource allocation and team coordination to improve efficiency during product development on AWS.
  3. Key approaches – Defines how the company will develop and deploy the product changes – wireframes or prototypes, product specifications, requirements, and testing strategy.

Pro-Tip: Startup lean to optimize product development on AWS for speed. While aiming for a high-end product is not a bad strategy, reaching it in one go may slow you down and put your business at risk of disruption. So ensure that you do what is meaningful, pleasurable, and convenient in your product development strategy first, then build on it to reach the ultimate product.

Defining product development strategy

2. Become agile with AWS developer tools

One of the most important things to accelerate product development on AWS is to become agile. You should be able to incorporate customer feedback into the product MVP almost immediately. It can help you optimize the build-measure-learn feedback loop for faster speed, allowing rapid product development.

To make your product development on AWS agile, you need to follow some simple principles throughout the process:

  1. Avoid unnecessary deployment processes or product features to eliminate waste.
  2. Increase feedback by using test-driven development and continuous integration to improve product quality.
  3. Develop iteratively to deliver the product rapidly without disruptions.

Pro-Tip: Becoming agile enables development teams to quickly incorporate new or updated features into the product. The increased velocity of product development on AWS helps businesses keep up with the market needs without compromising on the product’s quality.

3. Build your product deployment pipeline

Another of the best ways to accelerate product development on AWS is to define how you want to go about it early on. With AWS developer tools like AWS CodePipeline, you can define the deployment steps in releasing a new feature or updating your product. You can define the stages that make the pipeline and the steps that the team needs to take at each stage to complete it. You can make it more comprehensive by laying out the actions in detail and listing down the developer tools in AWS that will be used.

Building product deployment pipeline

The main stages of product development on AWS include:

  1. Source stage – At this stage, CodePipeline kicks off the workflow as soon as it detects a new change that has been added to the repository.
  2. Build stage – This stage supports continuous integration in product development on AWS. You can configure the pipeline to perform the build automatically anytime a new change is committed. You can also include custom-build actions at this stage.
  3. Staging stage – This is the testing stage that defines the actions that are required to automate product deployment. The pipeline can have multiple staging stages based on the project’s complexity or testing goal.

4. Automate your product deployment

AWS developer tools have several services that you can use to automate product deployment. AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS OpsWorks, AWS CloudFormation, and AWS CodeDeploy can help you accelerate product development on AWS.

The AWS developer tool services may overlap in functionality, but each has a defined use case for automating product deployment.

  1. AWS Elastic Beanstalk – One of the easiest ways to accelerate product development on AWS. It can handle both provisioning a target environment and deploying an application. Additionally, it helps set up load balancing, auto-scaling for product development on AWS, supporting zero downtime during deployment, and monitoring the target environment.
  2. AWS CodeDeploy – This AWS developer tool service can deploy changes to any application stack on Amazon Linux, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Windows on on-premise or AWS servers. The deployment unit here is a revision consisting of files that make up the product change, the scripts required to support the deployment, and a YAML-formatted file that defines where the changes need to be made on the target server.
  3. AWS OpsWorks – AWS OpsWorks can deploy any application stack on any on-premise and AWS operating systems. It supports more complex deployment scenarios by enabling developers to model the architecture of the target environment by creating a stack. The developer tool in AWS comes with several built-in layers, such as HAProxy, NodeJS App Server, and more, but it also allows you to create your custom layers.
  4. AWS CloudFormation – CloudFormation helps you accelerate product development on AWS by providing an easy way of provisioning resources. It enables you to describe the resources you need to run an application in a template and create a stack comprising the resources declared in the template. It complements all the other deployment services.

5. Automate your product testing

Testing is a critical part of product development on AWS to ensure that development cycles go smoothly. Every time a new code is added or modified in the stack is required. But manual testing can slow down product development on AWS as it takes up all your development team resources – human effort, money, and time.

With automated testing, you can reduce the time it takes to test any changes made during product development on AWS from weeks to just a few hours. It also enables you to go deeper into tests to ensure software quality, pulling out concrete data on how to make it better.
A test automation suite will give you better insights into the product, Be it unit, functional testing, integration testing, data-driven testing, or others. It analyzes the memory contents, data tables, internal programs, and more to check if the product performs how it was developed.

Another reason to automate your testing is that it enables parallel testing. By being able to run multiple test cases across several operating systems and browsers, you’re able to reduce the testing time as compared to sequential testing.

Conclusion

Product development on AWS is more efficient owing to the innumerable features and support the platform offers. Additionally, the developer tools in AWS make the product development process more optimized for speed and, at the same time, quality – which is important for companies to ensure a timely take-to-market to stay ahead of competitors.

The above are some of the principles AWS experts use to help companies reduce the time they take to develop and take products to the market. They don’t just help the teams establish an agile methodology to develop products for their target market but also help them keep their resources optimized at all times to make the project a success.

But expedite product development on AWS; you need to ensure you and your team are well-versed with the capabilities of AWS and the developer tools in AWS. That’s where working with AWS advanced consulting partners such as Rapyder comes into play. They work towards understanding your company’s end goal, the use cases of your product, the changes you want to make, and help you define and execute a product development strategy that ensures your take-to-market time is always reasonable.

[Read Next: DevOps And AWS Well Architected Framework ]

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