Monday 31 July 2023

Streamlining Web Application Deployment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk

 


Streamlining Web Application Deployment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk


In the fast-paced world of web development, rapid and reliable deployment of applications is crucial for success. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk, a fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, simplifies deploying web applications by abstracting away the underlying infrastructure complexities. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through every step of deploying your web application with AWS Elastic Beanstalk, enabling you to launch and scale your app with ease and efficiency.

Traditional application deployment often involves complex manual setups of servers, load balancers, and network configurations. Maintaining the infrastructure and ensuring high availability can become a burden for development teams. In contrast, AWS Elastic Beanstalk automates much of the deployment process, handling the infrastructure provisioning, scaling, and load balancing behind the scenes. This allows developers to focus on writing code and delivering new features, significantly reducing deployment time and effort.

Apart from its deployment simplicity, AWS Elastic Beanstalk offers several other use cases:


  • Easy Management: Elastic Beanstalk provides a user-friendly web interface and CLI tools, making it straightforward to monitor, scale, and update your applications.

  • Multi-Platform Support: Elastic Beanstalk supports a variety of programming languages and platforms, such as Node.js, Python, Java, .NET, Ruby, Go, and Docker, making it versatile for different application types.

  • Continuous Deployment: Integrate Elastic Beanstalk with AWS CodePipeline or other continuous integration tools to enable continuous deployment, automatically updating your application whenever new code is pushed to the repository.

  • Multiple Environment Management: Elastic Beanstalk allows you to create multiple environments, such as development, staging, and production, providing a seamless path to test changes before going live.

  • Blue-Green Deployment: Implement a blue-green deployment strategy with Elastic Beanstalk, where you can launch a new environment (green) alongside the existing one (blue) and instantly switch traffic to the new version.

Prerequisites


Before diving into the deployment process, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • AWS Account: If you don't already have an AWS account, sign up for one at aws.amazon.com.

  • AWS Command Line Interface (CLI): Install the AWS CLI to interact with AWS services from your terminal or command prompt.

  • Web Application: Prepare your web application code, ensuring it is ready to run without any local environment dependencies.


Steps for Streamlining Web Application Deployment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk


Step 1: Configure AWS CLI


To ensure smooth interactions with AWS services, configure your AWS CLI with the necessary access credentials. Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command:


  • aws configure


You will be prompted to enter your AWS Access Key ID, Secret Access Key, default region, and output format. These credentials will be used to authenticate your AWS API requests.


Step 2: Package Your Web Application


Before proceeding with deployment, create a ZIP archive of your web application code, including all essential dependencies and configuration files. Ensure your application is fully self-contained and can run independently on Elastic Beanstalk.


Step 3: Create an Elastic Beanstalk Application


In the AWS Management Console, navigate to the Elastic Beanstalk service:

  • Click on "Create Application."

  • Provide a unique name for your application.

  • Choose the platform that aligns with your web application's technology stack (e.g., Node.js, Python, Java, .NET, etc.).

  • Click "Create."


Step 4: Deploy Your Application

  • In the Elastic Beanstalk dashboard, select your newly created application.

  • Click on "Create environment."

  • Choose "Web server environment."

  • Select an environment tier that suits your needs (e.g., Single instance or Load balanced).

  • Upload your application ZIP file in the "Upload your code" section.

  • Click "Create environment."

Elastic Beanstalk will automatically provision the necessary AWS resources and deploy your application. The deployment process may take a few minutes to complete.


Step 5: Access Your Application


Once the deployment is successful, Elastic Beanstalk will provide you with the URL of your web application. Simply visit the provided URL in your web browser to access your application.


Step 6: Monitoring and Scaling


Elastic Beanstalk comes with built-in monitoring and autoscaling features, ensuring your application's performance and availability.


  • In the Elastic Beanstalk dashboard, navigate to your environment.

  • Click on the "Monitoring" tab to view real-time performance metrics.

  • To enable autoscaling, click on "Configuration," and under the "Capacity" section, click "Modify." Adjust the auto-scaling settings according to your requirements.

Hands-on: let's create a todo list app 


Creating a to-do list app is a great example to showcase the deployment process using AWS Elastic Beanstalk. In this example, we'll build a simple to-do list application using Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB for data storage. Then, we'll deploy it using AWS Elastic Beanstalk.


Step 1: Set Up the To-Do List App Locally


1. Install Node.js and MongoDB: If you don't have Node.js and MongoDB installed, download and install them from the official websites.


2. Create a New Project Directory: Create a new folder for your project and navigate to it in the terminal or command prompt.


3. Initialize a New Node.js Project: Run the following command to initialize a new Node.js project and create a package.json file:


   ```bash

   npm init -y

   ```


4. Install Express.js and other dependencies: Install Express.js, Mongoose (for MongoDB interaction), and other dependencies:

   ```bash

   npm install express mongoose body-parser ejs

   ```


5. Create the Server and Database Connection: Create a new file named `index.js` in your project directory and add the following code:


```javascript

const express = require('express');

const bodyParser = require('body-parser');

const mongoose = require('mongoose');


const app = express();

app.set('view engine', 'ejs');

app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }));


// Connect to MongoDB

mongoose.connect('mongodb://localhost/todo_list', {

  useNewUrlParser: true,

  useUnifiedTopology: true,

});


// Define the To-Do Schema and Model

const todoSchema = new mongoose.Schema({

  item: String,

});

const Todo = mongoose.model('Todo', todoSchema);


// Routes

app.get('/', (req, res) => {

  Todo.find({}, (err, todos) => {

    if (err) console.log(err);

    else res.render('index', { todos });

  });

});


app.post('/add', (req, res) => {

  const newItem = req.body.newItem;

  const newTodo = new Todo({

    item: newItem,

  });

  newTodo.save();

  res.redirect('/');

});


app.listen(3000, () => {

  console.log('Server running on port 3000');

});

```


6. Create a new folder named `views` in your project directory. Within the `views` folder, create a new file named `index.ejs` and add the following content:


```html

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

  <title>To-Do List App</title>

</head>

<body>

  <h1>To-Do List</h1>

  <form action="/add" method="POST">

    <input type="text" name="newItem" placeholder="Add a new task">

    <button type="submit">Add</button>

  </form>

  <ul>

    <% todos.forEach((todo) => { %>

      <li><%= todo.item %></li>

    <% }) %>

  </ul>

</body>

</html>

```


Step 2: Test the To-Do List App Locally


1. Start MongoDB: Open a new terminal or command prompt and run `mongod` to start the MongoDB server.


2. Start the App: In another terminal or command prompt, run the following command in your project directory to start the app:


   ```bash

   node index.js

   ```


3. Open your web browser and navigate to `http://localhost:3000`. You should see the basic to-do list app, where you can add new tasks.


Step 3: Prepare the To-Do List App for Deployment


1. Update the MongoDB Connection URI: Modify the MongoDB connection URI in the `index.js` file to use the MongoDB service provided by AWS. Replace the local connection URI `'mongodb://localhost/todo_list'` with the connection URI for your AWS MongoDB instance.


2. Create an `.ebextensions` folder in your project directory.


3. Create a file within the `.ebextensions` folder named `mongodb.config` and add the following content to ensure Elastic Beanstalk can connect to the MongoDB instance:


```yaml

option_settings:

  aws:elasticbeanstalk:application:environment:

    MONGODB_URI: "mongodb://YOUR_MONGODB_INSTANCE_URI"

```


Replace `YOUR_MONGODB_INSTANCE_URI` with the actual URI for your MongoDB instance on AWS.


Step 4: Deploy the To-Do List App to AWS Elastic Beanstalk


1. Install the AWS CLI: If you haven't installed the AWS CLI, do it by following the instructions on this page: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cli/latest/userguide/cli-configure-quickstart.html


2. Configure AWS CLI: Run the following command and provide your AWS Access Key ID, Secret Access Key, default region, and output format as prompted:


```bash

aws configure

```


3. Initialize Elastic Beanstalk: Run the following command to initialize Elastic Beanstalk in your project directory:


```bash

eb init -p node.js-14.x my-todo-app

```


4. Create the Environment: Run the following command to create the environment for your application:


```bash

eb create my-todo-app-env

```


The deployment process may take a few minutes. Once it's completed, AWS Elastic Beanstalk will provide you with the URL of your deployed to-do list app. Visit the provided URL in your web browser to access your application.


Conclusion


Congratulations! You've successfully created a basic to-do list app using Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB, and deployed it using AWS Elastic Beanstalk. AWS Elastic Beanstalk streamlines the process of deploying and managing web applications in the cloud, allowing you to concentrate on developing and enhancing your application while leaving the infrastructure management to AWS.

By following this comprehensive guide, you've harnessed the power of AWS Elastic Beanstalk to effortlessly deploy and scale your web application. As your app grows, you can take advantage of Elastic Beanstalk's monitoring and autoscaling capabilities to ensure optimal performance and scalability.

With Elastic Beanstalk's automated deployment and infrastructure management, you can confidently showcase your to-do list app to the world, knowing it's running smoothly on AWS. Embrace the simplicity and efficiency of AWS Elastic Beanstalk and streamline your web application deployment process like a pro.

Happy coding and best of luck with your web application journey!


Written by, Shubham Raut, Junior Developer @Cloud.in






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