Amazon Web Services launched a new service today that’s designed to provide developers with a full development environment running in its cloud. Called AWS Cloud9, it’s designed to give developers a collaborative workspace for writing code and running the terminal commands necessary to create and deploy software.
Using AWS Cloud9, developers will be able to provide read-only or read and write access to their workspace for other collaborators, who will then be able to concurrently edit code and chat about changes they’re making. The software integrates with AWS Lambda, the cloud provider’s service for running short, event-driven code functions, as well.
Live collaboration is important for the practice of pair programming, when two people work together to write code and smash bugs. But more than that, it’s also useful for providing assistance with tricky bugs, or just give one engineer a window into the work someone else is doing in real time. Because Cloud9 is running on AWS, people don’t have to sit next to one another in order to see what’s going on.
Live collaboration has become a key feature for developer tool companies over the past several months. Microsoft announced live collaboration for its Visual Studio development environment a few weeks ago, while GitHub recently announced a new feature for its Atom text editor that provides co-editing capabilities.
The service is based on the cloud provider’s acquisition of Cloud9 last year. Workspaces that users have created through Cloud9’s website will continue to run, according to an AWS blog post. People who want to move to AWS Cloud9 from the previous environment will be able to do so using migration tools that the company plans to provide later.
Cloud9 comes preloaded with users’ AWS credentials, so that they can right away start running terminal commands that perform actions on the company’s cloud platform.
It’s integrated with AWS Lambda to provide debugging of cloud functions, so that users will be able to see how their code will run before deploying it in production. What’s more, AWS Cloud9 will be able to pull in any Lambda function users can access through the cloud platform for coding and debugging, even if they didn’t initially write it using Cloud9.
The news comes as part of AWS re:Invent, the cloud provider’s major customer conference in Las Vegas. Earlier today, the company announced Alexa for Business, a series of integrations that are designed to bring Amazon’s virtual assistant to the office.