Amplify Console – Hosting for Fullstack Serverless Web Apps

AWS Amplify Console is a fullstack web app hosting service, with continuous deployment from your preferred source code repository. Amplify Console has been introduced in November 2018 at AWS re:Invent. Since then, the team has been listening to customer feedback and iterated quickly to release several new features, here is a short re:Cap.
Instant Cache InvalidationAmplify Console allows to host single page web apps or static sites with serverless backends via a content delivery network, or CDN. A CDN is a network of distributed servers that cache files at edge locations across the world enabling low latency distribution of your web file assets.
Previously, updating content on the CDN required manually invalidating the cache and waiting 15-20 minutes for changes to propagate globally. To make frequent updates, developers found workarounds such as setting lower time-to-live (TTLs) on asset headers which enables faster updates, but adversely impacts performance. Now, you no


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Microsoft and GitHub grow closer

Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub closed last October. Today, at its annual Build developer conference, Microsoft announced a number of new integrations between its existing services and GitHub. None of these are earth-shattering or change the nature of any of GitHub’s fundamental features, but they do show how Microsoft is starting to bring GitHub closer into the fold.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft isn’t announcing any major GitHub features at Build, though it was only a few weeks ago that the company made a major change by giving GitHub Free users access to unlimited private repositories. For major feature releases, GitHub has its own conference.
So what are the new integrations? Most of them center around identity management. That means GitHub Enterprise users can now use Azure Active Directory to access GitHub. Developers will also be able to use their existing GitHub accounts to log into Azure features like the Azure


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Microsoft launches Visual Studio Online, an online code editor

Microsoft today announced the private preview launch of Visual Studio Online, an online code editor the company is positioning as a companion to Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.
The service is based on the Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s popular free and open-source desktop code editor. This means Visual Studio Online will also support all the extensions that are currently available for Visual Studio Code, as well as popular features like Visual Studio Code workspaces. Support for IntelliCode, Microsoft’s tool for AI-assisted development that became generally available today, is also built-in.
The emphasis here is on Visual Studio Online being a ‘companion.’ It’s not meant to become a developer’s default environment but instead as a way to make a quick edit, review a pull request or join a Live Share session.
And if you think the name Visual Studio Online sounds familiar, that’s because Microsoft is actually recycling this name. Not that long


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Sneaky subscriptions are plaguing the App Store

Subscriptions have turned into a booming business for app developers, accounting for $10.6 billion in consumer spend on the App Store in 2017, and poised to grow to $75.7 billion by 2022. But alongside this healthy growth, a number of scammers are now taking advantage of subscriptions in order to trick users into signing up for expensive and recurring plans. They do this by intentionally confusing users with their app’s design and flow, by making promises of “free trials” that convert after only a matter of days, and other misleading tactics.
Apple will soon have an influx of consumer complaints on its hands if it doesn’t reign in these scammers more quickly.
However, the company’s focus as of late has been more so on getting developers to give subscriptions a try — even holding “secret” meetings where it evangelizes the business model that’s earning developers (and therefore Apple itself) a lot of


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DigitalOcean launches its container platform

DigitalOcean is getting into the container game. While it’s still best known for its affordable virtual private server hosting, the company’s ambition is to become a major player in the cloud computing space. Hosting was just the first part of that plan, and with its Spaces storage services, for example, it signaled its future plans.
Since there’s no way to get around talking about software containers these days, it’s probably no surprise that the company today announced the launch of its Kubernetes -based container service.
The service is now in early preview (and you can sign up here) and the company plans to make it widely available later this year.
“We’ve always been devoted to providing simple solutions for developers — starting with our cloud servers, Droplets,” said DigitalOcean VP of Product Shiven Ramji. “This product is no exception, allowing developers to focus on successfully shipping their applications while not being burdened by the


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GitLab gets a native integration with Google’s Kubernetes Engine

GitLab, one of the most popular self-hosted Git services, has been on a bit of a roll lately. Barely two weeks after launching its integration with GitHub, the company today announced that developers on its platform can now automatically spin up a cluster on Google’s Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and deploy their applications to it with just a few clicks.
To build this feature, the company collaborated with Google, but this integration also makes extensive use of GitLab’s existing Auto DevOps tool, which already offers similar functionality for working with containers. Auto DevOps aims to take all the grunt work out of setting up CI/CD pipelines and deploying to containers.
“Before the GKE integration, GitLab users needed an in-depth understanding of Kubernetes to manage their own clusters,” said GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij in today’s announcement. “With this collaboration, we’ve made it simple for our users to set up a managed deployment environment on [Google Cloud


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GitLab adds support for GitHub

Here is an interesting twist: GitLab, which in many ways competes with GitHub as a shared code repository service for teams, is bringing its continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) features to GitHub.
The new service is launching today as part of GitLab’s hosted service. It will remain free to developers until March 22, 2019. After that, it’s moving to GitLab.com’s paid Silver tier.
GitHub itself offers some basic project and task management services on top of its core tools, but for the most part, it leaves the rest of the DevOps lifecycle to partners. GitLab offers a more complete CI/CD solution with integrated code repositories, but while GitLab has grown in popularity, GitHub is surely better known among developers and businesses. With this move, GitLab hopes to gain new users — and especially enterprise users — who are currently storing their code on GitHub but are looking for a CI/CD solution.

The new


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Amazon’s Alexa Skills Developer Console gets its biggest redesign since launch

 Amazon today is rolling out the biggest makeover for its Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console – the console where voice app developers create their skills – since its debut back in 2015. The new console has been redesigned with a focus on improving developer workflows, says Amazon. It now offers separate sections for “build,” “test,” “launch,”… Read More


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Google launches Cloud Firestore, a new document database for app developers

 Google today launched a new database service for Firebase, its platform for app developers. The new Firestore database complements the existing Firebase Realtime Database and indeed, there’s quite a bit of overlap between these two services. As Firebase co-founder James Tamplin told me, the Realtime Database (RDB) was always the flagship product of the platform. The service is now in use… Read More


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