What is AWS CDK

AWS CDK: The Cloud Development Kit You Need to Know About

If you’re a developer working with AWS, you’ve probably heard of AWS CDK (Cloud Development Kit). But what is AWS CDK and how can it benefit your cloud development projects? Let’s take a closer look.

What is AWS CDK?

AWS CDK is a software development framework for defining and deploying cloud infrastructure. With AWS CDK, you can use programming languages such as TypeScript, JavaScript, Python, and C# to define your cloud resources. This means that you can leverage the full power of your favorite language to build and manage your cloud resources, rather than using the declarative AWS CloudFormation templates.

One of the key benefits of using AWS CDK is that it generates CloudFormation templates for you automatically. This means that you can take advantage of all the features of CloudFormation, such as versioning, rollbacks, and drift detection, while still using your preferred programming language to define your infrastructure.

Key Features of AWS CDK

In addition to generating CloudFormation templates, AWS CDK also offers several other key features. These include:

  • Custom resource creation: With AWS CDK, you can create custom resources that don’t exist in the AWS CloudFormation registry. For example, you might want to use a third-party service that doesn’t have a corresponding CloudFormation resource type. With AWS CDK, you can easily create a custom resource for this service.
  • Environment abstraction: AWS CDK allows you to abstract away environment-specific details, such as the AWS Region and account. This can make it easier to develop and test your infrastructure in multiple environments, such as dev, staging, and production.
  • Extensibility: AWS CDK is designed to be easily extensible, so you can add your own constructs (pre-built cloud resources) and extend the functionality of the AWS CDK itself.

Getting Started with AWS CDK

Getting started with AWS CDK is easy. All you need is to install the AWS CDK and a supported programming language, set up your initial project, and you’re ready to start creating and deploying your first AWS CDK app.

Use Cases for AWS CDK

There are many use cases for AWS CDK, including:

  • Setting up a CI/CD pipeline: You can use AWS CDK to define and automate your build and deployment process. For example, you might use AWS CDK to define a CodePipeline that triggers a new build and deployment every time you push a change to your code repository.
  • Creating a serverless application: AWS CDK makes it easy to define and deploy serverless functions and other resources, such as event sources, data stores, and APIs. With AWS CDK, you can define your entire serverless application as code, making it easier to manage and update.
  • Building a multi-tier web application: With AWS CDK, you can define and deploy all the resources needed for a multi-tier web application, including servers, load balancers, and databases. This can make it easier to build and scale complex web applications on AWS.

Comparison to Other AWS Tools

If you’re familiar with other AWS tools such as AWS CloudFormation or AWS SAM (Serverless Application Model), you might be wondering how AWS CDK compares. AWS CDK offers many of the same capabilities as these tools, but with the added benefit of being able to use a programming language to define your cloud resources. This can make it easier to build and manage complex infrastructure, as well as enabling you to take advantage of the latest language features and libraries.

For example, let’s say you’re building a serverless application that processes data from a streaming source, such as a Kinesis stream. With AWS CDK, you can use JavaScript or Python to define your Kinesis stream, Lambda functions, and any other resources needed by your application. This can make it easier to write and debug your code, as well as allowing you to take advantage of language-specific libraries and tools.


In conclusion, AWS CDK is a powerful tool that allows you to use programming languages to define and deploy your cloud resources. With its ability to generate CloudFormation templates, as well as its custom resource creation, environment abstraction, and extensibility features, AWS CDK is a great choice for cloud development projects of all sizes. If you’re looking to streamline your cloud development process, give AWS CDK a try.

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