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Altostra Extension for Visual Studio Code: shifting left cloud infrastructure

Being a developer-first solution means bringing Altostra capabilities straight into the developers' IDEs to maximize development experience with minimum friction.
Yev Krupetsky

March 17 2021 · 4 min read

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Altostra Extension for Visual Studio Code: shifting left cloud infrastructure

The no-code infrastructure mindset enables organizations to shift left their cloud infrastructure. It gives developers the power to take advantage of cloud-native services to fit the application needs. DevOps can now empower developers with better tools to build applications while staying in control.

Altostra is a developer-centric platform. As such, we built our products to seamlessly integrate with existing developer tools, where developers spend most of their time, starting from IDEs and all the way to CI/CD, monitoring and security tools.

Setting up Altostra VS Code extension

Visual Studio Code is the leading IDE for all platforms. It’s very extensible, with thousands of extensions available on the Visual Studio Marketplace today. It’s only natural for us to bring our no-code infrastructure designer to the developers with side-by-side code editing.

SO IDE Survey
According to the Stack Overflow 2019 survey

Install Altostra extension

  1. In Visual Studio Code, go to Extensions and search for Altostra.
  2. Click Install.

Altostra extension

Note: VS Code automatically updates extensions but might prompt you to reload for updates to take effect.

Install Altostra CLI

For the complete Altostra development experience, you also need to have the Altostra CLI installed, which requires at least Node.js 10.

  1. In a terminal, run:
npm install -g @altostra/cli
  1. Test it by running:
alto --version

Note: For more information about the Altostra CLI and how to use it, refer to the Altostra CLI documentation.

Getting started: a quick tour of the extension

After you install the extension, you can see the Altostra logo appear in the sidebar.

Next, we’ll create a new Altostra project for our example. You can find more information on working with projects in the documentation.

  1. In VS Code, open an empty directory.
  2. Switch to the Altostra view in the sidebar.
  3. Click Initialize Project to create an empty project in the current directory.

After the project is initialized, the Altostra Designer window will open in the editing area. Since our project is currently empty, it will only show the grid.

Sidebar Panels

The sidebar panels contain resources you can use to build your application infrastructure. To make it easy to get around, we divided them into five categories:

1. Resources

In this panel, you’ll find the resources to build your applications: APIs, functions, queues and other infrastructure resources for you to use.

Notice the Custom Resource – it allows you to use raw CloudFormation when you need to use resources that are not yet available.

2. External Resources

These are resources that already exist somewhere on your cloud account which you want to use in the current project. For example, you can use an existing external queue to send messages to or use it to trigger your current project's functions.

3. Cloud Services

Some services work globally without the need to create instances, requiring only access permissions. For example, if your project needs to create buckets dynamically, you can add the S3 service, in contrast to an S3 bucket, and connect functions to grant them permissions to manage buckets.

4. Templates

We created template projects so you can use common cloud patterns out-of-the-box with everything you need pre-defined, including code and configuration. We recommend you to check this panel often as we constantly update it with new templates.

5. Coming Soon

Always be up to date with the Altostra dev team as we’re constantly expanding our resources support. If you don’t see the resources you need, feel free to contact us at support@altostra.com. Either way, you can always use the custom resource.

Simplify development

Here at Altostra, we eat our own dog food and drink our own champagne, whatever our devs prefer 😉

The image below shows one of our live production services where you can clearly see the service architecture without reading long configuration files. This way, our devs can better understand the service infrastructure and quickly introduce changes as needed.

Real project

What’s next

Want to give it a try? We provide a free-forever plan for developers. Create your free account today at https://app.altostra.com.

We want to hear from you! Share your Altostra experience with us on Twitter @AltostraHQ and any suggestions that can make your work with Altostra even better.

Happy coding!

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