Building a Serverless application using a framework like SAM often comes with a file called template.yml, through which you define the function configurations and architecture programmatically.

As an application grows, its configuration file becomes more and more complex to handle. AWS has set up a service that helps to build Serverless applications rapidly called AWS Application Composer.

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What is AWS Application Composer?

AWS Application Composer is an AWS visual design tool that accelerates architecture definition and configuration for Serverless applications using the drag-and-drop way, an IaC (Infrastructure as Code) service that provides streamlined configurations for Serverless applications following AWS best practices.


Open AWS console -> AWS Application Composer.

Serverless Visual Design with AWS Application Composer
AWS Application Composer home page

The picture above corresponds to the home page of Application Composer. It offers 3 starting points for its usage.

  • Open a demo project
  • Create a new blank project
  • Load a CloudFormation template

To get more about it, let’s start from scratch by selecting Create a new blank project as illustrated in the following screenshot:

Serverless Visual Design with AWS Application Composer
Create a new blank project

In the following list, points 3 and 4 are related to the method of saving changes:

1- New blank project: It starts a project from scratch.

2- Load existing project: To open the existing project template (template.yml by default) in AWS Application Composer.

3- Connected: It means as you make changes, these are automatically and simultaneously saved in a local file you provided.

4- Unconnected: Here, the changes will only be saved when you manually request them.

Once clicked on the Create button, you are now redirected to the main interface of Composer, through which you can build an application:

Serverless Visual Design with AWS Application Composer
AWS Application Composer Editor

Let’s take a look at the sections highlighted above:

  • Section 1: It consists of 2 parts; Resources and List which contain respectively the list of available AWS resources that you can drag and drop in the Canvas tab and the list of resources used or present in Canvas already.
  • Section 2: It represents the workspace where we drop resources that we plan to use (Canvas tab) and get the corresponding code generated in the Template tab.
  • Section 3: The place to configure the resources present in the Canvas tab.
  • Section 4: This area represents the toolbar, where we find the mode used and the contextual menu.


In the demo below, we will set up a Lambda function wired with API Gateway and DynamoDB services;

Serverless Visual Design with AWS Application Composer
AWS Application Composer Quick Demo


In the end, we have a sample SAM application whose source code is available on GitHub.

The builder (Canvas tab) looks like the following:

Serverless Visual Design with AWS Application Composer
Final Version for Deployment

For the deployment, we used the following commands:

  • sam build
  • sam deploy –guided

You can take a look at the README to grab more about it.


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To summarize, it becomes easier to build the architecture of any Serverless application, and we hope we have satisfied your thirst for knowledge about AWS Application Composer!

So, what do you think about AWS Application Composer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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