Handel is a CLI tool that will help you more easily deploy your application to AWS. You specify a declarative file in your application called handel.yml, and Handel will deploy your application to AWS for you.

Handel runs on top of CloudFormation. It automatically creates CloudFormation templates from your Handel file, and deploys your applications in a secure fashion, providing a vastly easier experience than using vanilla CloudFormation.

Why does Handel exist?

Handel runs on top of CloudFormation, so why not use CloudFormation directly?

The main answer is that using CloudFormation comes with a very steep learning curve. The main difficulty comes not in learning the configuration language itself, but much more in the interactions required between resources with IAM roles and EC2 security groups.

By running on top of CloudFormation, Handel provides the following benefits:

  • Automatic security wiring, freeing you from having to worry about EC2 security groups and IAM roles.
  • Much simpler interface to configuring an application. A 400-line CloudFormation template can be configured in more like 30-40 lines. See Handel vs. CloudFormation for an example of this.

By using Handel, you get to retain the benefits of CloudFormation with less work!

What AWS services are supported?

See the Supported Services section for information on which AWS services you can currently use with Handel.

How can I deploy an application with Handel?

First, see the Installation section to install Handel.

After you’ve installed Handel, see the Creating Your First Handel App page for a tutorial on creating a simple app and deploying it with Handel.