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Streamline engineering workflows with Airplane

Streamline engineering workflows with Airplane

Madhura Kumar
Head of Growth
Jun 21, 2023
3 min read

In the world of software development, efficient workflows are a necessity. Whether you’re orchestrating complex database migrations, executing one-off scripts, or scheduling jobs, you need a robust and versatile tool that keeps up with your team’s needs. At Airplane, we’re building a code-first, serverless platform that is well-suited to such use cases.

If you’re new to Airplane, we’re the developer platform for building custom internal applications. Using Airplane, you can transform scripts, queries, and APIs into custom UIs and workflows such as admin panels, customer onboarding flows, and billing dashboards.

However, we’re not just a platform for non-technical users to run scripts and workflows safely. We also empower developers to handle engineering-heavy operations like database migrations, on-call runbooks, product rollbacks, job scheduling, deployment pipelines, and much more — all from a single, secure platform.

Airplane for engineering workflows

Our goal has always been to give engineers the tools they need to achieve more with less effort. This is why today, we're launching our Engineering Workflows solution. We’re building a suite of features and templates designed to enhance your productivity as an engineer.

Here are some of the engineering-centric use cases we've optimized Airplane for:

  • Database backups: Automatically back up your production databases and schedule your backups during low-traffic times.
  • Managing incidents: Monitor, triage, and action urgent incidents and outages from one unified platform.
  • Deployment pipelines: Seamlessly deploy new releases, roll back deployments, and execute restarts. Template here.
  • Postgres admin panels: Configure and control your Postgres resources without having to learn a new CLI. Template here.
  • Lightweight ETL pipelines: Schedule data pipelines, automate retries, and receive notifications of job failures.
  • AWS operations: Manage your ECS clusters and tasks, and perform other AWS operations safely without needing to grant AWS console access. Template here.

Feature support

The Airplane platform includes features designed for demanding engineering operations. From the start, our core features have aligned well:

  • Python and shell support: Run your existing Python scripts and build shell tasks that allow you to write highly customized scripts. This means you can run one-off bash scripts, Ruby scripts, or use your own Dockerfile.
  • Prompts and parameters: Simplify manual tasks with prompts that gather user input and parameters that dynamically pass values.
  • Schedules: Automate repetitive tasks and recurring processes with Airplane’s scheduling capabilities.
  • Tasks and Workflows as code: Write and manage simple tasks or complex, long-running jobs using code instead of convoluted YAML DAGs.

Recently, we’ve built on this with exciting new releases including Airplane OIDC, Task concurrency and execution rules, the ability for Tasks to sleep, and a Workflow runtime for long-running jobs. More details on these below.

  • Airplane OpenID Connect (OIDC): Use Airplane’s OIDC provider to authenticate from tasks to cloud providers and other APIs for secure authentication and authorization.
  • Task concurrency and execution rules: Our platform allows you to define task concurrency and execution rules, supporting complex task orchestration and efficient resource allocation.
  • Task sleep functionality: To add more flexibility to your workflows in Airplane, we support the ability for Tasks to "sleep." This feature enables you to pause execution for a specified duration, enhancing control and adaptability within your workflows.
  • Workflow runtime: For long-running jobs that span up to 60 days, our platform offers a specific Workflow runtime. This feature allows you to define and manage complex workflows as code, eliminating the need for intricate YAML DAGs.

Get started with templates

Additionally, to help you hit the ground running, we're also releasing templates for each of the use cases mentioned above: database backups, incident management, deployment pipelines, Postgres admin panels, ETL pipelines, and AWS operations. Our template gallery comes with ready-to-use solutions that will help you build common operations quickly.

Template Gallery

Airplane is built on the principle that developers should be able to focus on what they do best - solving complex problems and building fantastic products. By handling the heavy lifting of routine tasks, Airplane frees you up to do just that.

As always, we’d love to hear any feedback or feature requests you have. If you’d like to give Airplane a try, you can sign up for free or book a demo.

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Madhura Kumar
Head of Growth

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