Raising the bar for the Route53 console
November 25, 2020

If you’re a Route53 user, you’re probably not surprised that we’re trying to improve it after the latest UX updates from AWS. Before we get into how you can save time and frustration using Vantage, let’s take a not-so-wonderful look at using Route53 in AWS.

What used to be a few clicks has morphed into a wizard experience that requires even the most seasoned developers spending additional time and effort to complete simple tasks. Take the first step of creating a new record in Route 53:

Wizard Page 1: Click Count: 1 (“Add Record”)

Let’s ignore the fact that this page has no hover states and doesn’t change the CSS cursor property when looking over other records and acknowledge the wall of text that you’re faced with every time you add a record. Does every user need this wall of information every time they need to add a record? Likely not. Let’s just stick with “Simple” to keep things going:

Wizard Page 2, Click Count 6 (“Next”, “Define Simple Record”, Click Input, Select Drop down, Click into Value Box)

Just to get to the point of adding an IP address for an A record, I need to click an additional 5 times. The simplest record to add takes 7 clicks in total — likely many more for changing record types or adding different routing policies. This, amongst other functionality, has left users feeling frustrated. Here’s a look at some reactions:

The good news is that today, I’m happy to share that Vantage has an alternative to the Route 53 console complete with added write, update and delete support for record sets. Each feature was built with a focus on developer experience and ease of use. We’ve listened to AWS customers expressing frustration with the Route53 console (both old and new) and have worked backwards from their requests to build a more intuitive experience. I go over some of the functionality below.

An intuitive developer experience

An example zone view on Vantage.

As with all other resources on Vantage, we’ve tried to design an intuitive developer experience around viewing, creating, updating and deleting your record sets. The view is built to give you an overview of all record sets in your zone to get you the information you’re looking for quickly.

Actions for the zone are in the top right off the page. If you need to get to the resource page on AWS, we also link directly to it.

Each individual record set has a “…” button with a list of actions you can take on it that is hidden by default.

AWS CLI integration

For creating new record sets and updating existing record sets, Vantage will give you equivalent AWS CLI commands. We understand the AWS CLI may be your desired method of interacting with your infrastructure. If you choose to use Vantage to complete the action, it will perform an equivalent action on your behalf.

Permissions done right

By default, Vantage requests read only access to your account. Now, Vantage is aware of what IAM permissions it requires for certain write actions and will guide you through how to grant permissions just for the actions you want to perform (in this case: route53:ChangeResourceRecordSets).

Keep the permissions on your role in place for future use or remove them when you’re done.

Contextual documentation

We add links to AWS documentation wherever possible to help you while staying out of your way. For users who need more clarity, it is available to them. For users who don’t need it, it’s out of their way so they can move forward with ease.

Get started today

If you’re tired with Route 53 and other interfaces, I’d encourage you to give Vantage a shot. Vantage is free during public beta and all functionality described above is available to all users at the time this blog post was published. To head to Vantage and try things out, click here.

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