Many customers want to provision Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud resources quickly and consistently with lifecycle management, by treating infrastructure as code (IaC). Commonly used services are AWS CloudFormation and HashiCorp Terraform. Currently, customers set up Amazon Connect data streaming manually, as the service is not available under CloudFormation resource types. Customers may want to extend it to retrieve real-time contact and agent data. Integration is done manually and can result in issues with IaC.

Amazon Connect contact trace records (CTRs) capture the events associated with a contact in the contact center. Amazon Connect agent event streams are Amazon Kinesis Data Streams that provide near real-time reporting of agent activity within the Amazon Connect instance. The events published to the stream include these contact control panel (CCP) events:

  • Agent login
  • Agent logout
  • Agent connects with a contact
  • Agent status change, such as to available to handle contacts, or on break, or at training.

In this blog post, we will show you how to automate Amazon Connect data streaming using AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK). AWS CDK is an open source software development framework to define your cloud application resources using familiar programming languages. We will create a custom CDK resource, which in turn uses Amazon Connect API. This can be used as a template to automate other parts of Amazon Connect, or for other AWS services that don’t expose its full functionality through CloudFormation.

Overview of Amazon Connect automation solution

Amazon Connect is an omnichannel cloud contact center that helps you provide superior customer service. We will stream Amazon Connect agent activity and contact trace records to Amazon Kinesis. We will assume that data will then be used by other services or third-party integrations for processing. Here are the high-level steps and AWS services that we are going use, see Figure 1:

  1. Amazon Connect: We will create an instance and enable data streaming
  2. Cloud Deployment Toolkit: We will create custom resource and orchestrate automation
  3. Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose: To stream data out of Connect
  4. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM): To govern access and permissible actions across all AWS services
  5. Third-party tool or Amazon S3: Used as a destination of Connect data via Amazon Kinesis data
Figure 1. Connect data streaming automation workflow

Figure 1. Connect data streaming automation workflow

Walkthrough and deployment tasks

Sample code for this solution is provided in this GitHub repo. The code is packaged as a CDK application, so the solution can be deployed in minutes. The deployment tasks are as follows:

  • Deploy the CDK app
  • Update Amazon Connect instance settings
  • Import the demo flow and data

Custom Resources enables you to write custom logic in your CloudFormation deployment. You implement the creation, update, and deletion logic to define the custom resource deployment.

CDK implements the AWSCustomResource, which is an AWS Lambda backed custom resource that uses the AWS SDK to provision your resources. This means that the CDK stack deploys a provisioning Lambda. Upon deployment, it calls the AWS SDK API operations that you defined for the resource lifecycle (create, update, and delete).

Prerequisites

For this walkthrough, you need the following prerequisites:

Deploy and verify

1. Deploy the CDK application.

The resources required for this demo are packaged as a CDK app. Before proceeding, confirm you have command line interface (CLI) access to the AWS account where you would like to deploy your solution.

  • Open a terminal window and clone the GitHub repository in a directory of your choice:
    git clone [email protected]:aws-samples/connect-cdk-blog
  • Navigate to the cdk-app directory and follow the deployment instructions. The default Region is usually us-east-1. If you would like to deploy in another Region, you can run:
    export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=eu-central-1

2. Create the CloudFormation stack by initiating the following commands.

source .env/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
cdk synth
cdk bootstrap
cdk deploy  --parametersinstanceId={YOUR-AMAZON-CONNECT-INSTANCE-ID}

--parameters ctrStreamName={CTRStream}

--parameters agentStreamName={AgentStream}

Note: By default, the stack will create contact trace records stream [ctrStreamName] as a Kinesis Data Stream. If you want to use an Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose delivery stream instead, you can modify this behavior by going to cdk.json and adding “ctr_stream_type”: “KINESIS_FIREHOSE” as a parameter under “context.”

Once the status of CloudFormation stack is updated to CREATE_COMPLETE, the following resources are created:

  • Kinesis Data Stream
  • IAM roles
  • Lambda

3. Verify the integration.

  • Kinesis Data Streams are added to the Amazon Connect instance
Figure 2. Screenshot of Amazon Connect with Data Streaming enabled

Figure 2. Screenshot of Amazon Connect with Data Streaming enabled

Cleaning up

You can remove all resources provisioned for the CDK app by running the following command under connect-app directory:

cdk destroy

This will not remove your Amazon Connect instance. You can remove it by navigating to the AWS Management Console -> Services -> Amazon Connect. Find your Connect instance and click Delete.

Conclusion

In this blog, we demonstrated how to maintain Amazon Connect as Infrastructure as Code (IaC). Using a custom resource of AWS CDK, we have shown how to automate setting Amazon Kinesis Data Streams to Data Streaming in Amazon Connect. The same approach can be extended to automate setting other Amazon Connect properties such as Amazon Lex, AWS Lambda, Amazon Polly, and Customer Profiles. This approach will help you to integrate Amazon Connect with your Workflow Management Application in a faster and consistent manner, and reduce manual configuration.

For more information, refer to Enable Data Streaming for your instance.