Navigation Menu: Test Drives


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Overview: This article provides detailed information on the features and functions of test drives and its components.


Test Drives provide an easy way to provide a sandbox environment, time-limited demonstrations of software and solutions that run on AWS. 

Note: Test drives require an AWS account to run in and you will be charged for any usage within that account.


Customers who want to run Test Drives must register for access. Test Drives occur in three stages - Launching, In Progress, and Completed. 

Test Drives enter the launching stage when a customer selects a Test Drive and clicks on the launch button. During the launching stage, SES provisions a CloudFormation script. For more on how to create CloudFormation (CF) scripts, please refer to the AWS documentation. Please note that CloudFormation scripts used for Test Drives cannot accept custom user input, except for certain internal parameter inputs that SES automatically passes such as the customer's name, email address, and identifier to CloudFormation scripts. Contact support for an example of how to accept these parameters in your CF script.


To create a Test Drive, follow these steps:

Click on the Test Drives module then click on the [Add] button. In the popup screen, enter the information specific to the Test Drive you are creating.

Note: All customers see these fields when selecting a test drive to launch.

Enter a Title, Description and upload a Banner Image.

Note:  Banner images should be 2:1 ratio such as 830x340. They should be at least 415x170. If you choose to include a video, customers see this while the test drive is launching. Copy the embed video code from the video you wish to include (e.g. YouTube) and paste it in the Embedded Video field.

Add text in the Launching Text, In Progress Text and Completed Text. These are messages that display to the customer as the test drive is running. 
  i.  Launching text displays as the CF stack is being launched
  ii.  In Progress text displays after the script has launched and while the customer can see the service
  iii.  Completed text is displayed when the test drive is finished and the CF stack is running

The following are optional items you can add to the test drive experience for your customer:
  • Enter the URL to the AWS Marketplace  product used as part of your test drive 
  • Upload Manuals section enables you to upload PDF manuals. Click on the [Upload] to do so.

The Links section is where you can upload your CloudFormation/ARM template script. Click on the [Add] button to add a link and select a region to run the script in.
The Cloud Formation section is where you can upload your CloudFormation script. Click on the [Add] button to upload your CloudFormation script. 

Set Restrictions for the Test Drive  

a. There are 2 reasons why you would want to set a Concurrent Instances Limit:

  i.  Account-level resource limits: AWS and Azure both have soft and hard limits on the number of particular resources an account can have deployed at any given time. If a test drive is resource intensive and/or the account the test drive is running in has low resource limits, then the ISV should do the math on the number of potential concurrent test drives that can be run. If they use the concurrent instance limit, then users that would have had failed test drive runs due to eclipsing those limits are instead handled gracefully and queued for an available spot.

  ii.  Cost control: everything above, but instead of resource limits the ISV wants to control the amount of potential spend in their cloud account at any given time.

b. Launch Limit per Customer is how many times a customer can launch a specific Test Drive for each registration. Enter 1 so that each customer can launch the Test Drive at least once.

c. Duration is how long the Test Drive will run each time it's launched. Select the time period you want it to run for. Note: You will be responsible for charges in your account while a Test Drive is running.

d. Starts in field is the delay time from when a customer launches your test drive until it actually starts. The time entered in this field is calculated based on the amount of time it takes your test drive/CloudFormation script to provision.

e. Status denotes whether the Test Drive is live. Setting it to “Active” will cause the Test Drive to be displayed in the menu of available test drives and ensure customers can launch it.



f. Shut Down Callback URL is where you can set the http call that will be made to the defined URL on the Test Drive stop. You can put the external service address in the URL field or use a server launched by the Test Drive itself. The callback will be made right after the customer clicks [Stop] or the Test Drive expires.

g. Timeout field is the time, in minutes, between the callback and the actual deletion of the infrastructure deployed by the Test Drive.

h. Output Parameters controls whether you want an internal parameter to show or not be shown to the customer.


i. Credentials section is where you enter the access key and the secret key for your AWS account. We recommend you create an IAM user with the appropriate access in your account. The user must be able to access and configure CloudFormation and all of the necessary AWS products and keys to launch your service. For more information on creating users using AWS IAM, see the AWS documentation here.



4. Click [Save]. Congratulations, you've just added a Test Drive! 


 To preview your test drive, follow these steps:

1. You should now see your Test Drive in the list of Test Drives. To preview it, select the 'Shopping bag icon' in the top menu bar, then select, Launch Test Drives.



2. Click on Test Drive then log in with customer credentials to run it



3. This is what your users will see when they launch your Test Drive



4. To test your script, select one of the Test Drives then click on the [Launch Test Drive] button. Note: Doing so will result in charges in your AWS account for the resources that are launched. When the time period is over, SES will delete the CF stack automatically.

5. The environment window will display the output from the CF stack being provisioned. Any output from your CF script will appear here, and will also be emailed to the user once the stack is ready.

6. Now that you've created a Test Drive, you probably want to give customers access to it. SES provides a widget that can be embedded into any website. Click here for more information.