AWS frontend services and AWS backend solutions are extremely popular among businesses from any given industry. They are reliable, fast, and available for companies of all sizes and budgets. In this article, we will dive into some core components of a vast AWS ecosystem. You will see how to put the backend on AWS.
Core services from AWS for a frontend developer
Here are some of the most useful services:
With Amplify, you can configure a web or mobile app back end, connect your app in minutes, visually build a web front-end UI, and manage app content outside the AWS console. Amplify has a number of useful tools:
Amplify Studio—for building full-stack apps visually (both the front end and back end).
Amplify Libraries—for connecting apps to different AWS services.
Amplify CLI—for configuring apps’ back ends with a guided CLI workflow.
Amplify Hosting—for hosting apps and websites using the AWS content delivery network.
Amazon Chime SDK is used to embed real-time voice, video, and messaging functionalities into apps and it uses machine learning techniques to enhance the user experience. Here, we are talking about virtual assistants, remote help desks, e-learning solutions, etc.
Amazon Location Service lets you work on location data without compromising the privacy of users. The use cases of this service are plenty: tracking fleets, visualising data on maps, optimising routes, or even auto-completing the user’s addresses in apps.
This service can be used again at this point in order to deploy apps and host them if you decide to opt for static and server-rendered options.
On the other hand, if you prefer containerized applications, you can deploy and run them with AWS App Runner. App Runner builds and deploys the web application automatically, balances traffic with encryption, scales to meet the traffic needs, and allows your services to communicate with other AWS services and applications that run in a private Amazon VPC. It saves developers a lot of time and resources, as it is very easy to use. In fact, it doesn’t even require you to know a fact about server configuration. It supports many runtimes and web frameworks, such as Node.js and Python. It can also run hundreds and thousands of microservices at the same time.
Amazon has an enormous hardware base that you can use to test your products on. Thanks to this possibility, AWS Device Farm lets you automatically and simultaneously test apps on physical devices to make sure everything works fine on all sorts of configurations. And we’re really not talking about emulators here; running tests on live machines is the most accurate method possible. Also, this service offers built-in frameworks, so you can save resources on creating your own test scripts.
With CloudWatch, DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), IT managers, and product owners get access to data and actionable insights, so they can monitor the work of applications, react to performance changes, and optimise the product. Data is collected and available in different forms: logs, metrics, and events. As a result, what you get is a single platform that tells you everything you need to know to make sure your app is well and to improve it. CloudWatch integrates with over 70 AWS services, collects data in the cloud and on-premises, and is the go-to solution for maintenance.
Some cool new features of CloudWatch are Real-User Monitoring and Evidently. The first one gives you insight into specific information about your users, for example, what web browsers they use, their location, connection type, and others, so you can optimise your application and improve their experience. The latter, Evidently, is great for experiments and tests, such as dark launches or A/B testing.
After the app is ready and operational on the market, you need to make it popular and engage with your customers. Pinpoint lets you conduct your marketing operations effectively. Pinpoint allows for communication with customers over all sorts of channels: email, SMS, push notifications, voice messaging, and in-app chats. Then, it is also capable of data analytics, segmenting the campaign audiences, and reaching the people that will most likely be interested in your product.
Amazon backend solutions
Now let’s take a look at core AWS backend services.
AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume—there is no charge when your code is not running. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service—all with zero administration. Just upload your code, and Lambda takes care of everything required to run and scale your code with high availability. You can set up your code to automatically trigger from other AWS services, or you can call it directly from any web or mobile app.
AWS Amplify makes it easy to create, configure, and implement scalable mobile applications powered by AWS. Amplify seamlessly provisions and manages your mobile backend and provides a simple framework to easily integrate your backend with your iOS, Android, Web, and React Native frontends. Amplify also automates the application release process of both your frontend and backend allowing you to deliver features faster.
Mobile applications require cloud services for actions that can’t be done directly on the device, such as offline data synchronization, storage, or data sharing across multiple users. You often have to configure, set up, and manage multiple services to power the backend. You also have to integrate each of those services into your application as features grow, your code and release process becomes more complex, and managing the backend requires more time.
Amplify provisions and manages backends for your mobile applications. You just select the capabilities you need such as authentication, analytics, or offline data sync, and Amplify will automatically provision and manage the AWS service that powers each of the capabilities. You can then integrate those capabilities into your application through the Amplify libraries and UI components.
AWS AppSync is a serverless back-end for mobile, web, and enterprise applications. AWS AppSync makes it easy to build data-driven mobile and web applications by handling securely all the application data management tasks like online and offline data access, data synchronization, and data manipulation across multiple data sources.
AWS AppSync uses GraphQL, an API query language designed to build client applications by providing an intuitive and flexible syntax for describing their data requirement.
AWS Lake Formation is a service that makes it easy to set up a secure data lake in days. A data lake is a centralized, curated, and secured repository that stores all your data, both in its original form and prepared for analysis. A data lake enables you to break down data silos and combine different types of analytics to gain insights and guide better business decisions.
However, setting up and managing data lakes today involves a lot of manual, complicated, and time-consuming tasks. This work includes loading data from diverse sources, monitoring those data flows, setting up partitions, turning on encryption and managing keys, defining transformation jobs and monitoring their operation, and re-organizing data into a columnar format. Also configuring access control settings, deduplicating redundant data, matching linked records, granting access to data sets, and auditing access over time.
Creating a data lake with Lake Formation is as simple as defining where your data resides and what data access and security policies you want to apply. Lake Formation then collects and catalogs data from databases and object storage, moves the data into your new Amazon S3 data lake, cleans and classifies data using machine learning algorithms, and secures access to your sensitive data. Your users can then access a centralized catalog of data that describes available data sets and their appropriate usage.
Amazon AppFlow is a fully managed integration service that enables you to securely transfer data between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications like Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and ServiceNow, and AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon Redshift, in just a few clicks. With Amazon AppFlow, you can run data flows at enterprise scale at the frequency you choose – on a schedule, in response to a business event, or on demand.
You can configure data transformation capabilities like filtering and validation to generate rich, ready-to-use data as part of the flow itself, without additional steps. Amazon AppFlow automatically encrypts data in motion and allows users to restrict data from flowing over the public Internet for SaaS applications that are integrated with AWS PrivateLink, reducing exposure to security threats.
How to put my backend on AWS?
Exactly the way you use AWS frontend services. By deciding what your needs are and adjusting the services list accordingly. There are many other services provided by Amazon. If you consider external help, think about AWS services understood by the vendor. Think of them as an ecosystem that specialists know, understand, and implement effortlessly.
What’s especially important is AWS security. FinTech needs and deserves special care. Not only because of regulations forced by authorities but because your customers need protection. Educate yourself, compare and figure out what’s best for you. Trust experience, not slogans.