AWS Mobile Hub: the fastest way to build mobile apps on AWS
This morning at re:Invent 2015 in Vegas, Werner Vogels announced the launch of a new service for mobile developers: AWS Mobile Hub.
During the last year AWS has announced and released many services to ease the management of mobile application, ranging from data synchronization (AWS Cognito), analytics (Amazon Mobile Analytics), push notifications (AWS SNS), API management (Amazon API Gateway) server-less processing (AWS Lambda) and apps testing (Amazon Device Farm). Nevertheless, building a mobile application from scratch is still quite a complex task.
The next question AWS wants to address, therefore, is:
How to simplify the development of the next generation of mobile applications?
AWS Mobile Hub allows you to choose and configure your mobile app functionalities from a web console, then easily download the corresponding generated source code, build, test and monitor it. This approach literally lets you configure the skeleton of a new mobile application based in AWS in less than 10 minutes.
AWS Mobile Hub configurable features
Mobile Hub comes with pre-built common features for your mobile application, with automatic provisioning of the needed services to enable those features.
User Sign-In, powered by Cognito
This feature lets your users optionally sign in with any public identity provider (only Facebook for now, but Google, Twitter, Amazon, and others are coming soon) or even on your own identity system. If you enable this feature, your app gets a sign-in screen for free.
Push Notifications, powered by SNS
If you need to send push notifications to individuals or groups of users, you can enable them via AWS SNS, which works for both iOS and Android devices using a topic/subscription model.
Content Delivery, powered by S3 and CloudFront
This functionality is great to store and cache device-based assets, using either S3 or CloudFront CDN, and with an additional in-device cache already built for you.
User Data Storage, powered by S3 and Cognito Sync
You can save users’ files into the Cloud and sync them among devices – and thanks to the files storage and key-value pairs courtesy of S3 and Cognito Sync, it’s all free.
App Analytics, powered by Amazon Mobile Analytics
Everybody needs to collect data and analyze key metrics related to app sessions, monetization, or custom events. Now, thanks to Amazon Mobile Analytics, you can monitor active users and retention.
Cloud Logic, powered by Lambda
Lambda gives you the power to build a whole mobile backend without setting up any machine at all. You can share Lambda functions across applications and call them directly from the mobile app. This definitely allows you to focus on the code rather than the infrastructure.
What else does AWS Mobile Hub do for you?
As soon as you configure and download your new application skeleton – which is already configured with everything you need, including service keys and SDKs – you can start coding your application logic. Then you can also test your apps on real devices with Amazon Device Farm and monitor the status, health, and metrics of each app on the Mobile Analytics dashboard.
The AWS Mobile Hub provides you a whole set of hints about each step and configuration option, including costs and technical details. In case you are not familiar with every mobile development step, you also get a comprehensive guide and testing tools, along with well-documented code.
It’s also worth mentioning that AWS Mobile Hub is currently in beta and you will only pay for the provisioned resources you use based on the features you enable. The service itself is free.