Amazon officially entered the mobile backend as a service game by announcing AWS Mobile Hub. Most serious apps/back end developers with heavy server load and significantly big data size probably already use AWS one way or the other – AWS provides a unique platform where your database, servers, user management, server side logic all sync up together seamlessly. And that is exactly why AWS mobile hub is unique.
Make no mistake, Amazon has covered most of the features services like Parse and App Engine provide:
- User management and authorization, through AWS Cognito
- Push notification, through AWS Simple Notification Service
- Mobile analytics, through Amazon Mobile Analytics
But to me, AWS Mobile Hub is extremely exciting because of following reasons:
- The option of relational database: Both parse and App Engine provide only NoSQL data storage option. This can be an obstacle to people used to SQL languages. Thankfully, with AWS, you can use both NoSQL and SQL database options via AWS RDS and AWS DynamoDB.
- Server side app logic with no server work: AWS Lambda was called a game changer when it was introduced in November last year. The cloud logic backend platform can save developers plenty of time, money and human resources and it can be particularly useful to small scale mobile developers that don’t have backend expertise in server side data processing. (Tip: I really liked this walkthrough of Lambda for Java/Mobile)
- AWS Device farm: If you are a freelance mobile developer or a few people shop, you probably cannot afford to buy more than a few devices to test your app on. AWS Device Farm is here to your rescue.
- Pricing: Mobile Hub itself does not come with a free structure but all the services that make it up (Cognito, Lambda, Mobile Analytics, S3, RDS, SNS, etc.) come with variable prices of their own. Each service has a free tier, letting you test out your app in the market in its initial stage.
- Scaling up – Each AWS service is able to handle big loads so in case your app goes big, scaling up can be done conveniently in just one environment.
To many, AWS Mobile Hub may simply seem like an amalgamation of all AWS mobile friendly services with a new website. But by announcing the product, Amazon is sending a message, loud and clear, that it is very much interested in the mobile backend space and sees itself being a key player and heavily invested in the future. And that can only be good news to mobile developers everywhere.