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AWS Amplify Admin UI

ajonp profile image Alex Patterson Originally published at codingcat.dev on ・4 min read

Introduction

App development has just been made easier with Admin UI, as it can help developers create and manage secure and scalable cloud backends.

AWS Amplify released not long ago the new Admin UI, which is a visual interface aiding both frontend and mobile developers. The Admin UI becomes relevant especially in terms of app backends and manageable app content, both hosted outside of the AWS Management Console.

Why is the Admin UI beneficial?

AWS Amplify was launched in 2017 and it was designed to help in both quick development and deployment. Even though it was a quick way to get things done, users unfamiliar with the fundamental concepts of AWS were having some trouble with it – which required some training, and thus, the processes ending up being slower than expected.

Admin UI was launched to help users work with AWS without needing a prior AWS account. The first deployment is the only one that requires an AWS account.

This new feature concentrates on a simple logic that can be easily applied with real-life examples: it uses domain specifics, relationships, and authorization rules. These simple rules are enough not to use any APIs or endless database tables.

What are the key capabilities

Access without the Management Console

The new Admin UI gives access to both developers and other members of the team, such as testers without having to go through the process of creating an account through the AWS Identity and Management console.

Data modeling

Building a backend has never been easier, as the data model designed by the Admin UI helps you build it by focusing on a few details.

Let’s think of a real-life example. The domain specifics require a catalog of products, maybe a food menu, that contains prices, pictures, and ingredients. The relationships will show which products are the most popular, while the authorization regulations will set different rules for the products: for example, you can only apply a voucher to specific products from the catalog.

And all these things can be achieved without the need for a database table or any API.

How does content management work?

Data models need to be deployed, and after that happens, all the data you have managed to input will be available in the content management view. This feature is useful especially from the perspective of updates brought to different parts of the app. Taking into consideration our real-life example, this could involve changing a price or adding new products to the catalog, or even removing some of them.

User management and authorization

Authentication can be set up with the help of login methods and sign-up attributes, all of these being powered by Amazon Cognito. After configuring and deploying the authentication, you will be able to perform different tasks, such as user creation or addition to groups. You can also define the authorization rules concerning the data model you are working on.

Infrastructure-related code

Backend resources are deployed through both nested stacks and AWS CloudFormation. This means that you will be able to keep the infrastructure definition of your backend under the form of a code. Any of the stack definitions that are present in the backend can be accessed by making use of the Amplify CLI (command line interface). The CLI will be beneficial in terms of extending your app’s backend with functionality. Here we can mention analytics, functions, or storage.

What is also important to mention here is that a new feature has been launched for CLI as well. CLI can now be used without having an AWS account and any change which has been made inside the Admin UI can be seen in the CLI. To see any modifications, the user needs to run the command amplify full inside the command line.

It is also important to mention that if users make any changes in the CLI in regards to the authentication or data model, these will also be visible inside the Admin UI.

How can you get started with Admin UI?

There are two options in order to get started with the Admin UI: you can do that with or without an AWS account. If you choose to continue without having an AWS account, all the work you will perform will be locally hosted. You can get started on data modeling and testing the backend.

In case you already have an AWS account or you just want to sign up for one, more features will become available to you. You will be able to start deploying and configuring your backend in the Amplify Console. A Sandbox is available for both cases, if you don’t have an AWS account and if you have an AWS account.

Custom domains

The Amplify Console contains web hosting features and if you have chosen to set up your app with these, the Admin UI can be accessed with a custom domain for your application’s frontend.

If your app is hosted at a link that looks like domainname.com, a redirect that looks like domainname.com/amplify/adminui can be set, redirect to the Admin UI.

Conclusion

It is safe to say that AWS Amplify answers to developers’ needs to build their applications. But with the help of the new features of the Admin UI, some elements could be drastically improved. Of course, it is up to every developer to choose the tools needed to build something properly, but this might be beneficial to help you put your product together fast. Make sure you also check our tutorials.

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