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AWS Mobile Hub Updated for Developing Corporate Apps

In the age of enterprise mobility, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is courting developers who create corporate apps leveraging existing user directories and hooking into other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), sales management, accounting, customer service tools and so on.

To help these mobile apps -- whether targeted for consumers or employees -- reach equality with traditional secure and powerful desktop equivalents, the company is extending the functionality of its AWS Mobile Hub.

That tool provides a single console that can be used to back up mobile apps with server-side functionality such as user authentication, data storage, back-end logic, push notifications, content delivery, analytics and more.

As we detailed earlier this month, AWS augmented the tool to better accommodate the growing serverless computing approach using AWS Lambda and the Amazon API Gateway. That involved new Cloud Logic features that ease the serverless approach, along with access control and user authentication.

Now, the tool is being enhanced further, with new user management capabilities and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integration.

Concerning enterprise user management, it's now easier to add user authentication to business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-employee (B2E) apps.

"On the B2C side you can create your own fully managed directory in Amazon Cognito and then add sign-up and sign-in features, including multi-factor authentication (MFA)," AWS spokesperson Jeff Barr said in a blog post last week. "On the B2E side, you can allow users to sign in using their exist corporate credentials. This feature makes use of SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) and works with multiple directories including Active Directory."

To provide mobile app developers with easier access to data held within enterprise SaaS applications, the company unveiled new Mobile Hub connectors to hook into Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo, HubSpot, Zendesk and QuickBooks in order to use objects such as accounts and contacts.

Similar to the workings of the previously added Cloud Logic functionality, these connectors are REST microservices, implemented as AWS Lambda functions provided through the Amazon API Gateway.

"Calls to the connectors are routed through API Gateway to the underlying SaaS application," Barr said. "This model allows you to audit and meter calls, throttle requests to the SaaS application, and cache responses. The connectors normalize the SaaS applications and provide you with uniform, consistent objects within a category (CRM, marketing automation, customer support and so forth). We’ve provided Swagger 2.0 definitions for all of the REST APIs and reference mobile apps for each SaaS application."

Interested developers can learn more about the enhanced AWS Mobile Hub at the company's developer guide.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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