By James Hall •

Top 5 AWS Announcements Digital Agencies and App Developers Should Watch Out For

Being lucky enough to be an AWS Hero, I have the opportunity to attend the re:Invent conference each year to see what amazing new things the Amazon teams are launching, as well as a heads up on new service and feature launches to keep us ahead of the game. We’re also an AWS Consulting Partner, and happy to offer advice on your AWS setup.

The re:Invent conference has a dizzying array of launches which seems to get bigger each year. Each one built for a specific customer need. It’s well worth keeping an eye out on launches across the year, as there may be one that plugs a gap you had without even realising there was too much of a problem.

We’ve done some number crunching – if you were to just read the short AWS announcement posts since Sunday, without following any links, it would take 1 hour, 38 minutes. There were 19,772 words in total.

Interesting word mentions:

  • SageMaker 99 times.
  • Machine Learning 55 times.
  • IoT 23 times.
  • Lambda 14 times.

Definitely an AI/ML kind of year!

While Parallax is interested in IoT and Machine Learning applications, this won’t apply to most agencies. I’ve picked out some launches that may be interesting to the wider digital agency community. If you create web applications, mobile apps and sites for your customers, these are the ones to keep an eye on.

Amazon Builders Library

This is where Amazon explains how Amazon works. With 25 years of complex digital problem solving under their belt, these guys and gals know a thing or two about computer science in production.

While it’s never a good idea to over-engineer something for scale, having a clear grasp of how it can be done at scale is useful. Don’t prepare to scale too early, but don’t sit on your hands either.

I’ve heard there are plenty more great articles on the way. This is the kind of stuff you won’t get taught at university and only comes through experiences of rolling out services in the real world.

Code Guru

This is an AI-powered Pull Request reviewer. It spots common mistakes such as missing input validation, concurrency issues, but also detects when you’re not using best practices.

If this works as advertised it looks like it will be an incredibly useful tool. There’s also a profiler component which can measure which lines of code are taking the longest. It will be interesting to see how much this feature set crossed over with other APM products like New Relic in the future.

I’d imagine at launch it’s going to be pretty Java-centric, but hopefully, alternative language support is good also.

Amazon Fraud detection

If you’re building a web application for your clients this looks extremely useful.

It can detect fraud by using pre-trained AI models. This is useful for making sure new accounts aren’t spambots, blocking out ‘try before you buy’ and free trial abuse, and they’re soon going to launch online payment checks as well.

If this works well it’s a no-brainer to include in each project including some kind of signup or checkout.

Amplify DataStore

Amplify is a quick way to build backing services for mobile applications. The core has been available since 2017, but at this year’s re:Invent has gained robust offline syncing capabilities. If you’ve ever tried offline sync you know how much of a hassle this can be. It supports advanced conflict detection and resolution, as well also delta sync (just sending the changes) and auto-merge.

EC2 M6g

Software developers don’t often get excited by EC2 class announcements, but your Finance Director might. If you recall the purchase or Annapurna, a trailblazing Israeli chip company 3 years ago, Amazon looks to be reaping the rewards by launching an ARM-based compute offering that’s 40% cheaper than the equivalent Intel-based ones. The x64 world has some catching up to do!

We’re excited to play with these products and features and we’re happy to offer advice, guidance and consultancy on any Amazon Services that you might be using, or thinking of using.