Amazon debuts AppFlow, a new service for sharing software-as-a-service data with its cloud
Amazon Web Services Inc. today launched a new service called Amazon AppFlow that developers can use to manage the flow of data between AWS and other software-as-a-service applications such as Google Analytics, Marketo, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Snowflake and Zendesk.
The fully managed service enables users to create and automate bidirectional data flows without needing to write any custom integration code. Those flows can be triggered by specific events, and at preset times or on-demand, Amazon said.
Although Amazon said the data flows can be bidirectional, the service seems to be more focused on moving data from SaaS apps to other AWS services where it can be analyzed. To help with this, Amazon AppFlow comes with a number of tools for transforming data.
The service notably works with Amazon PrivateLink, which is the company’s dedicated private internet connection.
In a blog post announcing the service, AWS Principal Advocate Martin Beeby said developers spend massive amounts of time writing custom integrations to share data between the SaaS applications they use and Amazon.
“If data requirements change, then costly and complicated modifications have to be made to the integrations,” Beeby said. “Companies that don’t have the luxury of engineering resources might find themselves manually importing and exporting data from applications, which is time-consuming, risks data leakage and has the potential to introduce human error.”
With Amazon AppFlow, that is not necessary. The service comes at a cost, however, with each flow costing a 10th of a cent per run, in addition to the data processing fee, which starts at two cents per gigabyte.
“Amazon AppFlow provides an intuitive and easy way for customers to combine data from AWS and SaaS applications without moving it across the public internet,” said AWS Vice President Kurt Kufeld. “With Amazon AppFlow, our customers bring together and manage petabytes, even exabytes, of data spread across all of their applications – all without having to develop custom connectors or manage underlying API and network connectivity.”
Developers will appreciate having less work to do, though companies ought to be mindful that Amazon AppFlow does lock them in just a little bit more to Amazon’s cloud, Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE.
“When enterprises build next-generation applications, they build them in the cloud,” Mueller said. “But that leads to an integration problem with other cloud-based SaaS applications. Amazon AppFlow fixes this by enabling easier, out-of-the-box integration with AWS and various popular apps.”
Separately, Amazon also announced that its EC2 Inf1 instances are now available to run on its fully managed machine learning service, AWS SageMaker. The Inf1 instances are powered by Inferentia, a high-performance chip designed specifically for machine learning workloads that was first announced at its re:Invent conference in late 2019.
In its announcement, Amazon said the Inf1 instances offer benefits including lower latency, three times higher throughput and up to 40% lower costs per inference than other chips.
The announcement means developers now have an additional choice of EC2 instance types to use with SageMaker, allowing more flexibility when it comes to choosing the optimal cost/performance ratio for each workload, Amazon said.
Photo: Robert Hof/SiliconANGLE
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