Amazon’s cloud platform – AWS has launched AppFlow, a new tool to manage the flow of data from AWS to SaaS applications. This tool has been designed with an aim to eliminate the need for developers to manually configure the connectors that bring about the transfer data between AWS and third-party SaaS applications like Salesforce, Slack, Trend Micro, Zendesk, etc. Instead, AppFlow directly integrates with the SaaS applications, thereby automatically enabling secure and bidirectional data flow between AWS and the SaaS application. AppFlow becomes a very easy way then for users to combine the data from AWS and their SaaS applications without moving petabytes, or even exabytes of data across the public internet. There is no longer a need to develop custom connectors or manage underlying API and network connectivity.
AWS reports, “Amazon AppFlow is a fully managed integration service that enables users to securely transfer data between SaaS applications and AWS services. With AppFlow, users can run data flows at nearly any scale at a frequency of their choice, on a schedule, or in response to a specific business event, or even just on-demand. Using AppFlow, users can configure data transformation capabilities like filtration and validation to generate rich, ready-to-use data as part of the flow itself, without having to take any additional steps.
For developers, building connectors between multiple applications is a very tedious and time-consuming process as they would need to create long streams of code, which could take a really long time to build. If this process is done in an organization that collect data from different pools and silos across the organization, creating disparate data formats consequently, it becomes an extremely complex and difficult task. Developers are then left with a really messy bundle of custom code and connectors, which beside being difficult, is also really expensive.
To make data go from SaaS applications to AWS and be analyzed, developers have to write umpteen custom integrations, which takes many hours. Together the entire task could easily take a few months to come close to completion. Moreover, if data requirements get modified sometime during the development, it becomes even more expensive and complicated to modify the integrations to meet the modified requirements. In turn, organizations would also need to manually import and export data from applications, which is not only time-consuming, but also prone to errors, data leakages, among other risks.
Enter Amazon AppFlow, and these risks are indeed eliminated. Using AppFlow, users can configure multiple types of ‘triggers’ for carrying out the data transfers. Moreover, this can be done in just a matter of a few clicks. This leads to major cost and time savings for organizations, besides also making the developer’s tasks much easier in the regard. Organizations no longer have to depend on the IT teams to build and complete all the integration projects to have the data flow smoothly through the chain.
On the commercials side, using AppFlow does not have any upfront charges or fees. Instead, Amazon charges users for number of flows that are run through the tool as well as the volume of data that gets processed.
As a standard practice, AppFlow automatically encrypts the data it handles, working with AWS PrivateLink, so all the traffic stays on the Amazon network itself rather than going out on the public network. This significantly minimizes threats of potential cyberattacks.
Currently AppFlow is available with support for S3, 13 SaaS applications as sources of data, and S3, Amazon Redshift, salesforce and Snowflake as destinations. As the tool develops further, more applications would also be supported.
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