Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its new SaaS integration service by the name AppFlow. It enables developers to easily transfer data between AWS and various SaaS applications, such as Google Analytics, Marketo, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Snowflake and Zendesk. AppFlow allows developers to access these flows based on particular events, and on-demand or pre-set timings, which is quite similar to Microsoft Azure’s Power Automate.
With powerful data transformation capabilities like mapping, merging, masking, filtering, and validation, one can produce abundant data that is ready-to-use and is a part of the data flow itself, without the need to apply any additional step.
To reduce the threat exposure, AppFlow has been designed to encrypt data automatically in motion and enable users to restrict the flow of data over the public internet for SaaS-based applications merged with AWS PrivateLink.
The new service by Amazon has been viewed more like a data transfer service rather than for automating workflows, unlike its competitors. The data flow can be bi-directional, but the focus remains on transferring data from SaaS applications to AWS services for analysis. To support this cause, AppFlow comes fully stacked with several tools that can be used while transforming the data as it stays on the move.
During the launch, AWS principal advocate Martin Beeby said, “Developers spend a huge amount of time writing custom integrations so they can pass data between SaaS applications and AWS services to be analysed. These can be expensive and can often take months to complete.” Amazon further elaborated that if data requirements change, then costly and complicated modifications have to be made to the integrations. Companies that do not 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.
Amazon AppFlow has been launched with no upfront fee for the usage. However, a user will need to pay for the number of flow runs and the amount of processed data. Every flow run by a user will be charged $0.001, and the cost associated with processing the data is $0.02 per GB. At present, the number of supported services have been limited to a low number of 14 possible sources, along with four destinations which are Amazon Redshift, S3, Salesforce and Snowflake. It is also possible at certain points that one may be able to access Amazon’s S3 storage service as the only destination depending on a particular selected source.
The tech giant has assured that over time, the number of integrations will be increased once the team of AppFlow expands the list of support services, which is currently under progress.
Kurt Kufeld, Vice President of AWS, said, “Our customers tell us that they love having the ability to store, process, and analyse their data in AWS. They also use a variety of third-party SaaS applications, and they tell us that it can be difficult to manage the flow of data between AWS and these applications.” He further said that AppFlow offers an instinctive and easy way for users to integrate data from AWS and SaaS-based applications by avoiding any kind of movement across the public internet. With Amazon AppFlow, the users can manage petabytes and exabytes of data spread across all of their applications without the need to develop a custom connector, managing underlying API or network connectivity.
A user can get started with AppFlow using the Amazon Management Console in a matter of minutes. To run the flow, the user needs to follow these steps:
- Select data source and destination
- Specify flow trigger
- Map fields
- Opt for ‘add data transformation’
To learn more about AWS AppFlow, one can go through this official user guide.