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Amazon Cognito is an AWS service that lets you easily add users’ management to web and mobile apps. It supports social identity providers, such as Facebook, Google and enterprise identity providers via SAML 2.0.

A powerful service.
At first, hard to understand.

One of the things that generate the biggest confusion is the fact that Amazon Cognito comes with two main components:

  • Amazon Cognito User Pools
  • Amazon Cognito Identity Pools (aka Federated Identities)

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Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

How to be an effective trainer in these tough times

When Coronavirus starts hitting the world of businesses, a lot of job activities were stopped. One of the first cancelled activities, it goes without saying, was the so-called workplace learning.

According to a report by Pearson, in those months, more than 300 million learners worldwide have been affected by the spread of the pandemic and, according to McKinsey, workplace learners were the ones who suffered the most.

Based on our observations as of early March, roughly one-half of in-person programs through June 30, 2020, have been postponed or canceled in North America; in parts of Asia and Europe, the figure is closer to 100 percent.

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Photo by Hussan Amir on Unsplash

Per chi non lo conoscesse, AWS Lambda è una servizio che permette di eseguire della business logic senza la necessità di dover gestire un server. Una volta caricato il codice sorgente, la piattaforma si occuperà di tutto il necessario per eseguirlo, garantendone la scalabilità in base al numero di richieste.

Una volta rilasciato, l’esecuzione di tale codice potrà essere avviata da altri servizi AWS (Amazon S3, Amazon SNS/SQS e così via) in risposta a determinati eventi. Ad esempio, al caricamento di un’immagine su S3, quest’ultimo potrà invocare l’esecuzione di una funzione Lambda che ne crei una miniatura. …

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Photo by Hunter James on Unsplash

For those of you who might not be familiar with, AWS Lambda is a service platform that let us run our code without provisioning or managing servers. We just upload the source code and the platform takes care of everything required to run and scale it.

Once deployed, that code can be automatically triggered by other AWS services like Amazon S3, Amazon SNS/SQS and so on. To make these integrations as seamless as possible, there are some assumptions and conventions that we need to use.

Since these conventions are peculiar to AWS Lambda, sometimes you may hear of people that are evaluating other platforms, like Kubernetes, just because they are scared to be locked in AWS Lambda for the rest of their life. …

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Photo by Liam Truong on Unsplash

Wise men says that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In a microservice architecture, we could be tempted to unit testing the single services, forgetting these are just parts of the system.

With good reason, unit tests are seen as a guiding light by every good developer. As the name suggest, this type of test involves just a unit of the overall codebase, without any external dependencies like databases, HTTP calls, queues, topics or something like that. This characteristics makes unit testing deterministic and, above all, fast; so we could run an entire suite of thousands of tests in a bunch of seconds.

Back in the days of big fat monolithic projects, a good suite of unit tests may validate the entire system right after a refactoring work.

Today, with the raise of microservices architectures, this is simply undoable! What we used to call the system, in fact, is now spread into hundreds or thousands of tiny little projects, completely unaware one another. …

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Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

JSON Web Token (JWT) is an open standard (RFC 7519) that defines a way for transmitting information – like authentication and authorization facts – between two parties: an issuer and an audience. Communication is safe because each token issued is digitally signed, so a consumer can verify if the token is authentic or has been forged.

In a previous story, we talk in depth about it: how it is built, what problems it solves, what is the theory behind signature’s validation and, finally, how we can protect our resource.

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Photo by timJ on Unsplash

Hold on tight: the HTTP protocol is terribly flawed(*) and when it comes to user authentication this problem screams loudly.

For a long time we, as developers, fought with it: sometimes with good results, sometimes not, but we thought we were happy.
Unfortunately, the web moves fast and many of these solutions were getting old too quickly.

He who hesitates is lost…

Later on, a group of people realised that it was time to stop fighting with the “problem” and try to embrace it. …

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Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

At the time of this writing, serverless architectures and AWS Lambda are two of the hottest topics in the industry. We aren’t talking about a new pattern or framework: it’s something completely different, that changed the way we thing software architectures. Due to this shift, many people think that Lambda’s learning curve have to be necessarily steep. This perception is completely wrong and in this article we will prove it through a super-simple explanation and a two steps demo.

Anatomy of a Lambda function

AWS Lambda is the implementation of a Function as a Service (FaaS) paradigm. …

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Me at AWSome Day speaking about Serverless and Microservices architectures

On the 8th of March 2018 I gave my first speach in public (dissertation excluded). It was a full-day 8-hour workshop about serverless architectures. Now I don’t remember much of that day: I were too nervous and I wasn’t there. But I clearly remember two things. Number one, the awkward sensation of being in front of the room during the first few minutes of the event. Number two, the powerful sensation, at the end of that day, when the workshop was over and I realised that I had taught my first class.

More than one year after I surely improved, but I know that the road is long and winding. Anyway there are some points that I would like to share. …

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Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

AWS Code Star is a well-known service in the AWS ecosystem. By the way it is not a product on its own, it is more similar to a collection of some AWS services combined together to speed up developers productivity and time to market.

For instance, as soon as we create a new AWS CodeStar project, a Git repository will be created for us, along with Hello World! like code. Good but not the best. After all, these two things would not be so difficult to achieve, even if we had to do it manually. Instead, what often becomes painful, when it comes to team working, is the process of software release. How to build that code? …


Mariano Calandra

Mariano daily helps companies succeed using cloud and microservices. • AWS Authorized Instructor • AWS Community Builder •

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