Re: invent AWS previewed new developer resources at its Re: invent conference, including new SDKs for Rust, Swift, and Kotlin, and Amplify Studio for fast web applications built into the Figma design tool.
“Rust is used a lot internally too, we’ve seen it adopted pretty quickly within AWS and within Amazon,” said Ken Exner, GM for AWS Developer Tools The registry. “EC2 uses it, S3 uses it, CloudFront, DynamoDB.”
What will developers use the Rust SDK for, considering that Rust is primarily a system language? âA simple example is parallel programming,â says Exner. âParallel programming has common mistakes related to race conditions that cause memory leaksâ¦ We saw that the most common mistake you see with parallel programming goes away with Rust because it manages memory. I think it’ll take some of the workloads related to Python too. “
Emily Freeman and Ken Exner preview SDKs for Rust, Kotlin and Swift at Re: invent
What about universal programming like web applications? âThe Rust community will find out where it leads. I think the most interesting use cases are going to be more of a low-level and back-end, but there’s no reason it has to be, “said Exner.
The Rust SDK was previously an alpha version, but is now a developer preview with access to 288 AWS services. It can be used with serverless Lambda functions, but it requires a custom runtime, so it’s not quite as simple as other languages. There is no final release date set and the API is subject to change.
“At GA we declare v1 and lock the API,” said Exner.
Another notable developer preview is Amplify Studio. Amplify has become a somewhat confusing AWS brand name. âIt all started with mobile SDKs based on an Objective C or Android SDK,â says Exner. “We began to see the web and mobile converging when there was things like React Native that blurred the difference between a web and a mobile application. So Amplify has evolved beyond its original mobile roots.”
Amplify Studio doesn’t support mobile applications at all, only the web. It’s a low-code environment where developers start with a data model, add content and authentication, and then build a user interface that integrates with Figma, a third-party collaborative design tool. The use of Amplify Studio is optional and the existing Amplify hosting and mobile development capabilities are retained.
“We have started to provide higher-level APIs in addition to the core SDKs,” said Exner. “Then we also offer UI tools and CLI tools. It’s a layered approach, you can access it at any level.”
Amplify Studio replaces a previous product called Amplify Admin UI, which was introduced a year ago. The big difference is that the new version includes a new UI library and Figma integration to become a full application builder. The UI library contains primitives such as buttons and text boxes. It generates React components and supports data binding for integration into the data model. Authentication takes place via AWS Cognito, which is easy to use alone or with Facebook, Apple, Google or Amazon logins and is possible with other providers such as Active Directory Federation Services or Azure Active Directory, but more difficult to use.
Previously, Exner said, Amplify did not take over the front end. âIt does it now through this powerful canvas metaphor that allows you to drag a number of components, and since we manage the entire back-end infrastructure, it ties them together … it’s very idiosyncratic and very easy to use . “
He sees Figma integration as a big deal. âIf you watch designers and front-end developers working together, there is this analogue handover. Designers develop a prototype that the engineer can recreate in his tool, and it just seemed very antiquated, we’re making that a digital handover. “
The catch with this type of approach is that the designer’s skills in creating a beautiful user interface don’t necessarily match the front-end coder’s skills in order to perform well and respond properly to different form factors. While the idea of ââsimply importing the designer’s work is attractive, in practice it can be problematic.
The initial preview for Studio is React only, but support for Flutter, Google’s cross-platform framework for mobile and web, may be added in the future. The underlying Amplify framework already supports Flutter. Why react? “That’s 70-80 percent of today’s apps,” said Exner.
Create an instant application with Amplify Studio
What about the support for native mobile applications? “You should expect us to support all of these things,” said Exner, although this is not part of the first preview.
Although there is no charge for using Amplify Studio, it uses CloudFormation, the AWS service that provides resources from JSON declarations so that paid services are generated in the background. We created an application and found it confusing in this regard as it is not easy to see what resources will be used and what they will cost. However, there is a one-click delete option that removes the back-end resources. Â®