AWS offers purpose-built tools and services to support frontend development workflows for native iOS/Android, React Native, and JavaScript developers. You can use these tools to develop, deploy, test, operate, and monitor your app.

In addition to using these services and tools to develop your app, you can:

  • Take advantage of a built-in software development lifecycle
  • Host your app globally
  • Combine these tools with other AWS services for storage, caching, authorization, and other components of your app

This decision guide helps you ask the right questions to build your web or mobile app on AWS. It explores how to articulate your business requirements and guides you through the architecture and hosting decisions you’ll need to make as you use AWS services to build your app.

In this five minute clip from a 2023 re:Invent talk, Mohit Srivastava, senior manager of product management for AWS Amplify, explores some of the challenges to consider in choosing a front-end web and mobile service.


Help determine which AWS services to use when building your web or mobile application.

Last updated

January 12, 2024


Modern web and mobile apps require high performance and an engaging user experience. In addition, you probably have your own set of business requirements that support or extend upon these common needs. Along the app lifecycle, you develop, deliver, test, and monitor your app, and engage with end users.

AWS offers a variety of services to support each stage of this lifecycle. The following provides a high-level description of these services. Later, this document guides you through choosing which services you want to use.

What AWS services can you use to develop your app frontend?

  • AWS Amplify provides a solution for developing, delivering, testing, and monitoring your app all in one place. You can also combine frontend tools with other AWS services. Amplify Gen 2 (in public preview) provides a code-first developer experience with generative AI integration, per-developer sandboxes, and typescript-based libraries. Amplify Gen 2 also has a unified console experience for hosting, secrets, data, user management.
  • AWS AppSync is a fully managed API service that automates the operation and maintenance of GraphQL backends.
  • Amazon API Gateway is an AWS service for creating, publishing, maintaining, monitoring, and securing REST, HTTP, and WebSocket APIs.

What AWS services can you use to deliver your app frontend?

  • AWS Amplify offers a fully managed service for deploying and hosting full stack web applications, with built-in CI/CD workflows that accelerate your application release cycle. Amplify Gen 2 (in public preview) provides flexible deployment options, including custom pipelines, monorepos, or multiple repos.

What AWS services can you use to test and monitor your app frontend?

  • AWS Device Farm is an app testing service. You can test your web and mobile apps across desktop browsers and real mobile devices hosted in the AWS Cloud.
  • Amazon CloudWatch collects and visualizes logs and metrics from your app hosted in the AWS Cloud.

What AWS services can you use to engage with end users?

  • Amazon Pinpoint helps you send push notifications, in-app notifications, emails, text messages, and voice messages.


It's important that you choose the front-end web and mobile services that best meet your needs. But how do you articulate those needs and then map them to the services that fit? The following table is designed to help you do just that.

  • To make a great choice about the services you’ll need for your app, you’ll need to answer a few questions about your business requirements first.

    • Why are you building it? – Articulate the business need that you’re trying to meet by creating your app. This will inform a number of your choices about services. 
    • What capabilities will your app users need? – The answer to this question might be a roadmap, where you have a minimum set of launch features and then a plan for when you might want or need to add new capabilities.
    • Where will your customers be using this app? – If your users are international, you might need to offer specific features and plan for associated regulatory considerations.
    • When and how will users need to access data from the app? – This will have implications for when and how the data is both stored and accessed.

    These are just a few of the questions you might ask to articulate your business requirements. Each answer will help you explore the other criteria involved in your choice.

  • Are you developing an app for web or mobile? This will guide your choices in design and tooling. Answers to the business requirements questions will guide and inform your decision about the development framework you may want to use. If you are developing:

    • a web app, consider the frontend JavaScript framework you will be using. Common examples are React, Next.js, Vue, Angular, Astro, and Svelte.
    • a mobile app, your choice of framework will depend on which mobile operating system you developing for – including popular choices such as Android, iOS, or Unity.

    Your choice of framework is important, but it’s worth noting that it might actually not be a choice. In many cases, your business requirements will indicate that you need to develop for both. For example, if your app is designed to host an online store, you’ll likely want customers to be able to access it with a mobile app and on the web.

  • To keep your app’s asset delivery times quick, you’ll want to host your static assets close to your users. Consider using AWS Amplify Hosting, a fully managed hosting service, powered by Amazon CloudFront with hundreds of points of presence globally, for static and server-side rendered apps. 

    AWS Amplify Hosting supports:

    • Client-side rendered (single-page application), including frameworks such as React, Angular, and Vue
    • Server-side rendered (SSR), where supported frameworks include Next, Nuxt, and Gatsby
    • Static site generators (SSGs), including solutions such as Gatsby, Eleventy, Hugo, VuePress, and Jekyll
  • You’ll probably design an application programming interface (API) to allow users to query data for your app on AWS. You can use GraphQL or REST. The key differences between these two approaches are:

    • GraphQL is an API query language that defines specifications of how a client application should request data from a remote server. For frontend development, AWS AppSync supports GraphQL.
    • REST enables client applications to exchange data with a server using HTTP verbs, which is the standard communication protocol of the internet. For frontend development, AWS Amplify, Amazon API Gateway, and AWS Lambda together support REST.

    GraphQL speeds up application development by providing a single endpoint to query and update data from multiple databases, microservices, and APIs. It can improve your performance by making fewer network requests to query data from the backend and reduces the amount of data sent to web and mobile clients.

  • Another key consideration is how your client will communicate with your server—and how quickly. Consider how often your client will request or need data, and how fresh that data needs to be. You are looking at one of two common scenarios for how you'll communicate:

    • In real time – If you need real-time or near-real-time communication, such as with a chat app or a dashboard for monitoring IoT device health, consider using the following. Keep in mind that these options require more battery life and memory usage, so they’ll probably increase your cost. This kind of communication can include:
      • Constantly active WebSockets
      • Very frequent timed polling
    • Not in real time – If it doesn’t significantly degrade usability for your users to refresh their view manually, or if you need new data loaded only on application or view entry, consider a simple unidirectional communication model.

    Your choice will help guide you when you start looking at the capabilities of each AWS frontend web and mobile service.

  • Consider what kind of database best supports your use case. If you have flexibility in choosing your database, consider what native integrations exist with AWS services. For example, both AWS Amplify and AWS AppSync natively support integration with Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Aurora Serverless. Read Choosing an AWS database service for more information about the database options that AWS offers.

    Your database selection might not be an option. If this is the case, consider how to connect your existing database to the AWS services for building and deploying your app.  

  • What happens to your app when your users are offline? Do you want users to still be able to access their data? If so, you might want to build offline support for the app and asynchronous data loading into the app to help users get what they need in near-real time. Amplify DataStore, for example, provides a persistent on-device storage engine to support offline access.  

  • Where will your users be located when they use your app? You might need to consider where your app users will need to access their data. If you plan to support users globally or in a specific locale, that information will help you plan your latency and your required points of presence.

    In addition, you might consider adding geospatial data and location functionality to your app. You can use Amazon Location Service, for example, to add capabilities to your app such as maps, points of interest, geocoding, routing, geofences, and tracking.

  • When building apps on AWS, you can use a serverless approach or containers approach. Overall, building serverless-first helps you harness more efficiency in the cloud, while a containers approach gives you more control. This guide focuses on a serverless development strategy.

    Your development strategy might not be initially a choice if it’s already determined in your business requirements. If you’re planning to use a containers approach, see Containers at AWS for resources.


Now that you know the criteria by which you will be evaluating your options, you are ready to choose which AWS frontend and mobile service(s) may be a good fit for your organizational requirements.

The following table highlights which services are optimized for which circumstances. Use the table to help determine the service that is the best fit for your organization and use case.

AWS tools & services

Build your app’s frontend using cloud-native tools.

Develop your Android, iOS, or web app with features such as authentication, on-device and cloud storage, analytics, AI/ML, IoT, and notifications. Natively integrate with other AWS services.

AWS Amplify

Develop, deliver, test, and monitor an app all in one place.

Use GraphQL APIs, and choose from supported frameworks and protocols.


AWS AppSync

Accelerate application development with scalable GraphQL APIs.

Use REST APIs, and choose from supported frameworks and protocols.


Amazon API Gateway

Provides REST API management functionality.


Deploy and host your app in the cloud.

Deliver your app using a git-based workflow. Connect private and public repositories from GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, and AWS CodeCommit.

AWS Amplify Hosting

Amplify Hosting supports the common single-page web application (SPA) frameworks, including React, Angular, Vue.js, Ionic, and Ember, as well as static site generators like Gatsby, Eleventy, Hugo, VuePress, and Jekyll. Use it to manage production and staging environments for your frontend and backend.


Test your app on real devices and monitor your app’s health.

Test your app by using automated testing or remote access. Monitor app health with traces, metrics, logs, alarms, and other resources.

AWS Device Farm

Improve the quality of your web and mobile applications by testing across desktop browsers and real mobile devices hosted in the AWS Cloud.


Amazon CloudWatch

Provides observability of resources and applications on AWS and on-premises.


Engage your customers with marketing campaigns, transactional messages, and bulk communications.

Engage with customers by designing user journeys and analyzing user behavior. Use maps, points of interest, geocoding, and tracking to target your audience.

Amazon Pinpoint

Helps you engage with your customers across multiple outbound and inbound marketing communications, including email, SMS, push, or voice.


AWS Location Service

Securely add location data to applications.


You should now have a clear understanding of what each AWS front-end web and mobile service (and the supporting AWS tools and services) does - and which might be right for you.

To explore how to use and learn more about each of the available AWS front-end web and mobile services, we have provided a pathway to explore how each of the services work. The following section provides links to in-depth documentation, hands-on tutorials, and resources to get you started.

  • AWS Amplify
  • Getting started with AWS Amplify

    Learn how to continuously build, deploy, and host a modern web app.  

    Get started with the tutorial »

    Develop your mobile or web app with Amplify Studio

    Develop a "to-do app" that syncs app data to the cloud and take off from there.  

    Explore the guide »

    Build a GraphQL API in the Amplify Dev Center

    Define a GraphQL schema that you can use to provision backend resources, store data locally, sync to a cloud database, as well as receive updates over a realtime subscription.

    Get started with the tutorial »

    Build an iOS app using a cloud-based backend

    Create a data-driven native iOS app, integrated with a cloud-based backend.  

    Get started with the workshop »

    Dive deep with the AWS Amplify Core workshop

    Get hands-on experience with Amplify. In this workshop, you will be building a retail store web application in React using Amplify.

    Get started with the workshop »


  • AWS AppSync
  • Getting started with AWS AppSync

    Use the AWS AppSync console to launch a sample event app schema, automatically provision a DynamoDB data source and connect resolvers, write GraphQL queries and mutations, and use the API in a sample app.

    Explore the guide »

    GraphQL real-time race workshop

    In this workshop, build a fully functioning application for a fast-paced sports event called the GraphQL Real-time Race. It is designed to provide a solid understanding of how to connect the front-end of your application to a robust, performant cloud-enabled backend that delivers real-time updates.

    Start the workshop »

    AWS AppSync immersion day workshop

    Get a better understanding of AWS AppSync. The workshop will take you from managing the service in the AWS console to deploying advanced functionality using the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK).

    Start the workshop »

    GraphQL decision guide

    This guide provides an overview of the benefits of GraphQL to help you determine if GraphQL is right for your organization.

    Explore the guide »

  • Amazon API Gateway
  • Getting started with the REST API console

    In this getting started exercise, you create a serverless REST API using the API Gateway REST API console. This exercise takes less than 20 minutes to complete, and is possible within the AWS Free Tier.

    Explore the guide »

    Build an API Gateway REST API with HTTP integration

    This tutorial teaches you to build an API with HTTP proxy integration or the HTTP custom integration.

    Start the tutorial »

    Build an API Gateway REST API with Lambda integration

    This tutorial teaches you to build an API with Lambda proxy integration or Lambda non-proxy integration.

    Start the tutorial »

  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • Getting started with Amazon CloudWatch

    This guide shows you how to use the CloudWatch console to see key metrics from all AWS services, and focus on specific metrics and alarms.

    Explore the guide »

    Analyzing log data with CloudWatch Logs Insights

    This guide shows you how to use CloudWatch Logs Insights to search and analyze your log data. You can query for operational issues, identify potential causes, and validate deployed fixes.

    Explore the guide »

    Using CloudWatch anomaly detection

    This guide shows you how to enable anomaly detection that continuously analyzes you app's metrics, determines baselines, and surfaces anomalies with minimal user intervention.

    Explore the guide »

    Using Amazon CloudWatch dashboards

    This guide shows you how to use CloudWatch dashboards to monitor your resources in a single view, and create customized views of the metrics and alarms for your AWS resources.

    Explore the guide »

  • AWS Device Farm
  • AWS Billing Conductor

    Getting started with AWS Device Farm

    This guide shows you how to use Device Farm to test a native Android or iOS app. You use the Device Farm console to create a project, upload an .apk or .ipa file, run a suite of standard tests, and then view the results.

    Explore the guide »

    AWS Device Farm test devices list

    View a list of devices available for testing on AWS Device Farm.

    Explore the list »

    Access your private network from real mobile devices using AWS Device Farm

    This blog walks you through the architecture of AWS Device Farm's VPC-ENI connectivity feature with a hands-on example of connecting to a web application that is hosted in Amazon VPC.

    Explore the blog »

  • AWS Location Service
  • Quick start: Creating a web app

    This tutorial, you will create a static webpage with a map and the ability to search at a location.

    Explore the tutorial »

    Creating an Android app

    In this tutorial, you will create an Android application with a map and the ability to search at a location. 

    Explore the tutorial »

    Create a Custom Map Style with Amazon Location Service

    This blog post will walk you through the process of styling an existing map using Maputnik to help visualize the changes in real-time.

    Explore the blog »

  • Amazon Pinpoint
  • Getting started with Amazon Pinpoint

    This guide shows you how to start sending targeted messages in Amazon Pinpoint, including creating segments that target certain customers and using analytics dashboards.

    Explore the guide »

    Using Postman with the Amazon Pinpoint API

    This tutorial shows you how to set up and use Postman with Amazon Pinpoint. Postman is a popular tool for testing APIs in an easy-to-use graphical environment.

    Start the tutorial »

    Setting up an SMS registration system

    This tutorial shows you how to set up a web form to capture customers' contact information. Amazon Pinpoint then sends the customer a message asking them to confirm their subscription and opts them in to receiving your messages.

    Start the tutorial »


Architecture Diagrams

Explore reference architecture diagrams to help you develop, scale, test, and deploy your front-end and mobile applications.

Explore architecture diagrams »



Explore whitepapers to help you get started, learn best practices, and understand your  front-end and mobile applications options on AWS.

Explore whitepapers »


AWS Solutions

Explore vetted solutions and architectural guidance for common use cases for front-end and mobile applications.

Explore solutions »


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