Customer Stories / Software & Internet / Singapore

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Affinidi Reduced Developer Effort by 50% and Consolidated 20 APIs into 1 Using Refactor Spaces

Learn how data empowerment company Affinidi increased agility and improved staff productivity using AWS Migration Hub Refactor Spaces.

50% reduction

in overall developer effort for service APIs


improvement in service stand-up time

20-to-1 reduction

in number of API endpoints


improvement in change implementation time

25% cost reduction

for monolith refactoring


Technology startup Affinidi is on a mission to empower people to own their data, but its sprawling technology footprint was becoming difficult to manage. The company, whose solutions are built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), had over 20 API endpoints with various authentication and authorization implementations, making it hard to verify and unify the security posture of public-facing services. Moreover, it took hours to implement changes, impacting Affinidi’s agility in improving products and services.“We were experimenting, trying different approaches, failing fast, and doing all the things that a good startup is supposed to do,” says Adam Larter, chief technology officer at Affinidi. “We ended up with a very broad environment on AWS, and there was no single, unified front door API to our stack.”

The company set out to unify its APIs in early 2022 by using AWS Migration Hub Refactor Spaces, which is the starting point for incremental application refactoring to microservices in AWS. Using Refactor Spaces, Affinidi reduced developer effort by 50 percent and consolidated 20 API endpoints into 1. It can now stand up new services in just 10 minutes instead of days. “If we look at where we were 12 months ago to where we are today, it’s been very successful,” says Larter. The company now has a secure, flexible architecture, a single API access point, and a standardized authentication model.


Opportunity | Using AWS Migration Hub Refactor Spaces to Reduce API Changes from 2 Hours to 10 Minutes

Founded in 2020, Affinidi is creating a holistic identity solution that gives people control over their data. Rather than having everyone’s personal information sliced up across hundreds of websites, Affinidi envisions an identity metasystem in which everyone can choose if and how to discover, collect, store, share, and monetize their data. To achieve that vision, the company needs flexible and secure infrastructure that can scale and change as Affinidi grows. It has run microservices on Kubernetes since day one in pursuit of that goal, but with 20 API endpoints, its systems had become difficult for teams to manage.

Affinidi considered different options for its project before settling on Refactor Spaces. It wanted a standardized managed service to enhance security while reducing operational overhead. The company set out to reduce the time to start a new public-facing service from 2 hours to 10 minutes by automating API routing using Refactor Spaces, and it met that goal. More importantly, Affinidi made it simpler for teams to protect accounts. “The number one thing for us is the fact that when you use AWS, you’re sitting on the same identity and access management fabric, so everything is fully connected with your security model,” says Larter.


This effort will be a continual evolution for us because using AWS Migration Hub Refactor Spaces empowers us to adapt to new use cases.”

Adam Larter
Chief Technology Officer, Affinidi

Solution | Redirecting 50% of Developer Effort from Infrastructure Management to Driving Future Value

Using Refactor Spaces, Affinidi maintained its multiaccount architecture while reducing 20 API endpoints to 1. It estimates that using Refactor Spaces has reduced developer effort to spin up a new Affinidi service by 50 percent, decreasing the time spent troubleshooting or managing infrastructure and refocusing that time on adding value. The company was able to keep its estate deployed in a multiaccount infrastructure—in keeping with AWS best practices for operational resilience—by using Refactor Spaces to automatically provision AWS infrastructure, networking, routing, resource sharing, and policy configurations.

In this way, Affinidi could separate its application functionalities by business domain and establish clear boundaries between services by placing them in their own AWS accounts. “We made it a point to preserve our multiple AWS accounts because it’s a best practice to have every service in its own account to limit the blast radius in case of an issue,” says Larter. “Using Refactor Spaces, we can route our external-facing API across those accounts without having to manage the complexity.” This structure also means that each team can operate independently, which contributes to deployment agility and cost clarity across the organization.

With standardized account deployment, Affinidi is more flexible and agile. Moreover, governance has also been significantly enhanced. “If we weren’t running standardized processes, developers might spin things up, experiment, and then forget about them,” says Larter. “Then, months later, someone might ask what this thing is that is costing us money each month. No one would be sure, and there would be perceived risk in changing it.” With a standardized governance framework, Affinidi now has all the clarity it needs to determine how its infrastructure spending is driving value. It also reduced monolithic refactoring costs by 25 percent using Refactor Spaces.

Affinidi does not want this effort to be a one-off. “This effort will be a continual evolution for us because using Refactor Spaces empowers us to adapt to new use cases,” says Larter. Should its architecture change, the company is confident that it will be able to spin up new infrastructure and simply update the routes in Refactor Spaces, preserving a single front door for all its services. Importantly, this will also simplify things for external developers who will simply bind to Affinidi’s single API endpoint and not need to be aware of the complexity behind that front door to Affinidi’s services.

With the new architecture, Affinidi engineers are benefiting from a much lower cognitive load, and the common workflow has empowered developers to more easily move from one team to another. Previously, the company’s principal engineers and platform team had to spend significant time on fault determination. Now, it is focused solely on driving value, improving Affinidi’s staff productivity. “Our teams have been freed to focus on enhancing tooling, cost reduction, business continuity, and observability,” says Larter. “They are virtually 100 percent focused on our future state.”

Architecture Diagram

Outcome | Innovating with Secure, Flexible Infrastructure on AWS

Affinidi has always embraced experimentation, and the company wants to minimize engineering risks as it tries new approaches. Using Refactor Spaces, the company is not tied down to any particular technical path and retains its business agility. In the future, Affinidi hopes to build automation so that it can seamlessly move API routes from serverless to always-on infrastructure on demand, based on customer calling patterns. “Using AWS, we are not locked in to engineering decisions we make today, and that frees up everyone to be a bit more creative,” says Larter. The initiative empowers Affinidi to scale from 100,000 digital vaults to 2 million by 2025.

The company has an ambitious road map, envisaging a time when hundreds of Affinidi services help people control, protect, and share their data. With a unified API layer, Affinidi has architecture that can scale. “We focus on the value proposition that Affinidi offers, not the value proposition that our infrastructure is offering,” says Larter. “We let Refactor Services handle all that complexity.”

About Affinidi

Affinidi is a global technology company on a mission to change data ownership for good. Affinidi designs user-centric, innovative solutions around its concept of “holistic identity,” where users can discover, collect, store, share, and monetize their data in the digital world.

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