GraphQL, since its debut in 2015, has rapidly gained popularity and fostered a vibrant community. AWS AppSync, a managed serverless service, provides real-time data queries, synchronization, and communication. With AWS AppSync, you can effortlessly build scalable and resilient GraphQL APIs without the need to maintain servers. It is similar to API Gateway for REST APIs, but offers distinct advantages. In this article, we will explore five key reasons why you should consider using AppSync instead of API Gateway for your next project.
Cognito Group-Based Authorization
AppSync simplifies group-based authorization using Cognito user groups. By leveraging Cognito user groups, you can easily control access to different API endpoints. For instance, you can restrict access to specific endpoints based on user roles. Implementing this feature in API Gateway is a complex task, involving multiple steps and custom Lambda functions. Conversely, with AppSync, implementing group-based authorization is effortless and straightforward.
Request and Response Validation
API Gateway allows request validation, providing protection against malicious attacks. However, response validation is not supported. This means you have to manually validate responses in your application code. In contrast, AppSync integrates request and response validation seamlessly into GraphQL type definitions. Everything specified in the type definition will be returned, ensuring that no unintended data is exposed. This streamlines the validation process and allows you to focus more on your domain logic.
While API Gateway supports WebSockets, utilizing them can be challenging. You have to manage the mapping of WebSocket connections to users or groups manually. This entails implementing Lambda functions to handle connection events and sending messages individually for specific users. Consequently, managing large-scale broadcasts or group chats can become expensive and complicated. On the other hand, AppSync subscriptions, including pure WebSockets, are simple to work with and can support millions of connected clients without any connection management on your part.
Automated API Documentation
API documentation is crucial for effective API consumption. API Gateway provides API documentation, but it can be laborious to configure. Moreover, contract-first development, where teams agree on API contracts before implementation, is not well-supported. In contrast, AppSync’s GraphQL-based approach inherently supports contract-first development. The resulting .graphql spec is self-documenting, eliminating the need for additional processes. This simplifies the documentation process and fosters better collaboration between teams.
Integration with DynamoDB/ElasticSearch/RDS
AppSync directly integrates with various AWS services such as DynamoDB, Lambda, RDS, ElasticSearch, and HTTP. Although API Gateway excels in the number of direct integrations with other AWS services, the integration process can be convoluted. API Gateway requires different configurations and sometimes relies on custom VTL code. In contrast, AppSync’s integrations are well-documented and easier to work with. Additionally, AppSync’s built-in support for generating pagination tokens for DynamoDB queries simplifies the implementation.
In conclusion, while API Gateway can achieve the same functionality, using AppSync significantly reduces the development effort. For projects involving Cognito group-based authorization, request and response validation, scalable WebSockets, automated API documentation, and seamless service integration, AppSync proves to be an excellent choice. Its simplicity and convenience allow you to focus on solving the core business problem at hand. Discover more about AppSync and unlock the potential of GraphQL with ProgramMatek.