Category Archives for Security

Elastic Beanstalk vs OpsWorks vs CloudFormation

AWS provides several choices in services when it comes to provisioning resources and deploying applications. If you are not sure which service is best for a particular situation, you’re not alone. I’ve been studying for the AWS DevOps Engineer Professional Exam and, at least for me, there is a lot of confusion surrounding when to use which service. I am certain there are many others who are also looking for answers as well. Just open your browser and type something like “OpsWorks vs  “. You will see what I mean. Unfortunately, many of those articles are a bit vague and provide advice such as “Elastic Beanstalk is for developers. OpsWorks is for operations and CloudFormation is for fine grained control”. Unfortunately, the problems on the exam don’t quite slice-and-dice it that easily. This post is going to explore the question from a standpoint of the following three domains: Application Deployment, AWS Resource Allocation and Configuration Management. All three tools provide some level of support for these domains, but in slightly different ways. Let’s dig in.

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Authenticating to Amazon Cognito from Windows Desktop Application

From Aws: “Amazon Cognito provides authentication, authorization, and user management for your web and mobile apps. Your users can sign in directly with a user name and password, or through a third party such as Facebook, Amazon, or Google”.

I am going to assume that you have a basic understanding of what authentication, authorization all the rest means, and that you are actually here because you’ve noticed that Windows Desktop Applications was not included in the list of supported application types.  Also, perhaps you have waded into the AWS documentation and have noticed that User Pool Client Side Authentication Flow is supported by the AWS SDK, BUT only for Android, iOS and JavaScript. If you are a .Net developer and you are either building a new client-server application with RESTful Web API or porting legacy services to the cloud, Identity and Authorization is usually the first challenge. It certainly would be a waste to have to stand up and Windows server just to run ASP.Net Identity to protect some simple Web API. With Amazon Cognito User Pools, the task seems trivial, if only there was an easy way to authenticate users from your client side code. Here’s how.

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