Serverless Fullstack Magic: Streamlining Web Development with AWS Amplify and React

If you're a web developer, you know that ensuring your web app development process is seamless and streamlined is vital. This is where the AWS Amplify platform comes in as a comprehensive full-stack platform for developing, deploying, and scaling modern web applications using React.

In this tutorial, we'll guide you through building a serverless React app leveraging AWS Amplify's powerful feature set to accelerate your development process. We'll cover both the frontend and backend setup and provide you with the knowledge to kickstart your next web project with AWS Amplify in no time.

Getting Started with AWS Amplify

To start working with AWS Amplify, you need to have an AWS account. After that, you'll want to create a new React project:

npx create-react-app my-app

Once the app is created, you'll need to navigate to the app's directory and install Amplify:

cd my-app npm install --save aws-amplify

Once you've set up a new project and followed the instructions above, you're ready to start building with AWS Amplify and React.

Adding Authentication with AWS Cognito

One of the key benefits of using AWS Amplify is the ease of adding authentication to your web app. Let's start by adding authentication to our app using AWS Cognito:

  1. First, we'll need to import the necessary Amplify libraries in our React component file:
  2. import Amplify from 'aws-amplify'; import { withAuthenticator } from 'aws-amplify-react'; import awsconfig from './aws-exports'; Amplify.configure(awsconfig);
  3. Now we can wrap our App component using the withAuthenticator higher-order component:
  4. export default withAuthenticator(App);
  5. Finally, we can run the app and test authentication by running:
  6. npm start

With that, we have successfully added authentication to our React web app using AWS Amplify and Cognito. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding authentication and authorization possibilities using AWS Amplify.

Creating a Serverless Backend with AWS Amplify

Now that we have authentication set up, let's take it further by adding a serverless backend to leverage AWS Amplify's full capabilities. To create a serverless backend, we'll need to use the Amplify CLI.

The Amplify CLI is a command-line interface that facilitates creating and managing backend resources. To install it, we can run:

npm install -g @aws-amplify/cli

The next step is to initialize the Amplify project with the default settings:

amplify init

After filling out the necessary configuration, the Amplify CLI will automatically create a new IAM user, a DynamoDB table, and an S3 bucket for our project.

Creating a GraphQL API with AWS Amplify

Now we're ready to add a GraphQL API to our serverless backend. The Amplify CLI comes with a GraphQL transformer that eases the process of creating and connecting to a GraphQL API.

To create a GraphQL API, we'll run:

amplify api add

This command will prompt for the API configuration details like the schema, resolvers, and authorization rules. After providing your API's configuration, run the following command to push it to the cloud:

amplify push

The amplify push command will apply the changes specified in the local Amplify project directory to the cloud backend, including creating the GraphQL API and data source. After pushing the API to the cloud, we can update our React App component to use our new backend:

import { API } from 'aws-amplify'; async function getData() { const apiData = await API.get('myapi', '/items'); console.log('items:', apiData); }

This code makes use of the API library provided by AWS Amplify to fetch data from the '/items' endpoint in our API. AWS Amplify auth headers get appended through the withAuthenticator HOC we used earlier, so we don't need to worry about authentication.

Deploying your Serverless Fullstack Application with AWS Amplify

Now that we have a functioning serverless full-stack app, it's time to deploy it. With AWS Amplify, the process of deployment couldn't get any easier. We'll need to initialize a new Amplify application:

amplify init

After filling out the necessary configuration, we can run the following command to deploy our application:

amplify publish

This command will package and upload our entire app, including frontend and backend resources, to AWS. AWS Amplify will create a new Amazon S3 bucket to host the app's frontend and a new cloud formation stack with the backend resources. After the upload is complete, the app will be ready to use.


AWS Amplify is an excellent viable option for simplifying the development and deployment of serverless apps. By integrating the power of Amplify with React, we're provided with an effortless way to create full-stack serverless web applications quickly. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advance developer, you'll find AWS Amplify a great platform for developing and deploying modern-day web apps.