How to Setup AWS Authentication for React Applications

How to Setup AWS Authentication for React Applications

Simple but Powerful

Photo by Chepe Nicli on Unsplash

Authentication is one of the first aspects of any modern web application that you need to take care of as a developer. Fortunately, today we have so many great solutions and one of them is AWS Amplify.

Today we will use this service to create a simple React application. Our objective is to

Install and Configure Amplify CLI on Our MachineCreate A Basic React ProjectAdd User Authentication to itDeploy it Into the Cloud

Let’s get started.

What is AWS Amplify?

AWS Amplify is a service that is managed by AWS itself. It takes care of most of the common functionalities of a modern application like Auth , Hosting, API, etc so that you can focus on building the actual product yourself.

Step 1. Install Amplify on Your Machine

Run the following command to install amplify on your machine

npm i -g @aws-amplify/cli

Step 2. Configure Amplify

After installation run the following command to configure amplify

amplify configure

These 2 steps are only one time. In this step you will need aws secret access key and aws access key id . Both of these you can find in your aws profile’s IAM settings.

Step 3. Create a New React Project

First, create a brand new project for our purpose

npx create-react-app learning-amplify

Step 4. Configure amplify for project

Go inside the project's root directory.

cd learning-amplify

Then configure a amplify project by running the following command

amplify init

This will take you through a standard procedure. Most of the options you can leave as default. Here is an example

amplify init

It will create an amplify directory inside your project. Don’t touch that.

Step 5. Add Authentication

Now we have recognized this project as an Amplify project. Now what we need to do is add authentication to this project.

amplify add auth

In this step, you will have to configure how you would your users to sign in. There are a bunch of options

authentication options

Choose what you want. We are going with Username for now.

Leave everything else as default and you will be set up within minutes.

Step 6. Push Everything Into Cloud

Now we need to put our project on the cloud. To do that run the following command

amplify push

It will take some time. But after that, you are all set up.

Step 7. Use Amplify SDK Inside Project

It will handle all our UI and sync with aws. First, install it

yarn add aws-amplify 

You will need to configure your project at the root level (In our case that is index.js file). Add the following 3 lines of code inside your index.js file

import Amplify from "aws-amplify";
import    awsExports    from "./aws-exports";

After that our index.js will look something like this

Now we can handle authentication ourselves. Here is the documentation for all the available functions.

Step 8. Make it Even Better

There is an awesome library named @aws-amplify/ui-react which takes care of the most common authentication flows for us automatically. It includes

Sign InSign OutReset Password

And many other things. To take advantage of the authentication library we have to install the package first

yarn add @aws-amplify/ui-react

Now inside our App.js we need to import a higher-order function and wrap our App Component with this.

Finally, it will look something like this.

Notice we also added a Signout button for our application.

Step 9. Run The Application

Now start the app as usual

yarn start

And you will be greeted by the login UI provided by the Amplify Ui React!

Amplify UI

From here you can create a new account and then sign in.

Step 10. Publish Your Application

Okay Great! Now it’s time to share your achievements with the world. Just go to the terminal and run the following command.

amplify hosting add

It will prompt where you would want to host your application.

hosting option

We are choosing Amplify console so that we don’t need to do anything!

Then run the following command to put everything into the cloud!

amplify publish

This will take some time and after that, you will be greeted by this

deployment successful

Awesome! Now visit the URL and see your application live!

That’s it. Now you know how to build an end-to-end product using AWS Amplify. Explore more to find out what other things you can do with this. Thank you for reading!