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Amazon SNS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Amazon SNS is #3 ranked solution in top Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) tools. PeerSpot users give Amazon SNS an average rating of 10 out of 10. Amazon SNS is most commonly compared to Amazon EventBridge: Amazon SNS vs Amazon EventBridge. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a media company, accounting for 25% of all views.
What is Amazon SNS?

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) is a highly available, durable, secure, fully managed pub/sub messaging service that enables you to decouple microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. Amazon SNS provides topics for high-throughput, push-based, many-to-many messaging. Using Amazon SNS topics, your publisher systems can fan out messages to a large number of subscriber endpoints for parallel processing, including Amazon SQS queues, AWS Lambda functions, and HTTP/S webhooks. Additionally, SNS can be used to fan out notifications to end users using mobile push, SMS, and email.

You can get started with Amazon SNS in minutes by using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS Software Development Kit (SDK).

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Amazon SNS Customers

PlayOn! Sports, NASA, Change Healthcare, FCBarcelona

Amazon SNS Video

Amazon SNS Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Amazon SNS pricing:
  • "The pricing of push notifications and everything is quite fair. If you are using FCM under the hood, it is completely free. When you are using push notification on SMS, it is just a nominal price that you need to pay. SMS services are a lot more costly. It is because we don't have proper providers in India. That's why it gets a lot more costly in terms of SMS. This is the reason why we don't use SMS services from SNS itself. We use other third-party services like SMS Horizon. We use a third-party service for email services. It is almost free. It is just around $1 a month. Configuring Lambda is also quite cheap. You only pay for the Lambda usage. You don't pay for SNS itself."
  • "It is the cheapest solution in the market. It is on a monthly basis. After a month, you are build based on your usage. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees."
  • Amazon SNS Reviews

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    Elvis Rozario
    Senior Backend Engineer at FreightBro
    Real User
    Top 5
    Automatically scalable, very stable, and full of solid and useful features
    Pros and Cons
    • "The mobile push notifications are the most valuable. Previously, we used to use Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) for this functionality. It is a Google service for sending push notifications. Android did not have a good service for sending push notifications, but now, Amazon SNS integrates with FCM. Under the road, it is actually using FCM, but we can see all the metrics on our AW service itself, which makes it a lot easier instead of using a third-party service for this particular functionality."
    • "A major issue with AWS as a whole is that it has a lot of services that do the same thing, and people get confused about which one to use in which scenario. Previously, we used to use SNS for connecting microservices. SNS has around six types of subscribers. We can subscribe to Lambda, HTTP, HTTPS, SMS, email, and push notifications. We used to use HTTP endpoints and Lambda for connecting to microservice systems. Now we have something called EventBridge, which actually does that for you. For connecting to services, we should just use EventBridge rather than SQS, SNS. I hear a lot of complaints from people wherein they do not understand when to use EventBridge and when to use SQS, SNS. They can remove these features so that it doesn't confuse users about when to use SQS, SNS, or EventBridge."

    What is our primary use case?

    SNS can be used for a lot of things. There are six different subscriber types available at the moment and among them, we use the SMS, email, and push notifications. We use the SMS and Email services to notify admins whenever something goes wrong, but our primary use case is to send push notifications to our mobile devices (customers).

    The backend engineers work on setting it up on AWS and most of the features like SMS, Email, etc do not need any frontend intervention, but yes for push notifications, the frontend needs to use the SDK to capture and display them.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Previously, we had to use FCM, which was a completely separate service from Google. Whenever we had some issues with the notification center, that is, if the sending failed due to any reason (the reason could be anything like the user didn't have a proper internet connection, or if the application was not working for some reason), we had to go to the Firebase console to figure out what happened and which notifications were lost specifically. We were not using Firebase for any other application. Our entire stack is inside the AWS service and we had to use Firebase only for such instances, which was a drag.

    Now that we're using SNS, we can leverage CloudWatch logs. We can also have a dead letter queue to store the messages that were failed. Later on, at any point in time, we can just check the queue and see the failed messages. We can also send a message from this queue to our admins so that they can easily and directly receive an SMS whenever a notification sending fails. All these features made SNS a lot more solid.

    What is most valuable?

    The mobile push notifications are the most valuable. Previously, we used to use Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) for this functionality. It is a Google service for sending push notifications. We used to run into problems while sending notifications to iOS devices but SNS made it a lot better. I think FCM just added that functionality while we were moving to SNS cause under the hood, SNS is actually using FCM. 

    A major advantage of using SNS though is that we can see all the metrics on our AWS account itself, which makes it a lot easier instead of using a third-party service for this particular functionality.

    What needs improvement?

    A major issue with AWS as a whole is that it has a lot of services that do the same thing, and people get confused about which one to use in which scenario. Previously, we used to use SNS for connecting microservices. SNS has around six types of subscribers. We can subscribe to Lambda, HTTP, HTTPS, SMS, email, and push notifications. We used to use HTTP endpoints and Lambda for connecting to microservice systems. About a year ago, AWS released EventBridge, which is a better service for connecting microservices.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Amazon SNS for about two years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It has never crashed until now. I did not face any issue as far as SNS is concerned. There are cases where messages are lost, and they are not sent. If you have not set up a dead letter queue, then you would just lose those messages. Initially, I did not know about the dead letter queue, but eventually, I set it up. It is a lot more secure now. Even if the messages are not sent, we can get all those messages in a queue so that you can do whatever you want with it.

    Another thing is that they have recently added 100% CloudWatch support. Basically, if you just add CloudWatch support, it logs each and every message that you get in the SNS system. If you are sending a single message to 10 different subscribers, CloudWatch will have 10 different logs for each of those subscribers. If a single message fails, you get the entire log of what happened. It is a bit costly though especially when you have thousands/millions of subscribers out there but it is a very solid feature. It allows us to get feedback on whatever went wrong in any incident.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is automatically scalable because AWS handles the scalability for you. You don't have to do anything about scaling the service in any way. 

    It is a part of the serverless architecture. All services that are a part of the serverless architecture are auto-scaled.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I never needed to use technical support for this particular service.

    How was the initial setup?

    We can set it up in multiple ways. We can just use the AWS console to set it up, and it is very easy to set it up that way. However, since we're an enterprise, we had to set it up using a Cloudformation template. It was a bit more complex than using the console, but still, I would say it was a lot easier than any other service. The deployment took around 15 minutes.

    This product does not require any kind of deployment plan. You use a cloud formation template to create the initial topics. After that, you just need to add subscribers to the topic, which can be done in many ways (even using the SDK).

    You don't need a specific team to handle SNS itself. It's a fairly easy service to manage.

    What was our ROI?

    Since moving to SNS push notifications, we have had a lot better coverage. Previously, we could not send push notifications to iPhone devices. There was some issue with FCM while sending notifications to iPhones. After we moved to SNS, we are were able to send push notifications to iPhone devices. It works perfectly fine.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing of push notifications and email services is quite fair but if you're planning to use it for sending SMS, then it's a bit on the costlier side. Maybe, It is because we don't have proper providers in my country.

    I would say that going through the AWS pricing page would be the best solution to find the exact pricing for the services you need.

    What other advice do I have?

    People should know when to use this solution. With so many AWS products out there, people are not sure which product to use in which scenario. SNS should be used only when you want a server-to-client connection, not when you need a server-to-server connection. For a server-to-server connection, you can use EventBridge. If you want a server-to-client connection and a one-to-many or many-to-many connection, you should use SNS. If you want a one-to-one connection, you should use SQS. You can go through the entire documentation and see if your particular use case requires you to use SNS or not.

    Finally, I would say, I'd rate Amazon SNS a nine out of ten. In my tenure of using it for two years, it has helped me in a lot of ways. It is a lot more solid than similar tools out there.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Senior Software Engineer at etura
    Real User
    Top 10
    Provides reliable service, enables easy engagement of our users, and supports all devices
    Pros and Cons
    • "Push notifications are the most valuable. I have mostly used push notifications for my system. Amazon SNS supports all devices for push notification services. It supports iOS, Android, and Windows notifications. It provides reliable push notification services. We have queues, and we can track which notifications have failed or had some issues. We can then figure out the issue. We can also debug the issue because of which our push notification didn't reach the end users."
    • "I recently worked with Firebase, and it provides an option to create a marketing campaign with a title and a specific image to inform our audience about something. We just design the campaign and then use the push notifications. It would be good if Amazon also adds a similar feature."

    What is our primary use case?

    I have been using Amazon SNS within my Learning Management System or LMS. I use SNS with .NET services to send push notifications to mobiles to tell parents about the progress of their kids. We send push notifications to mobile devices and emails. 

    Amazon SNS is a pretty reliable service, and it is fully managed. We don't have to manage anything. Amazon totally manages everything for us. We just have to integrate the SNS service with our microservice or backend service and trigger an action to throw notifications or messages. We just trigger a notification to go to all subscribers.

    I am using the latest version of this solution in my current product, which has .NET code. This solution is deployed on the cloud. We are using Elastic Beanstalk for .NET deployment and Amazon SNS for our server. We then send notifications to subscribed users or specific devices that are interested in or have subscribed to our topic.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It enables easy engagement of our users with our product. We often track users' interest to find out how they have been performing with our app or the system. Based on the performance, we recommend or send push notifications. Based on these notifications, users open our app and spend some time on our system. If we use it properly, it increases our growth exponentially.

    What is most valuable?

    Push notifications are the most valuable. I have mostly used push notifications for my system. Amazon SNS supports all devices for push notification services. It supports iOS, Android, and Windows notifications. 

    It provides reliable push notification services. We have queues, and we can track which notifications have failed or had some issues. We can then figure out the issue. We can also debug the issue because of which our push notification didn't reach the end users.

    What needs improvement?

    I recently worked with Firebase, and it provides an option to create a marketing campaign with a title and a specific image to inform our audience about something. We just design the campaign and then use the push notifications. It would be good if Amazon also adds a similar feature.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been developing products for five to six years. I have been working with Amazon SNS for four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is the most stable product in the market.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. If you are a startup, they provide a free quota, and after that, they start charging. It is scalable for our needs. We pay based on our usage. The more users we add on, the more we pay.

    We have been using this notification system for four years. Currently, we don't have any plans to expand our usage.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not used their technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have been using Google Firebase for two years. In one application, I was using Firebase Realtime Database, so we preferred to use their real-time notification as well. Firebase does the same thing and sends notifications to subscribed devices.

    With Firebase, we use real-time messages for push notifications, whereas with Amazon, we use Amazon SNS. I found Amazon SNS to be more stable than Firebase. Firebase provides only push notifications, whereas Amazon SNS provides emails, mobile messages, and push notifications. It is a hub of many things. Therefore, it is good to use one solution for multiple things.

    How was the initial setup?

    You can easily create services. It is a very simple process.

    It was a quick deployment. We bought a service that we can consume within our service. We can have a microservice and put our credentials on a server, and then we can send notifications to our subscribers by using that specific key. I also manage or maintain it on my own.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It is the cheapest solution in the market. It is on a monthly basis. After a month, you are build based on your usage. There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good service. I would recommend it to my colleagues if they want to implement push notifications with SNS. Overall, I am very happy with this service.

    I would rate Amazon SNS a ten out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Find out what your peers are saying about Amazon, Solace, IBM and others in Message Oriented Middleware (MOM). Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Co-Founder at NetScapeLabs
    Real User
    Top 20
    Enables us to build solutions for our clients
    Pros and Cons
    • "Stability has been good for us. It is quite high."
    • "In terms of improvement, I would like to have better customer support for SNS. We can then manage it very easily."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case for Amazon SNS is for push messaging. We have a chatting application in my project library and so we have the mobile to mobile service for push notifications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We build solutions for our clients, they ask us to implement all the documents and features for them.

    What is most valuable?

    I am a mobile front-end developer so Amazon SNS has most of the features for the backend. I only need to transfer for the front-end push services.

    What needs improvement?

    In terms of improvement, I would like to have better customer support for SNS. We can then manage it very easily.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability has been good for us. It is quite high.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have two to three guys on the server who handle it and we have six to 10 guys who are the backend developers. The backend developers and server guys, primarily use SNS and Amazon Security. 

    Four people are responsible for maintenance, two senior backend guys and two server guys.

    SNS is not extensively. It's usually used when we get a client's request. We don't have plans to increase usage.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have also used Google Cloud. We switched to SNS because our developers were more used to it. They can easily adapt it. 

    We have also used Amazon Lex for the chatbots. We have to give the entitlements entities and some other things that I take and recognize. We can make Amazon Alexa apps for Amazon Lex which is quite different from SNS.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not very complex. We have two full-time employees we require for the deployment and we get help from Amazon server guys who help us for initial setups.

    The deployment can take one to two hours. 

    What was our ROI?

    We see ROI because we use the features that help us and make our product work better. Investing in these features is a good return.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate Amazon SNS an 8.5 out of ten. Not a ten because of the stability and customer support. 

    I develop applications by using SNS and I start by using documents. There should be easier documentation with better points.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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