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Docker-Based AWS Amplify Development Setup

This repository is an example starting point for an application built using AWS Amplify.

The application has two parts:

  1. A React frontend application (in frontend/), generated using create-react-app, and run in development with Docker.

  2. A backend of AWS Lambda Functions (in backend/), with an example 'hello world' function.

AWS Service Stubs for Development

The backend runs using aws-sam-local for development.

Additionally, the docker-compose.yml file will start a copy of Localstack with the following services:

Using Localstack:

  • DynamoDB
  • DynamoDB Streams
  • Elasticsearch
  • S3
  • SNS
  • SQS
  • SES

Using moto:

  • Congito Identity Pools

Each of these is exposed on a different port. Other localstack services can be enabled by modifying the SERVICES env var in docker-compose.yml.

Usage Notes

Usage Notes:

  1. At this time, adjustments to the template.yaml file in backend/ may require restarting the docker image.

Cognito User Pools

The React application in /frontend already has the AWS Amplify JS library included. There is a stub call to Amplify.config() to allow you to specify an AWS Cognito User Pool for app authentication.

Note that currently there is no stub service for the Cognito User Pools, so you will need to actaully create a User Pool to use Amplify's authentication.

Additionally, note that the amplify CLI defaults to (a) requiring a phone number and (b) turning on mandatory 2fa, and that these settings are not mutable on a Cognito User Pool.

As such, I recommend not using the Amplify CLI and instead creating a Cognito User Pool by hand through the AWS Admin Dashboard.

Quick tip: Note that when creating a Cognito User Pool and adding a Client App (which will give you the 'userPoolWebClientId' parameter for the Auth hash), you will want to uncheck the default 'Generate Client Secret' box. The JavaScript AWS SDK does not support the 'Client Secret Key'.


Thank you to Xevo, Inc for the xevo/aws-sam-local docker image, and to the localstack project.

Next Steps

Further Development:

  • In order to fully develop locally, it would be necessary to have a local implementation of AWS Cognito User Pools as well.


A scaffold for developing applications with AWS Amplify locally



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