In this section we are going to allow our users to login and sign up for our app. To do this we are going to start connecting the AWS resources that we created in the backend section.

To do this we’ll be using a library called AWS Amplify. AWS Amplify provides a few simple modules (Auth, API, and Storage) to help us easily connect to our backend.

Install AWS Amplify

Run the following command in the frontend/ directory and not in your project root.

$ npm install aws-amplify

This installs the NPM package and adds the dependency to the package.json of your React app..

Create a Config

Let’s first create a configuration file for our app that’ll reference all the resources we have created.

Create a file at src/config.js and add the following.

const config = {
  // Backend config
  s3: {
    REGION: process.env.REACT_APP_REGION,
    BUCKET: process.env.REACT_APP_BUCKET,
  apiGateway: {
    REGION: process.env.REACT_APP_REGION,
    URL: process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL,
  cognito: {
    REGION: process.env.REACT_APP_REGION,

export default config;

Here we are loading the environment that are set from our serverless backend. We did this back when we were first setting up our React app.

Add AWS Amplify

Next we’ll set up AWS Amplify.

Import it by adding the following to the header of your src/index.js.

import { Amplify } from 'aws-amplify';

And import the config we created above.

Add the following, also to the header of your src/index.js.

import config from './config';

And to initialize AWS Amplify; add the following above the ReactDOM.render line in src/index.js.

  Auth: {
    mandatorySignIn: true,
    region: config.cognito.REGION,
    userPoolId: config.cognito.USER_POOL_ID,
    identityPoolId: config.cognito.IDENTITY_POOL_ID,
    userPoolWebClientId: config.cognito.APP_CLIENT_ID
  Storage: {
    region: config.s3.REGION,
    bucket: config.s3.BUCKET,
    identityPoolId: config.cognito.IDENTITY_POOL_ID
  API: {
    endpoints: [
        name: "notes",
        endpoint: config.apiGateway.URL,
        region: config.apiGateway.REGION

A couple of notes here.

  • Amplify refers to Cognito as Auth, S3 as Storage, and API Gateway as API.

  • The mandatorySignIn flag for Auth is set to true because we want our users to be signed in before they can interact with our app.

  • The name: "notes" is basically telling Amplify that we want to name our API. Amplify allows you to add multiple APIs that your app is going to work with. In our case our entire backend is just one single API.

  • The Amplify.configure() is just setting the various AWS resources that we want to interact with. It isn’t doing anything else special here beside configuration. So while this might look intimidating, just remember this is only setting things up.

Commit the Changes

Let’s commit our code so far and push it to GitHub.

$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Setting up our React app"
$ git push

Next up, we are going to work on creating our login and sign up forms.