AWS, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Amazon SNS : A Scalable Service for Sending Push Notifications


AWS SNS is a service that enables you to use email and other push notifications to send messages from your applications. Here, we will discuss Amazon SNS in detail.

Introduction to AWS SNS

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) is a cloud-based service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that enables applications, end-users, and devices to communicate with each other over a variety of different platforms. SNS provides a simple, highly scalable, and cost-effective way to send and receive notifications, allowing businesses to keep their customers informed and up to date with the latest information.

Amazon SNS is used to build and integrate loosely coupled distributed applications. SNS offers instant push-based delivery (no polling).

SNS supports push and pull delivery mechanisms and can deliver messages to recipients such as email addresses, mobile devices, and distributed services such as Lambda functions and Amazon SQS queues.

With SNS, you can publish messages to a topic and have them delivered to subscribers, who can be other AWS services, third-party services, or client-side applications. This makes SNS a flexible and scalable solution for sending notifications and enables you to decouple the production of messages from their consumption.

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Key Features and Benefits of using SNS

  • Fully managed service: One of the key benefits of using SNS is its ability to scale automatically. As the number of messages or recipients increases, SNS automatically allocates more resources to ensure that messages are delivered quickly and reliably. This eliminates the need for developers to manage the underlying infrastructure, allowing them to focus on building their applications.
  • Flexible delivery mechanisms: SNS supports push and pull delivery, so you can choose the delivery mechanism that best suits your needs. You can also use SNS as a fan-out mechanism to deliver a single message to multiple recipients simultaneously.
  • Multiple messaging formats: SNS supports a variety of messaging formats, including text, JSON, and XML, so you can send messages in the format that your application requires.
  • Global reach: SNS is available in multiple regions around the world, so you can send notifications to users in any region.
  • Integration with other AWS services: SNS integrates with other AWS services, such as Lambda and SQS, so you can use SNS as part of a larger application architecture on the AWS platform.
  • It supports a wide range of use cases. In addition to sending push notifications to mobile devices, SNS can be used for a variety of other purposes, including publishing messages to Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, sending emails, triggering AWS Lambda functions, and more. This flexibility makes it a versatile service that can be used in a wide range of applications.

To use SNS, developers first need to create a topic, which is a logical access point for publishing and subscribing to messages. Topics are used to group related messages, making it easy to send messages to specific groups of recipients. For example, a developer might create a topic for a particular application, or a specific group of users.

Once a topic has been created, developers can use the SNS API to publish messages to the topic. The API allows developers to specify the message payload, the target endpoint, and any additional metadata, such as a message title or a message priority. SNS then delivers the message to the specified endpoints, using the appropriate delivery protocol.

Developers can also use SNS to subscribe to messages. When a message is published to a topic, SNS automatically delivers the message to all of the subscribed endpoints. This allows developers to build applications that receive notifications in real-time, without the need to poll for new messages.

Concepts of SNS

The concept of SNS consists mainly of three elements.

  • Topic: A topic is a logical access point for publishing and subscribing to messages. Topics are used to group related messages, allowing developers to send messages to specific groups of recipients.
  • Subscriptions: a subscription is a relationship between a topic and an endpoint. When a subscription is created, SNS automatically delivers messages published to the topic to the specified endpoint.
  • Publishers: a publisher is a user or application that sends messages to a topic. Publishers use the SNS API to publish messages to a topic, specifying the message payload, the target endpoint, and any additional metadata, such as a message title or a message priority.

Transport Protocols Supported by SNS

SNS supports notifications over several transport protocols.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) supports a range of transport protocols for delivering messages to endpoints. The specific transport protocols supported by SNS depend on the type of endpoint being used. Some of the transport protocols supported by SNS include:

  • HTTP: This protocol is used to deliver messages to HTTP endpoints, such as webhooks.
  • HTTPS: This protocol is used to deliver messages to HTTPS endpoints, such as webhooks.
  • SMS: This protocol is used to deliver messages to mobile phone numbers via SMS.
  • Email: This protocol is used to deliver messages to email addresses.
  • Amazon SQS: This protocol is used to deliver messages to Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues.
  • Application: This protocol is used to deliver messages to Amazon SNS mobile push endpoints.

In addition to these protocols, SNS also supports custom protocols, allowing developers to use SNS with their custom endpoints and delivery mechanisms. This makes it possible to use SNS with a wide range of endpoints and applications.


AWS SNS is a powerful and flexible cloud-based messaging service that can be used to send notifications to a wide range of endpoints. SNS supports multiple delivery protocols and integrates with other AWS services, making it easy to incorporate messaging into your applications and infrastructure. With its scalability, reliability, and integration capabilities, AWS SNS is a valuable tool for enabling communication and coordination among distributed systems. Whether you are building a mobile app, a web service, or a serverless application, AWS SNS can help you deliver timely and relevant notifications to your users.

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1. How does AWS SNS work?

ANS: – AWS SNS allows users to create topics, which are logical access points for publishing and subscribing to messages. Publishers can send messages to a topic, and subscribers can receive and process those messages. SNS automatically handles the delivery of messages to each subscribed endpoint, supporting multiple protocols such as SMS, email, and HTTP.

2. How do I get started with AWS SNS?

ANS: – To get started with AWS SNS, you will need to sign up for an AWS account and create an SNS topic. Then, you can use the AWS Management Console or the AWS SDK to publish messages to your topic and subscribe to endpoints to receive those messages. SNS provides detailed documentation and sample code to help you get started quickly and easily.

3. What are the costs associated with using AWS SNS?

ANS: – AWS SNS is a pay-as-you-go service, and you will be charged for the number of messages you send and the number of notifications delivered. SNS also charges for data transfer and SMS messages, as well as any other AWS services that you integrate with SNS, such as Lambda or SQS. You can use the AWS Pricing Calculator to estimate the cost of using SNS for your specific use case.


Sneha works as Software Developer - Frontend at CloudThat. She is a skilled Front-end developer with a passion for crafting visually appealing and intuitive websites. She is skilled in using technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and frameworks like ReactJS. Sneha has a deep understanding of web development principles and focuses on creating responsive and user-friendly designs. In her free time, she enjoys staying up to date with the latest developments in the industry and experimenting with new technologies.



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