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Getting started with AWS Cognito

Intro to AWS cognito and using it for app user authentication.

Basic goal of authentication is to give users an identity so its like introducing the participant before having a conversation. Thus enabling the security feature as we know who the user is and what info can be shared with him. And for that we need to have a memory of all the known people and ability to add more people in that list. This is called User Pool in technical term. That is a collection of users that have interaction with our application.

Cognito User Pools:

  • Sign in functionality for app users.
  • Integrate with API gateway and application load balancer.
  • Create a serverless database of user for your web & mobile apps
  • Simple login: Username password combination
  • Password reset
  • Email & Phone number verification
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Federated Identities: users from Facebook, Google, SAML
  • Feature: block users if their credentials are compromised elseware
  • Login sends back a JSON Web Token (JWT)

Cognito Identity Pools (Federated Identity):

  • Provide AWS credentials to users so they can access AWS resources directly.
  • Integrate with Cognito User Pools as an identity provider.

Some useful terms

Callback URL- where to redirect user once he is authenticated.

Sign out URL- where to redirect after signout.

Authorization code grants.

Allowed OAuth Flows and Implicit grant.

Hosted-ui provides a ready to use ui interface for authentication actions. For example login form, signup form, forget password feature is available to use and user is redirected to pages based on it.


  • There is also options to customize the built-in Sign-in and Sign-up webpages aka hosted-ui.

That's all folks! Let me know your feedback/suggestions in the comments.

- Ayush 🙂