AWS Simple Queue Service(SQS)- How does it work?

We all know that Amazon Web Service provides numerous inexpensive cloud computing services that make life easier for us to handle the humongous amounts of data in today’s technology-driven world. As of 2020, AWS offers 175 products and services in its platform. However back in November 2004, a couple of years after the AWS platform was newly launched, the very first service that was released for public usage was “SQS-**Simple Queue Service”. SQS **is the oldest available service in AWS.

What is SQS?

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In the simplest form, SQS is a message queue. It acts as a temporary repository for messages that are being exchanged between two components of a distributed system. These messages will stay in the queue until they are processed by a service.

So, What does SQS Mean?…

SQS(Simple Queue Service) is a distributed message queuing system that allows you to scale and decouple the components of an application so that they are independent. If your application has two microservice that need to communicate with each other. We can decouple this microservice by introducing an SQS queue in-between them so that microservice 1 can send the messages to the SQS queue while microservice 2 can pull the messages from the queue based on its capacity and discretion. This communication itself is Async in nature, thereby enabling decoupling.

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AWS Simple Queue Service(SQS)- How does it work?

AWS - Simple Queue Service (SQS)

Simple Queue Service(SQS):-

AWS SQS (Amazon Simple Queue Service) is a service that helps to align the message. Moreover, it also helps to enable the user to separate and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications. Amazon SQS makes it easy to manage the operating message-oriented middleware and enhances the developers to focus on their work. Amazon Simple Queue Service works at any volume without losing the message or requiring other services to be available. It helps to se nd, store, and receive messages between software components. AWS SQS can start with the help of the tools such as Amazon Console, command-line interface, and SDK.

As it is Software as a Service(SAAS), we don’t need to manage anything we just have to use it with our other applications or services provided by AWS.

In Amazon SQS there are two types of queues which are Standard Queue and AWS SQS FIFO. Standard queue offers at least one delivery and maximum throughput. The FIFO queues guarantee that the processed message takes place only once on the first in first out basis.

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Ajay Kapoor

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Christa  Stehr

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How To Unite AWS KMS with Serverless Application Model (SAM)

The Basics

AWS KMS is a Key Management Service that let you create Cryptographic keys that you can use to encrypt and decrypt data and also other keys. You can read more about it here.

Important points about Keys

Please note that the customer master keys(CMK) generated can only be used to encrypt small amount of data like passwords, RSA key. You can use AWS KMS CMKs to generate, encrypt, and decrypt data keys. However, AWS KMS does not store, manage, or track your data keys, or perform cryptographic operations with data keys.

You must use and manage data keys outside of AWS KMS. KMS API uses AWS KMS CMK in the encryption operations and they cannot accept more than 4 KB (4096 bytes) of data. To encrypt application data, use the server-side encryption features of an AWS service, or a client-side encryption library, such as the AWS Encryption SDK or the Amazon S3 encryption client.

Scenario

We want to create signup and login forms for a website.

Passwords should be encrypted and stored in DynamoDB database.

What do we need?

  1. KMS key to encrypt and decrypt data
  2. DynamoDB table to store password.
  3. Lambda functions & APIs to process Login and Sign up forms.
  4. Sign up/ Login forms in HTML.

Lets Implement it as Serverless Application Model (SAM)!

Lets first create the Key that we will use to encrypt and decrypt password.

KmsKey:
    Type: AWS::KMS::Key
    Properties: 
      Description: CMK for encrypting and decrypting
      KeyPolicy:
        Version: '2012-10-17'
        Id: key-default-1
        Statement:
        - Sid: Enable IAM User Permissions
          Effect: Allow
          Principal:
            AWS: !Sub arn:aws:iam::${AWS::AccountId}:root
          Action: kms:*
          Resource: '*'
        - Sid: Allow administration of the key
          Effect: Allow
          Principal:
            AWS: !Sub arn:aws:iam::${AWS::AccountId}:user/${KeyAdmin}
          Action:
          - kms:Create*
          - kms:Describe*
          - kms:Enable*
          - kms:List*
          - kms:Put*
          - kms:Update*
          - kms:Revoke*
          - kms:Disable*
          - kms:Get*
          - kms:Delete*
          - kms:ScheduleKeyDeletion
          - kms:CancelKeyDeletion
          Resource: '*'
        - Sid: Allow use of the key
          Effect: Allow
          Principal:
            AWS: !Sub arn:aws:iam::${AWS::AccountId}:user/${KeyUser}
          Action:
          - kms:DescribeKey
          - kms:Encrypt
          - kms:Decrypt
          - kms:ReEncrypt*
          - kms:GenerateDataKey
          - kms:GenerateDataKeyWithoutPlaintext
          Resource: '*'

The important thing in above snippet is the KeyPolicy. KMS requires a Key Administrator and Key User. As a best practice your Key Administrator and Key User should be 2 separate user in your Organisation. We are allowing all permissions to the root users.

So if your key Administrator leaves the organisation, the root user will be able to delete this key. As you can see **KeyAdmin **can manage the key but not use it and KeyUser can only use the key. ${KeyAdmin} and **${KeyUser} **are parameters in the SAM template.

You would be asked to provide values for these parameters during SAM Deploy.

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