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Amazon SNS vs Amazon SQS: What are the differences?

Amazon SNS: Fully managed push messaging service. Amazon Simple Notification Service makes it simple and cost-effective to push to mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and internet connected smart devices, as well as pushing to other distributed services. Besides pushing cloud notifications directly to mobile devices, SNS can also deliver notifications by SMS text message or email, to Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, or to any HTTP endpoint; Amazon SQS: Fully managed message queuing service. Transmit any volume of data, at any level of throughput, without losing messages or requiring other services to be always available. With SQS, you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available messaging cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.

Amazon SNS and Amazon SQS are primarily classified as "Mobile Push Messaging" and "Message Queue" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Amazon SNS are:

  • In most cases, developers can get started with Amazon SNS by using just three APIs: CreateTopic, Subscribe, and Publish. Additional APIs are available, which provide more advanced functionality.
  • With SNS you can publish a message once, and deliver it one or more times. So you can choose to direct unique messages to individual Apple, Google or Amazon devices, or broadcast deliveries to many mobile devices with a single publish request.
  • SNS allows you to group multiple recipients using topics. A topic is an “access point” for allowing recipients to dynamically subscribe for identical copies of the same notification. One topic can support deliveries to multiple endpoint types -- for example, you can group together iOS, Android and SMS recipients. When you publish once to a topic, SNS delivers appropriately formatted copies of your message to each subscriber.

On the other hand, Amazon SQS provides the following key features:

  • A queue can be created in any region.
  • The message payload can contain up to 256KB of text in any format. Each 64KB ‘chunk’ of payload is billed as 1 request. For example, a single API call with a 256KB payload will be billed as four requests.
  • Messages can be sent, received or deleted in batches of up to 10 messages or 256KB. Batches cost the same amount as single messages, meaning SQS can be even more cost effective for customers that use batching.

According to the StackShare community, Amazon SQS has a broader approval, being mentioned in 384 company stacks & 103 developers stacks; compared to Amazon SNS, which is listed in 230 company stacks and 78 developer stacks.

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What is Amazon SNS?

Amazon Simple Notification Service makes it simple and cost-effective to push to mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and internet connected smart devices, as well as pushing to other distributed services. Besides pushing cloud notifications directly to mobile devices, SNS can also deliver notifications by SMS text message or email, to Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, or to any HTTP endpoint.

What is Amazon SQS?

Transmit any volume of data, at any level of throughput, without losing messages or requiring other services to be always available. With SQS, you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available messaging cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    What are some alternatives to Amazon SNS and Amazon SQS?
    Amazon Pinpoint
    Amazon Pinpoint makes it easy to run targeted campaigns to drive user engagement in mobile apps. Amazon Pinpoint helps you understand user behavior, define which users to target, determine which messages to send, schedule the best time to deliver the messages, and then track the results of your campaign.
    Twilio
    Twilio offers developers a powerful API for phone services to make and receive phone calls, and send and receive text messages. Their product allows programmers to more easily integrate various communication methods into their software and programs.
    Amazon MQ
    Amazon MQ is a managed message broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that makes it easy to set up and operate message brokers in the cloud.
    Firebase
    Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
    Google Cloud Messaging
    Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) is a free service that enables developers to send messages between servers and client apps. This includes downstream messages from servers to client apps, and upstream messages from client apps to servers.
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    How developers use Amazon SNS and Amazon SQS
    Avatar of Karma
    Karma uses Amazon SQSAmazon SQS

    In the beginning we thought we wanted to start using something like RabbitMQ or maybe Kafka or maybe ActiveMQ. Back then we only had a few developers and no ops people. That has changed now, but we didn't really look forward to setting up a queuing cluster and making sure that all works.

    What we did instead was we looked at what services Amazon offers to see if we can use those to build our own messaging system within those services. That's basically what we did. We wrote some clients in Ruby that can basically do the entire orchestration for us, and we run all our messaging on both SNS and SQS. Basically what you can do in Amazon services is you can use Amazon Simple Notification Service, so SNS, for creating topics and you can use queues to subscribe to these topics. That's basically all you need for a messaging system. You don't have to worry about scalability at all. That's what really appealed to us.

    Avatar of Brandon Adams
    Brandon Adams uses Amazon SQSAmazon SQS

    This isn't exactly low-latency (10s to 100s of milliseconds), but it has good throughput and a simple API. There is good reliability, and there is no configuration necessary to get up and running. A hosted queue is important when trying to move fast.

    Avatar of Simple Merchant
    Simple Merchant uses Amazon SNSAmazon SNS

    Our primary transport mechanism for events. One SNS topic carries a specific event type and n-number of subscribers (usually a Lambda) may subscribe to that event.

    Avatar of Simple Merchant
    Simple Merchant uses Amazon SQSAmazon SQS

    SQS is the bridge between our new Lambda services and our incumbent Rails applications. Extremely easy to use when you're already using other AWS infrastructure.

    Avatar of Grozip
    Grozip uses Amazon SNSAmazon SNS

    Amazon SNS is used for push notification to push notifications of the occurrence of different events during operations of our computing resources on AWS cloud.

    Avatar of Told
    Told uses Amazon SNSAmazon SNS

    We use SNS for platform-agnostic mobile push message handling, essentially to avoid dealing with APNS ourselves.

    Avatar of Olo
    Olo uses Amazon SQSAmazon SQS

    Primary message queue. Enqueueing operations revert to a local file-system-based queue when SQS is unavailable.

    Avatar of Volkan Özçelik
    Volkan Özçelik uses Amazon SNSAmazon SNS

    I mainly use it for the infrastructure notifications and alarms of zerotoherojs.com ’s learning dashboards.

    Avatar of IndiTip
    IndiTip uses Amazon SQSAmazon SQS

    I can't afford to lose data if Dynamo throttles my writes, so everything goes into a message queue first.

    Avatar of betterPT
    betterPT uses Amazon SNSAmazon SNS

    SNS is at the core of our messaging - we use the fan out pattern.

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