Business Tools / Support, Sales, and Marketing / Email Marketing
Needs advice


I am in the process of building a mobile application and releasing it to the AppStore. Currently, we're in a TestFlight Beta with ~ 1500 users with a front-end only native iOS app. Before releasing it to production, we would like to add the following functionalities:

  1. User email authentication

  2. Being able to store and synchronise individual user's data ( generated while interacting with the app each day -> "user session" ) between various devices

  3. Having user session data ( anonymized ) available for an admin via a visual interface for querying, generating insights

  4. Simple crud interface for remote configs

  5. a/b testing

  6. GDPR requirements ( e.g. workflows for removing or exporting user data, ideally a way to keep the anonymized data too )

  7. Integration with 3rd party services like Mailchimp or Mixpanel ( which we already use, data is sent directly from the app )

Would appreciate any help with finding the right solution for this case given:

  1. Costs (we don't expect large media files storage)

  2. Flexibility to add new features related to the backend in the future

  3. Infra setup and maintenance

What I've been thinking so far was one of: 1. BaaS AWS/Firebase 2. Custom backend with PostgreSQL 3. PaaS of a Realm type (mobile app already uses Realm for local persistence)


2 upvotes90.7K views
Software Engineer at Amazon

I only know Java and so thinking of building a web application in the following order. I need some help on what alternatives I can choose. Open to replace components, services, or infrastructure.

  • Frontend: AngularJS, Bootstrap
  • Web Framework: Spring Boot
  • Database: Amazon DynamoDB
  • Authentication: Auth0
  • Deployment: Amazon EC2 Container Service
  • Local Testing: Docker
  • Marketing: Mailchimp (Separately Export from Auth0)
  • Website Domain: GoDaddy
  • Routing: Amazon Route 53

PS: Open to exploring options of going completely native ( AWS Lambda, AWS Security but have to learn all)

6 upvotes80.8K views
Replies (2)
Founder and CEO at Facile Technolab Pvt Ltd

I would recommend to upgrade your stack and consider Angular.

Also, if you are working with docker, instead of manually managing your EC2 and docker inside it, switch to ECS as its free of cost and hassle free way to deploy and keep running your containers efficiently.

Good luck.

4 upvotes6.5K views

Instead of Docker , no doubt its great but it has vulnerabilitis and restricitions with dameon and root thread. I would pickup Podman. Also Ambasador is a culmination of Gateway LB and ServiceMesh on istio and Envoy. Great for both East-west and North south microservices communication, policy managment and security with Istio. Spring Boot is not a WebFW. For platform web fw one can use Reactive like SPring WebFlow rather than Spring MVC. For java experience, Spring provides great assets.

I will switch to using Kubernetes whether managed or custom depends on several factors rather than AWS ecs. For LB Amabassador is a great alternative on AWS. One can simply use this on top of ECS clusters. Instead of running in to different frameworks one can simply use one FW at both client and server side for consuming and SSE. I believe one can look at Lot of it depends what you need a full FW or a light librarry like React to be part of V in your MVC. Whether you need a SPA , on Mobile etc... in that case KOTLIN is also another option on Java. Dont go with Android. Best luck. Swapnil S

3 upvotes5.5K views
Needs advice

Hey! We are Raisegiving, a payments platform geared towards helping nonprofits raise money and manage donors. We are looking to give our Users (Admins of nonprofits) the ability to integrate their Raisegiving account with other tools such as Mailchimp and QuickBooks.

Examples of desired use cases:

  • Users should be able to sync Raisegiving audience with their Mailchimp audience, trigger the creation of a new Mailchimp audience based on data from their Raisegiving account.
  • Donations made on our platform should sync with users Quickbooks account.

Does anyone have any helpful insights into the pros and cons of vs Zapier?

6 upvotes36.3K views
Replies (1)
President & Full Stack Enginee at Narro, LLC
Zapier is expensive and only makes sense in a few rare occasions where you need 2-way constant data binding in a 'loop' where Zapier is more like an automation swiss army knife. is aimed exclusively at enterprise while Zapier supports businesses of any size. is very expensive and Zapier is much more reasonable especially early on before you have massive amounts of zaps.

You may also want to look at Integromat but Zapier would be my choice in this case. I almost don't see as being something worth considering for your particular use case unless there's a massive scale behind your product that I'm unaware of (absurd amounts of tasks in the hundreds of thousands).

Zapier also has a great community and an "experts" program in the event that you want to outsource your automation.

3 upvotes1 comment14.4K views
Yisroel New
Yisroel New
July 13th 2020 at 5:39PM

Thanks Bob!

Needs advice
Amazon SES

I would like to know how I can implement a transactional email, or if it is possible to do so, like Mailchimp, using Amazon SES. I want to have the flexibility of creating emails like MailChimp, with a bulk email sending capability. Is it as simple with AWS SES as it is with MailChimp? If so, then how can I implement that for my own product? Thanks!

6 upvotes16.2K views
Replies (2)
Full Stack Product Designer at Serif & Semaphore

I'd look at SendGrid for bulk and transactional emails. They have a template system where you upload/save templates on their end that you refer to when you use their API. You then pass an object with key/value pairs for replacements in the template. I believe they are handlebars templates. Anyway, you can send in bulk this way.

It will be far cheaper to DIY with AWS SES, but you have to code quite a bit yourself. You may want to look if there's any open source project that helps here. I'm not aware of any, I'd have to Google it.

One downside of SendGrid is that testing things is difficult. They have a "sandbox" that will tell you if the API request is correct, but it's a bit useless. It doesn't let you see if your email looks correct and that the data was replaced correctly. So if as you code and test you're going to be sending real emails. Less than ideal for a QA team. I wish SendGrid had a Mailtrap type feature. Then you can send to any email address you like and just have it land in a fake email bin that you can share with your team. To me, this is a critical feature SendGrid is missing. Other than that, I've been happy with SendGrid. A little pricey I think, but they do a great job retrying to send email, adding emails to a suppression list, etc. Again, all nice features you'd be on the hook for building if you went with something custom with SES. So factor in time savings and SendGrid has great value. Long term and depending on your volume, that may be a different story.

5 upvotes3.3K views
CEO, lead developer at Localazy

Mailchimp is more user-oriented while Amazon SES is a cheaper solution more suitable for being an SMTP server. If you need to send occasional emails manually, go with Mailchimp or another provider. If you want to send transactional emails from your app, Amazon SES is the best choice.

1 upvote3.2K views