Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company, has announced the unveiling of AWS AppFabric, a no-code service that enhances companies’ existing investment in software as a service (SaaS) applications with improved security, management, and productivity. With just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, information technology (IT) and security teams can use AppFabric to add new capabilities that make their existing SaaS applications and productivity suites work better together. AppFabric aggregates and normalizes log data from apps like Asana, Slack, and Zoom, as well as productivity suites such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, to increase application observability and reduce operational costs associated with building and maintaining point-to-point integrations. AWS also unveiled a generative artificial intelligence (AI) feature that will be available in a future release of AppFabric. Powered by Amazon Bedrock, this feature will use large language models (LLMs) and content from multiple SaaS applications from the common API layer to automatically make suggestions, execute tasks, or generate insights across applications and return results within the user’s preferred application.
To boost employee productivity in certain fields (e.g., communications, content management, customer relations, data analytics, finance, security and more), companies license and manage a growing number of SaaS applications that can exceed 100 per organization. While their goal is to make these purpose-built applications make employees more productive, the applications rarely work well together, creating security and productivity challenges. Each app has distinct controls, logs and interfaces, making them challenging for IT and security teams to manage. These teams must often build point-to-point integrations for every SaaS app they use, and each integration can take weeks or months to complete, with additional and continued maintenance costs over time. What’s more, each SaaS application has its own set of proprietary APIs and data formats, making the data highly variable and therefore difficult to analyze for usage patterns. Even monolithic, one-size-fits-all platforms don’t normalize data from third-party apps into an open standard format. The high variability and lack of standardization of SaaS data increase security risks across an entire organization.
With today’s launch, AWS AppFabric helps customers connect and manage some of the most widely used SaaS applications and productivity suites all in one location, including Asana, the Atlassian Jira suite, Dropbox, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Miro, Okta, Slack, Smartsheet, Webex by Cisco, Zendesk, and Zoom. Within the AWS Management Console, customers select the list of applications their organization uses to connect to AppFabric. Then, AppFabric automatically provides a standardized set of security and operational data for every connected app. IT and security teams do not need to build point-to-point integrations, manage those integrations, and analyze disparate security data. AppFabric improves an organization’s security posture by connecting SaaS applications to security tools like Logz.io, Netskope, Netwitness, Rapid7, and Splunk. AppFabric aggregates and normalizes security data using the Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF), an open community schema, making the data accessible by these tools. Utilizing this framework, IT and security professionals can analyze data more easily and set common policies, alerts, and a unified set of rules spanning multiple SaaS applications. With AppFabric, customers avoid the heavy lifting of point-to-point app integration and management, so they can work more productively and securely.
“At AWS, our customers build and use powerful applications to support employee productivity, but we increasingly hear that integrating, managing, and securing apps is a major pain point for IT and security teams,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of Applications at AWS. “Building dozens of custom point-to-point integrations and monitoring data and usage without normalization isn’t practical in the long term. With AppFabric, customers now have a simple solution to deploy and scale the world’s most widely used applications in a way that helps organizations cut costs, increase productivity, and improve security.”
AWS AppFabric is generally available today in the US East (N. Virginia), Europe (Ireland) and Asia Pacific (Tokyo), with availability in additional AWS Regions coming soon.
In addition to the functionality available now, AppFabric will soon include generative AI capabilities — powered by Amazon Bedrock — that will help customers complete a variety of tasks based on context from multiple applications. Today, users have to dig through several apps or copy-and-paste from different data sources to answer questions, compile reports, or create content. All of this context switching and managing apps reduces employees’ productivity and inhibits collaboration. AppFabric generative AI will span SaaS applications to help users spend less time toggling between applications to source information or complete tasks like generating meeting notes, drafting update emails, or creating project updates. With the new AI feature, users can get help completing specific tasks and delivering results in the format of their preferred app. For example, a user can prompt the AI assistant to create a to-do list that combines details from multiple sources like email threads, chat conversations, and word-processing documents. Similarly, users can ask AppFabric to create talking points, a status report, or a project summary based on content from across a portfolio of apps. The AI assistant will use AppFabric’s integrations to work seamlessly across multiple applications so that users can save time and focus on their most important tasks.