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AWS How-To: Amazon Simple Notification Service Getting Started

The Amazon Simple Notification Service (or SNS) is an Amazon Web Services solution that pushes notifications to mobile devices.
SNS can be used to send text messages, but it also has other uses. SNS can be used to notify administrators when a job is completed.
SNS charges a fee if you’re curious. There are no upfront fees and the usage costs are lower that you might think. Mobile push notifications are currently charged at $0.50 per million (yes that is correct). Users who subscribe to the free tier receive 1,000,000 push notifications. Other types of notifications, such as SMS, HTTPS and e-mail can incur additional charges.
The complete pricing structure can be found here. You can also find the complete pricing structure on that page.
AWS makes it easy for you to use SNS. SNS is a multifaceted tool. This is the key point to remember about SNS usage. The steps of usage will vary depending on the purpose of your SNS. As I mentioned, SNS can be used by Glacier to receive notifications and can also be used to send SMS messages. SNS can be used by your applications to send notifications.
Logging into AWS console and clicking the SNS link on the home screen will allow you to access SNS. This link is located under the Mobile Services section. This will take to the SNS dashboard as shown in Figure 1.
[Click on the image to see a larger view.] Figure 1: The SNS Dashboard. The dashboard is quite simple, as you can see from the above figure. It links to five main SNS actions. The Resources section is something you should pay attention to. This section lists the area in which you are currently working. It is important to be aware of your area as you may need to match it with other resources you use in conjunction with SNS.
Create Topic is the first common action on the dashboard. Clicking on Create Topic will bring up the Create New Topic dialog box. Figure 2.
[Click on the image to see a larger view.] Figure 2: Topic names are basically unique resource identifiers. A topic is essentially an identifier. It is a name that identifies an AWS resource. This name is known as an Amazon Resource Name. This dialog box is easy to populate, as you can see from the above figure. Enter a topic name, and a display name.
Next on the SNS dashboard, you will find Create Platform Application. This option allows you to enable SNS notifications on an application. Figure 3 shows that to associate SNS with an app, the administrator must provide four pieces information: the application name, the push notifications platform to use, and a clientID and client secret. These are the credentials that allow the application to connect to the chosen push notification platform.
[Click on the image to see a larger version.] Figure 3: This interface allows you to enable SNS notifications on applications. Another common action is to sign up for a subscription. Although I mentioned the creation and use of topics in my previous post, I didn’t say exactly what they were used for. A topic is a communication channel. You can subscribe endpoints for a topic using the Create Subscription interface (see Figure 4). This allows messages to be published to the topic to be sent to all subscribed endpoints. As you can see,