Amazon Q Apps, now generally available, enables users to build their own generative AI apps

This post was originally published on this site

When we launched Amazon Q Business in April 2024, we also previewed Amazon Q Apps. Amazon Q Apps is a capability within Amazon Q Business for users to create generative artificial intelligence (generative AI)–powered apps based on the organization’s data. Users can build apps using natural language and securely publish them to the organization’s app library for everyone to use.

After collecting your feedback and suggestions during the preview, today we’re making Amazon Q Apps generally available. We’re also adding some new capabilities that were not available during the preview, such as API for Amazon Q Apps and the ability to specify data sources at the individual card level.

I’ll expand on the new features in a moment, but let’s first look into how to get started with Amazon Q Apps.

Transform conversations into reusable apps
Amazon Q Apps allows users to generate an app from their conversation with Amazon Q Business. Amazon Q Apps intelligently captures the context of conversation to generate an app tailored to specific needs. Let’s see it in action!

As I started writing this post, I thought of getting help from Amazon Q Business to generate a product overview of Amazon Q Apps. After all, Amazon Q Business is for boosting workforce productivity. So, I uploaded the product messaging documents to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket and added it as a data source using Amazon S3 connector for Amazon Q Business.

I start my conversation with the prompt:

I’m writing a launch post for Amazon Q Apps.
Here is a short description of the product: Employees can create lightweight, purpose-built Amazon Q Apps within their broader Amazon Q Business application environment.
Generate an overview of the product and list its key features.

Amazon Q Business Chat

After starting the conversation, I realize that creating a product overview given a product description would also be useful for others in the organization. I choose Create Amazon Q App to create a reusable and shareable app.

Amazon Q Business automatically generates a prompt to create an Amazon Q App and displays the prompt to me to verify and edit if need be:

Build an app that takes in a short text description of a product or service, and outputs an overview of that product/service and a list of its key features, utilizing data about the product/service known to Q.

Amazon Q Apps Creator

I choose Generate to continue the creation of the app. It creates a Product Overview Generator app with four cards—two input cards to get user inputs and two output cards that display the product overview and its key features.

Product Overview Generator App

I can adjust the layout of the app by resizing the cards and moving them around.

Also, the prompts for the individual text output cards are automatically generated so I can view and edit them. I choose the edit icon of the Product Overview card to see the prompt in the side panel.

In the side panel, I can also select the source for the text output card to generate the output using either large language model (LLM) knowledge or approved data sources. For the approved data sources, I can select one or more data sources that are configured for this Amazon Q Business application. I select the Marketing (Amazon S3) data source I had configured for creating this app.

Edit Text Output Card Prompt and select source

As you would notice, I generated a fully functional app from the conversation itself without having to make any changes to the base prompt or the individual text output card prompts.

I can now publish this app to the organization’s app library by choosing Publish. But before publishing the app, let’s look at another way to create Amazon Q apps.

Create generative AI apps using natural language
Instead of using conversation in Amazon Q Business as a starting point to create an app, I can choose Apps and use my own words to describe the app I want to create. Or I can try out the prompts from one of the preconfigured examples.

Amazon Q App

I can enter the prompt to fit the purpose and choose Generate to create the app.

Share apps with your team
Once you’re happy with both layouts and prompts, and are ready to share the app, you can publish the app to a centralized app library to give access to all users of this Amazon Q Business application environment.

Amazon Q Apps inherits the robust security and governance controls from Amazon Q Business, ensuring that data sources, user permissions, and guardrails are maintained. So, when other users run the app, they only see responses based on data they have access to in the underlying data sources.

For the Product Overview Generator app I created, I choose Publish. It displays the preview of the app and provides an option to select up to three labels. Labels help classify the apps by departments in the organization or any other categories. After selecting the labels, I choose Publish again on the preview popup.

Publish Amazon Q App

The app will instantly be available in the Amazon Q Apps library for others to use, copy, and build on top of. I choose Library to browse the Amazon Q Apps Library and find my Product Overview Generator app.

Amazon Q Apps Library

Customize apps in the app library for your specific needs
Amazon Q Apps allows users to quickly scale their individual or team productivity by customizing and tailoring shared apps to their specific needs. Instead of starting from scratch, users can review existing apps, use them as-is, or modify them and publish their own versions to the app library.

Let’s browse the app library and find an app to customize. I choose the label General to find apps in that category.

Document Editing Assistant App

I see a Document Editing Assistant app that reviews documents to correct grammatical mistakes. I would like to create a new version of the app to include a document summary too. Let’s see how we can do it.

I choose Open, and it opens the app with an option to Customize.

Open Document Editing Assistant App

I choose Customize, and it creates a copy of the app for me to modify it.

Customize App

I update the Title and Description of the app by choosing the edit icon of the app title.

I can see the original App Prompt that was used to generate this app. I can copy the prompt and use it as the starting point to create a similar app by updating it to include a description of the functionality that I would like to add and have Amazon Q Apps Creator take care of it. Or I can continue modifying this copy of the app.

There is an option to edit or delete existing cards. For example, I can edit the prompt of the Edited Document text output card by choosing the edit icon of the card.

Edit Text Output Card Prompt

To add more features, you can add more cards, such as a user input, text output, file upload, or preconfigured plugin by your administrator. The file upload card, for example, can be used to provide a file as another data source to refine or fine-tune the answers to your questions. The plugin card can be used, for example, to create a Jira ticket for any action item that needs to be performed as a follow-up.

I choose Text output to add a new card that will summarize the document. I enter the title as Document Summary and prompt as follows:

Summarize the key points in @Upload Document in a couple of sentences

Add Text Output Card

Now, I can publish this customized app as a new app and share it with everyone in the organization.

What did we add after the preview?

As I mentioned, we have used your feedback and suggestions during the preview period to add new capabilities. Here are the new features we have added:

Specify data sources at card level – As I have shown while creating the app, you can specify data sources you would like the output to be generated from. We added this feature to improve the accuracy of the responses.

Your Amazon Q business instance can have multiple data sources configured. However, to create an app, you might need only a subset of these data sources, based on the use case. So now you can choose specific data sources for each of the text output cards in your app. Or if your usecase requires, you can configure the text output cards to use LLM knowledge instead of using any data sources.

Amazon Q Apps API – You can now create and manage Amazon Q Apps programmatically with APIs for managing apps, app library and app sessions. This allows you to integrate all the functionalities of Amazon Q Apps into the tools and applications of your choice.

Things to know:

  • Regions – Amazon Q Apps is generally available today in the Regions where Amazon Q Business is available, which are the US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) Regions.
  • Pricing – Amazon Q Apps is available with the Amazon Business Pro subscription ($20 per user per month), which gives users access to all the features of Amazon Q Business.
  • Learning resources – To learn more, visit Amazon Q Apps in the Amazon Q Business User Guide.

–  Prasad

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