January 2009

Newsletter #45

Greetings AWS Developers,

As we ring in the new year, we look forward to the new challenges and achievements that await us all in 2009. In this month's newsletter we have highlighted a number of exciting announcements from AWS: Amazon EC2 in Europe, Public Data Sets and new features for Amazon S3 and SimpleDB. Also, we have included some new entries from our Solutions Catalog.

News & Announcements

To keep you up-to-date, here are the latest news items and announcements from AWS.

EC2 Crosses the Atlantic
Developers and businesses can now run their Amazon EC2 instances in the EU to help achieve lower latency, operate closer to other resources like Amazon S3 in the EU, and meet EU data storage requirements when required. The new European Region for Amazon EC2 contains two Availability Zones enabling you to easily run fault-tolerant applications with the same scalability, reliability and cost efficiency achieved with Amazon EC2 in the US.

Public Data Sets
AWS has announced the availability of public data sets hosted in Elastic Block Store (EBS), part of Amazon EC2. These data sets are available for free, with only EC2 runtime charges for accessing and using the data. The first data sets come from various biology, chemistry, and economic sources.

Requester Pays Option for Amazon S3
Amazon S3 has released the Requester Pays feature that makes it easy and cost-effective to share data stored in Amazon S3. You can now configure a bucket to bill the requester, rather than the bucket owner, for both request and bandwidth fees. Also, when used in conjunction with Amazon DevPay, you can sell access to data stored in Amazon S3 either as a subscription or by marking up individual request fees.

New SQL-like SELECT API for Amazon SimpleDB
To make it even easier to get started with SimpleDB, the SimpleDB team has released the SELECT API, which is very similar to the SQL syntax. The introduction of this query option allows developers to quickly become productive using the web service without sacrificing the intrinsic benefits of the SimpleDB model: scalability, flexibility, and high availability.

Featured Case Study: Channel Intelligence
In commercial applications, automated subjective intelligence is neither cheap nor easy to implement. Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, Channel Intelligence was able to leverage human intelligence around the globe and decrease task-specific costs by 85%. Read the full story.

Chief of the Year: Amazon CTO Werner Vogels
InformationWeek has named Werner Vogels, CTO of, Chief of the Year. Read how Werner and the AWS executive team have played an instrumental role in building AWS’ cloud computing platform.

Developer Resources

Here are a few highlights and new additions to our Developer Resource Center.

Making Secure Requests to Amazon Web Services
Ensuring the integrity of requests to our APIs is of the utmost importance to AWS, as is maintaining your trust and confidence. This article provides detailed information about making secure requests: 1. Always use SSL-protected API endpoints. 2. If you are not using SOAP, use Signature Version 2, a new method for signing requests for Amazon SQS, Amazon SimpleDB, and Amazon EC2. These methods will be required as of September 30, 2009 so we urge you to read this article and migrate your applications as soon as possible.

Manager for Amazon CloudFront
A Windows application for uploading files to Amazon S3 and distributing them through Amazon CloudFront.

Stock Quote Example: Using Amazon SQS for Scale
This article shows how Amazon Simple Queue Service can be used to build a highly reliable, highly scalable application.

Featured Solutions

Check out what your peers have built with AWS. These solutions include interesting web applications built on top of AWS as well as tools that help you integrate with AWS.

Vembu StoreGrid’s online backup software now supports AWS. Now you can start an Online Backup Service with your backup server running on Amazon EC2 and using Amazon S3/EBS for storage.

RunMyProcess delivers a cutting edge and ergonomic “BPM as a service” platform, enabling rapid SaaS integration and workflow applications design.

Dropbox is a desktop file sharing tool that makes it easy to store, sync, and share files online. Dropbox automatically backs-up files to Amazon S3 and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

AWS On The Road

If you are interested in starting or joining an AWS user group in 2009, learn more. You can see more events and sign up for a private meeting or a formal presentation on the AWS Evangelist Wiki Calendar.

Cloud Connect
January 20, Mountain View, CA

DLD Conference
January 25, Munich, Germany

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