The WebServius solution is optimized for monetizing data stored in Amazon SimpleDB. Although Amazon SimpleDB serves as a reliable and scalable data mechanism as well as a high-performance query engine, WebServius has added its own billing and API management layer on top (see the diagram below).
The WebServius system works by loading the data to be sold into an Amazon SimpleDB domain. For example, one of the company’s key clients is Mergent (http://www.mergent.com ), a leading provider of global company fundamental data. This data includes as reported and standardized financial data, historical stock prices, dividends, corporate actions, and executive compensation data for publicly-traded US and Canadian companies. In Mergent’s case, a database is loaded with historical stock quotes and other financial information.
Another key client is Compass Marketing Solutions, which compiles business and consumer lists that are used for direct marketing purposes. Its business data file includes contact information, industry information, credit scores, number of employees, and similar information for over 16 million businesses of all sizes in the U.S. In this case, WebServius has loaded a database with a listing of all businesses in the United States.
After the databases are loaded, the Amazon SimpleDB account is then connected to the WebServius System. Data vendors configure the WebServius System to match their needs, while the system provides flexible pay-per-use pricing structures – such as price-per-row or price-per-column. The WebServius System automatically provisions a front-end portal for data buyers plus a back-end system for querying and retrieving the data.
The back-end system serves as an interface between the data buyers and the data stored in SimpleDB by intercepting all requests for data. After logging the requests, the system validates that they are from a legitimate buyer with sufficient funds and then forwards the requests to Amazon SimpleDB for processing. When Amazon SimpleDB responds, the WebServius System bills the buyer and returns the data to the buyer.
Building the WebServius solution comprised several programming languages and tools. The solution runs on the .NET Framework (developed in C#), with ASP.NET used for the front-end, and Windows Communication Foundation for the back-end. AWS’s .NET Software Development Kit (SDK) provides extensive interface with Amazon SimpleDB.
Prior to moving to AWS technology, WebServius manually handled the structured data storage and querying. This was a labor-intensive and expensive process, taking valuable resources away from other critical tasks. Since working with AWS, WebServius has streamlined its operations while significantly reducing overhead and improving efficiency.
Elaborating on valuable lessons learned during the AWS development process, Eugene Osovetsky, CTO, explains: “The #1 lesson learned is that we should have done this sooner! There is enormous power hidden in AWS offerings, and other technical decision makers (especially those faced with similar problems to ours) would do well to explore this potential before trying to recreate similar systems in-house.”
Osovetsky also relates that AWS has helped business because “the ability to quickly and cheaply onboard new customers is absolutely critical to the success of our business. By leveraging Amazon SimpleDB, we have made astonishing progress on that front, cutting our time and cost per customer by a factor of 5 to 10, and significantly increasing our customers’ confidence in the reliability of scalability of the resulting solution.”
To learn more, visit http://www.webservius.com/ .