Amazon.com put its latest cloud-based developer tool into beta testing in mid-December, likely after extensive internal testing.
SimpleDB, a Web-based database designed to interface with Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) online storage solution and its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) online application-hosting service, "is not a simple Web service," said Jeffrey Hammond, senior analyst in application development at Forrester Research.
SimpleDB was created for developers that need a less expensive, easy-to-use database for real-time queries. The applications it supports are by and large unrelated to Amazon's core e-commerce business, but were developed within the growing Amazon solutions platform. They connect to popular content-sharing sites such as SmugMug, Flickr, Second Life and Photobucket and other online destinations at which registered users upload files to Amazon's storage service.
"Amazon has a platform for a large, broadscale site that it used for its online store, and it has taken parts of it and released it in chunks," said Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner. "SimpleDB is the most recent part of the platform."
And although each part functions independently, "most developers that use one piece use more than one," he said.
"It's a question of what sort of applications is it painful for developers to get their own operations group to set up and maintain a dedicated database for?" Hammond said.
"If you are involved in a departmental level application, trying to do some innovation design or building an Web-centric app, it would be quicker to use SimpleDB to experiment as opposed…
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