Amazon set to start testing Web database

Says SimpleDB technology will support fast queries of structured data

Amazon.com will soon begin a limited-release test of an upcoming Web-based database that will work closely with its S3 online storage service and EC2 online application hosting service.

The database, called SimpleDB, is aimed at application developers looking for a less expensive, easier-to-use alternative to a full relational database, primarily for running real-time queries against structured data.

SimpleDB "provides the core functionality of a database -- real-time lookup and simple querying of structured data -- without the operational complexity," according to information posted on Amazon.com's Web site. The database service will automatically index data and do performance tuning, allowing Web developers to work without the aid of a full-time database administrator, the company said.

Users interested in participating in the limited beta, which is scheduled to start in several weeks, can sign up on the Amazon.com site, although doing so requires that you either have an existing Amazon account or create one.

Despite being best known as an online retailer, Amazon.com's moves into cloud-based computing -- an arena that Microsoft, IBM and other IT vendors also want to dominate -- have been hailed by some users, especially those involved in Web 2.0 computing.

The cost of the company's services is one of the benefits that have been cited. For instance, S3 lets users store 1GB of data for just 15 cents per month.

Storing data in structured form in SimpleDB, instead of the raw storage that S3 offers, will cost US$1.50 per gigabyte monthly, according to Amazon.com. In addition, the company said that database requests will cost 14 cents for each machine hour of processing time used, based on the hourly capacity of a "circa 2007" 1.7-GHz Xeon processor. The cost of transferring data into SimpleDB will be 10 cents per gigabyte, while outward data transfers will start at US$0.18 per gigabyte for the first 10TB of information transferred in a given month.

SimpleDB is designed to store relatively small amounts of information and then to provide fast access to the data, Amazon.com noted. To keep storage costs down, it recommends that users store large objects and files in S3 and put pointers and metadata associated with the files in SimpleDB.

The Amazon.com technology isn't the first "Database 2.0" service to hit the market. Trackvia formally launched its online database in August, and the IT Redux Web site lists 13 others including Google's Google Base and Intuit's QuickBase.

Developers who want more features than a Web-based database provides can use MySQL AB's namesake open-source software and store data in Amazon.com's S3 service via a third-party plug-in.

Users also can connect data stored in S3 to database applications hosted in EC2. S3 is shorthand for Simple Storage Service, while EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?