Amazon Kinesis Analytics lets devs analyze real-time data with SQL

The service is designed to make it easier to ingest and process big data

Amazon launched a new tool on Thursday aimed at helping developers build applications that offer insights from a firehose of data in real time. Kinesis Analytics will let users set up SQL queries that run on data that's constantly updating, expanding the reach of the popular data analysis language beyond traditional database applications. 

Once a user has set up a Kinesis Analytics stream, the results can then be routed to up to four different services, including Amazon S3, Redshift, and Elasticsearch Service.

It's a service that's useful for bringing in data from sources that are rapidly shifting in real time, like sensor information from the internet of things, or live data from a stock market. That's key as more and more companies start leaning on big sets of live data to help drive business applications. 

The launch of Kinesis Analytics is a big deal for data analysts and developers, said IDC analyst Al Hilwa said.

"SQL is one of the biggest skill sets out there according to the surveys we do, and bringing it to Kinesis is likely to be well received," he said in an email.

Queries are run on a "processing window," which blocks off a particular subset of all the data coming in. The company supports three types of windows, aimed at supporting applications like those analyzing the frequency of requests over a particular period of time, or computing rolling averages from a constantly-updating data set. 

The service links into Amazon's other Kinesis services: Kinesis Streams and Kinesis Firehose, which are each designed to ingest data into Amazon's cloud. Because the data processed using Kinesis Analytics fits well into other AWS services, it may help drive companies to consume more and more of the cloud platform’s services at a time when Amazon faces fierce competition.

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