Where to start with Amazon web services (AWS)

What is the Amazon Web Service (AWS)?

From Amazon's AWS site (now rebranded Amazon E-Commerce Service (ECS)):

"exposes Amazon’s product data and E-Commerce functionality allowing developers, Web site owners and merchants to leverage the data and functionality that Amazon uses to power its own E-Commerce business. ECS 4.0, which is available free-of-charge, makes it extremely easy for developers to build rich, highly effective Web sites and applications."

Basically AWS is a Web 2.0 enabler - a bunch of APIs that allows you to hack away at Amazon.com all day long and create new stuff.

Where to start with Amazon web services?

Amazon's AWS site is a good place to start. For more depth info there are two books that are worth a look: Amazon Hacks and The Web Developer's Guide to Amazon E-commerce Service (at Amazon of course!). Keep updated at the official Amazon Web Services blog.

MSDN Coding4Fun has published this article by Paul Berhardt - good for noob coders:

"I wanted to look at how client applications consume a Web service. I chose the Amazon Web services to build an application that searches for books, music or movies based on keywords."

Why bother?

Any more excuses needed?

"Build an innovative and entrepreneurial application using Visual Studio 2005 with Amazon Web Services and you can win the grand prize: $5,000! The first 100 entries will receive an Amazon Web Services t-shirt."


  • Creativity of ApplicationThe uniqueness of the idea or implementation.
  • AWS Service IntegrationThe quality and extent to which the AWS services are integrated into the application as a whole.
  • Commercial AppealThe consumer or business value represented in the application, e.g., is there market appeal for the application?
  • Fit and PolishHow good is the look and feel? How stable and robust is the application?"