AWS API Gateway, Device Farm Are Wins for Developers

NEWS ANALYSIS: AWS, which claims new customers are "all-in" with the cloud, used its AWS Summit to push services that will spur app development.

AWS' Vogels

NEW YORK—Amazon Web Services keeps hitting home runs for developers as it grows AWS beyond its infrastructure-as-a-service base. Since the re:Invent conference last November, the company has continued to sharpen its focus around the enterprise and application development.

Last week, from the AWS Summit in the Javits Center here, AWS announced general availability for three products previously announced: the AWS Service Catalog, the AWS Code Pipeline continuous delivery service and the AWS CodeCommit code repository.

The Code Pipeline and CodeCommit services have helped mature the platform-as-a-service part around AWS' compute and storage infrastructure. The impact of Thursday's new announcement on the AWS API Gateway could be even bigger, expects AWS CTO Werner Vogels (pictured): "I can't emphasize enough what a game changer the API Gateway is," Vogels told the Summit attendees. "It's all about agility. There has never been a better time to build applications. So now, go build."

The spirit of Vogels' remarks had me fondly recalling Steve Ballmer's dance monkey boy routines, although Vogels did it in a much more dignified fashion. It really is all about the developers, and it's interesting to see how the developer tables have turned in the past 10 years. Windows is not as relevant as it once was, even less so now that Microsoft has virtually abandoned the mobile phone market and Windows Mobile as a viable competitor to iOS and Android with its write-down of its Nokia acquisition.

Most new innovation is in the cloud. The API Gateway is an example of this. It's a step-by-step service that lets users develop APIs for their own applications to tie them into AWS infrastructure and services. APIs are critical for scaling cloud software and are big business.

API development, security and ongoing maintenance are time-consuming, so the Gateway is coming along at the right time. It will take care of a lot of the labor involved in API management and magnifies the number of applications that now can be integrated into the public cloud.

Also announced at the Summit was the AWS Device Farm, a testing service that will allow developers to run their apps, from any stage of development, on a wide variety of phones and get reports on failure and performance metrics. The service is available just for Android now, with an iOS offering coming within the next one to two months, said AWS Product Manager Trent Peterson at a session introducing AWS Device Farm at the Summit. This service also will spur development because companies can deploy mobile apps more quickly and, with fewer compatibility bugs shipping with software, have fewer dissatisfied users as well.

All-In With the Cloud

The prevailing theme around all of AWS' new customer stories is "all-in," which means exactly what it means. Vogels highlighted several new partners, including MicroStrategy, Onshape, Software AG and TIBCO, and customers, including Netflix, Intuit, Notre Dame and Kempinski Hotels, as all-in with AWS. Another customer that will be soon is Nordstrom. "AWS means Nordstrom can focus on the customer and AWS can do the heavy lifting," said Keith Homewood, cloud product owner for infrastructure engineering at Nordstrom. "We are down the path to all-in."

"All-in" is an apt word in the case of cloud. Sometimes all-in won't work, but for the right customers, all-in is precisely where they need to be, whether it's AWS, Azure or Google. Or even OpenStack. But it's the focus on the developer that is paving the way.

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise, While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...