Amazon Launches New Web Services

The online retailer adds new Web Services offerings for developers, including access to the Alexa Web Information Service.

New Web services technologies announced Monday will help developers build money-making applications and use existing mainframe technology to create and deploy new Web services. Inc., of Seattle, launched new Amazon Web Services offerings to help developers create Web services, including the Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0 and the Alexa Web Information Service.

ECS 4.0 gives developers access to data in all Amazon product categories, including apparel and gourmet food, as well as customer reviews. The new service also provides access to more than a million product images in the database. In addition, ECS 4.0 features extended search functionality to enable developers to build applications with complex search options. The service also includes an Amazon Wish List search function.

Other features of the ECS 4.0 service include new code samples and applications to help developers get started; response groups to enable developers to make information requests more precisely; multi-operation and batch interfaces that enable developers to make a single request and get responses from up to two operations; improved error messaging; and built-in help, enabling developers to access help wile working with the Amazon APIs, according to the company.

In addition, developers can use the Amazon APIs to access the Alexa Web Information Service, Amazons Web site discovery tool delivered through Alexa Internet Inc., an Amazon company.

Amazon officials said AWIS will be available free during its beta period and will deliver access to developers to more than 100TB of data from more than 4 billion Web pages searched by Alexas Web Crawl system. Pricing for the service will be announced next year when AWIS is officially launched.

The AWIS service features a URL Information Web operation to deliver information on specific Web sites; a Browse Category feature to provide sub-category information; a Web Search operation to provide a list of URLs with content based on keywords; a Crawl Meta Data operation, for delivering metadata for specific Web sites; and a Web Map operation, which provides a list of all links into and out of a specific Web page.

Amazon officials said Amazons new search site,, would not have been possible without AWIS.

/zimages/3/ so far is drawing lukewarm user reviews and raising privacy concerns over its core personalization features. Click here to read more.

Also on Monday, GT Software Inc., of Atlanta, announced the release of its Ivory Web Services technology, which enables the creation and deployment of Web services using existing mainframe applications.

GT Software officials said Ivory enables developers to include legacy mainframe applications into their service-oriented architectures.

Ivory features both the Ivory Studio tool set for building Web services from mainframe applications, and Ivory Server, a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) server for deploying Web services, and enables users to generate Web services and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) without a lot of programming, company officials said.

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