Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Amazon Simple Queuing Service

I was quite excited to read about Amazon’s Simple Queuing Services. It’s obviously a development based on their Storage Services, and it shows that:

- the commoditization of hitherto proprietary 'backend' services (perhaps under the influence of open source, and enabled by the likes of SOAP and REST). Queuing solutions such as RendezVous and MQSeries used to be complex beasts; no more. SQS has a few simple interfacing protocols, and while it may be lacking the more advanced features offered by the others, it does offer a solid (and cheap!) queuing/messaging platform;

- the internet is becoming a true execution ‘platform’, offering advanced runtime services. SQS is caller agnostic so any clients can use it – including those written in languages far removed from the ‘native’ OS, such as Actionscript or Python. It is entirely possible that a transaction broker or even DBMS web service be in the offering not too far in the future. I am curious to see how ‘mainstream’ web applications will take advantage of this. Large applications (including games or business systems) are now possible that can communicate asynchronously… the infrastructure is migrating from the OS to the web.

The security needs are quite involved and demand a HMAC-SHA1 hash function to work with the user's private key. Fortunately, Google has as API for both Win32 and Java that implements the HMAC-SHA1 funcaionality demanded by SQS.