Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Wearables

@CloudExpo: Article

Amazon Vets Social Mobile Cloud Apps

AWS Betas SDKs for Android and iOS

Amazon Web Services has announced the beta availability of new mobile software development kits for the Android and iOS platforms.   It was previously possible to write apps for those devices that could work with the Amazon cloud, but it wasn't easy.  As the announcement on the AWS blog points out:

"Previously, developers either wrote their own libraries to handle the HTTP connection, request retries, and error handling, or built additional infrastructure to proxy the API requests through a server fleet."

Now, though, developers can call AWS web service application programming interfaces directly from mobile apps running on Android smartphones, tablets, and the new Chrome netbooks, or alternately on Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices.

As you might expect, the Android kit is written in Java and the iOS one in Objective-C, which are similar, but incompatible programming languages.  This means that developers will have to write different versions of their applications for each platform.

With the ascendancy of Android, cross-platform development tools have become something of a growth industry and there might be one out there now or soon that could mitigate this problem, but the prospects are not very bright.

Between Apple's draconian monolinguistic App Store acceptance policies, the expanding array of differences between the two platforms' UI features, and the performance toll that seems to come with most cross-platform technologies, going native seems like the inevitable best approach.  As one experienced developer puts it:

"I would never recommend a cross-platform tool.  Most of these tools support each platform far worse than any native technology.  If you want to develop for multiple mobile platforms, I say, bite the bullet and learn the different technologies."

Good advice.  And, developers addressing both platforms can take considerable comfort in knowing that the two SDKs at least both support the same set of Amazon services, enabling them to offer app versions for the two platforms with a completely common feature set.

The AWS mobile SDKs enable apps to access services for storage (S3), database (SimpleDB), and messaging (SQS and SNS), which together make a very wide variety of new cloud apps possible, as well as enabling mobile devices to now access existing business and consumer applications based on those services in the Amazon cloud.

Using the Simple Storage Service (S3), apps can securely store and retrieve data objects of all sizes and types, including documents, photos, and audio and video media files.  S3 provides built-in data redundancy, support for both REST and SOAP programming interfaces, and support both HTTP and BitTorrent download protocols.  And, with Amazon's CloudFront caching and distribution services, content can be efficiently and quickly distributed via a global network of edge locations.  This combination of storage-related capabilities can be used to build mobile apps for document sharing, media streaming and downloading, device backup, and more.

SimpleDB is Amazon's easy to use non-relational database that applications access using simple web service requests.  It does not require pre-defined data schemas, it permits on-the-fly data model changes, it indexes all data automatically, and it is designed for easy integration with other Amazon web services.  SimpleDB is especially well-suited to support mobile apps that require a mix of structured and unstructured data and scalable simultaneous user access, like games and social networks.

Even more compelling than the above, though, are the mobile SDKs' messaging features in the form of support for Amazon's Simple Queue Service (SQS) and Simple Notification Service (SNS).  Together, these services can be used to create sophisticated applications that incorporate asynchronous message passing and publish-and-subscribe communications and are especially well-suited to mobile devices.

SQS allows an application instance on one device to create a message and send it to a server in the Amazon cloud from where it can be passed to another device when it is available to receive the message.  This mechanism has been commonly used for years in applications like transaction processing to queue transaction data en route from an originating system until the destination system is available to receive it, making sure that the data is not lost or over-written before it can be recorded properly.

In applications involving mobile devices, which are not always on-line, this is an especially handy application capability.  When a message must travel from one mobile device to another, the Amazon messaging infrastructure automatically handles the holding, targeting and sending of the message so that it sure to be received.  This is done without the need for any extra messaging logic or code on either mobile device.

SNS is a service that enables cloud-based applications to publish messages pertaining to a given topic and have them sent by the Amazon infrastructure to devices on which an application or user has registered an interest in that topic, using their protocol or choice, e.g. HTTP, email, etc.  SNS uses a "push" mechanism, which obviates the need for people or apps to periodically check for new messages by polling a server.

Again, this is especially useful for mobile applications because it saves battery life by not forcing the mobile device user to connect to check for message and it enables a single message to be delivered to a number of mobile devices simultaneously without a sequential series of transmissions.  As with SQS, this is done without the need for additional application logic on the mobile devices.

Together, SQS and SNS can be used to create sophisticated mobile apps for workflow management, collaboration, remote monitoring, social networking and much more.

The release of these mobile SDKs for Android and iOS are an important event for Amazon Web Services on its path to public cloud domination.  Amazon has already built the infrastructure and an impressive array of services on it, and all of that is the fundamental foundation for any cloud.  But, applications which are mobile and social, for both consumers and business, are what will make cloud computing more than just virtualized client/server.  And, for the Amazon cloud, they are what will make it a great platform for the next innovation ecosystem.

 

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are an IT services solution provider and we sell software to support those solutions. Our focus and key areas are around security, enterprise monitoring, and continuous delivery optimization," noted John Balsavage, President of A&I Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.