Amazon adds '1-Click' software setup to its cloud

The AWS Marketplace lets companies buy and provision software to EC2 servers with a single click, and also provides an app store-style place for software makers to sell their products to AWS customers

Amazon has launched the AWS Marketplace, a cloud application store that lets customers buy and deploy software with a single click.

AWS Martketplace

AWS Marketplace lets companies buy and provision software to EC2 servers with one click.

The marketplace, launched on Thursday, combines the retail model of with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Its '1-Click' feature simplifies the process of buying software from well-known companies, such as IBM and Microsoft, and loading it onto rented AWS computers. It also gives a stall for independent software vendors [ISVs] to sell their own products to AWS customers.

"The AWS Marketplace... makes it dead simple for ISVs to add hourly billing to their offerings and get their software in front of hundreds of thousands of active AWS customers," Werner Vogels, Amazon's chief technology officer, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The market has rentable machine images of software, ranging from enterprise applications from SAP through to open-source technologies such as the NoSQL MongoDB database.

Software makers can submit images of their products to the Marketplace and bill their usage on either an hourly or monthly basis. This gives providers "increased customer awareness, simplified deployment, and automated billing", Amazon said.

The 1-Click feature lets customers quickly launch any software in the Marketplace onto their own instances via the AWS management console or command line, with the cost of the software appearing in their overall AWS bill.

Spur an ecosystem

The AWS Marketplace "will give Amazon more information about what is being used and becoming popular", Simon Wardley, a researcher at global analysis organisation the Leading Edge Forum, told ZDNet UK. "It's not enough really to know more and more people are using the APIs, you need to understand what they're doing with it as well. Normally you'd have to go and do market research, but this is directly feeding that information back into you."

The Marketplace is an attempt by Amazon to spur development of the software ecosystem around AWS, added Wardley, formerly a cloud computing strategist at Canonical.

By creating the Marketplace, Amazon can access a lot of data about the types of applications being run and what new technologies are becoming widely used. This should let the company spot software trends and offer its own variants — something it did in the past when, after noticing the popularity of Hadoop on its cloud, it launched its own version of the open-source data analysis technology: Amazon Elastic MapReduce.

"One of the huge advantages of using an ecosystem approach is you enable others to innovate, and as that innovation spreads, you can leverage the ecosystem to spot it and then commoditise it... which actually feeds the ecosystem and lets it build upon the new service," Wardley said.

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