Last night I attended a talk given by Jeff Barr, Amazon’s web service evangelist. He talked mostly about Amazon’s web service offerings, as you would expect from a web services evangelist, such as the Mechanical Turk, Alexa and S3, which stands for simple storage service — I had wondered what it meant.
He gave several examples of businesses that use Amazon’s web services to make money: CastingWords being the most interesting example. They transcribe podcasts but use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to get the work done. Interesting idea. Probably cheaper than outsourcing to India!
At the end of the presentation somebody in the audience asked him what proportion of web service requests were made via SOAP versus REST. Apparently 80% of Amazon’s web service requests are made using REST! I was quite surprised by this. I thought SOAP would have been used a lot more. Then again perhaps it’s not so surprising if you have ever tried to read the SOAP specification. I have mentioned this before. From a development point of view, making a request via REST is certainly much less work!
Overall the talk was interesting, especially some of the ways in which people are using Amazon’s web services. You can read more about Amazon’s web services on their blog.