Sunday, December 16, 2007

Amazon's SimpleDB - Nice concept that took time for me to grasp!!

I was reading this news about SimpleDB all over the technology news and blogosphere, yesterday.

So I opened couple of links given below including Amazon's SimpleDB announcement.
- Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Web Services
- inside looking out » What You Need To Know About Amazon SimpleDB
- Amazon SimpleDB 101 & Why It Matters - GigaOM

It was really tough for me to understand what SimpleDB was all about. All I knew about Amazon was that it was a great online book store which has spread into other areas of online shopping. And more recently, I know Amazon for Kindle - their e-reader. By the way, here is one more latest review about Kindle. Probably, this mindset about Amazon was the reason why I could not understand (digest) the fact about SimpleDb.

You might consider me to be stupid and dumbfor having read the above links at least 4-5 times (except for the Amazon's web page where they explained about SimpleDB. I should have read that first) and then I slowly came to realize that SimpleDB was a web service which is available for you (or your company) to create, store, update and handle a database online.

Basically, you would setup an RDBMS such as Oracle and then have a web interface to update the database (backend).

What Amazon promises is that they seem to have all the storage and database related logic distributed over a network of servers (concept known as cloud-computing). If you are an organization, then you are readily use this web service for your database/backend requirements. The cost as Amazon claims is very nominal. Refer to their SimpleDB page for details of the cost.

You should probably read this article in CNet News about SimpleDB, which is more down to earth and is for non-geeky folks.

From the above article is when I came to know that actually uses SimpleDB as their backend. This is like a eye opener.

Look at the possibilities that it opens up for a startup which wants a reliable and fast backend.


I have been allergic to the DBMB/RDBMS and I have been particularly allergic to the word "Oracle". The main reason for this is that during my student days, the way concepts of DB and RDBMS were taught was horrifying and I started hating the subject.

But during my work years, I realized that I do like database concepts and I have designed a few decent DB schemas using MS-Access and given it a web interface. I had come up with simple tools such as bug tracker. Not bad for a guy who hated concepts of DB so much.. i tell myself.

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