Amazon Adds Cloud Notification Service

Web Services

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), which Amazon rolled out in beta on Wednesday, arms developers with the ability to publish messages from an application and deliver those messages to subscribers or other applications. The offering is to make Web-scale computing easier for developers, Amazon said.

Essentially, developers use a Web services interface to create topics that they want to notify applications or people about, subscribe clients to those topics and public messages, and have those messages delivered over a client-selected protocol, including email, HTTP and others. Amazon SNS uses a push mechanism to distribute messages. Developers can flag events and other actions that trigger a notification. Amazon said it foresees SNS being used for monitoring applications, workflow systems, time-sensitive information updates, mobile applications and other uses.

Like most Amazon Web Services, Amazon SNS is pay-per-use.

Amazon said the first 100,000 SNS requests per month are free, as are the first 100,000 notifications over HTTP and the first 1,000 e-mails. After that, Amazon charges 6 cents per 100,000 SNS API requests; 6 cents per 100,000 SNS HTTP requests; and $2 per 100,000 SNS e-mail notifications. Inbound data is free through June 30, afterward inbound data will run 10 cents per GB.

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"Building and maintaining messaging systems is the type of undifferentiated heavy lifting that AWS works to remove for our customers," said Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services, in a statement. "An easy-to-implement and highly scalable notification service like Amazon SNS will enable businesses to avoid building this component themselves. And, for entrepreneurs, Amazon SNS makes it operationally and financially viable to create new types of applications that are heavily reliant on push notifications."