Amazon Web Services releases search product
It's important to note that this service is still in Beta.
According to the blog post announcing the launch, it uses the same search tool that runs Amazon.com (which may or may not be a good thing). What Amazon is doing is reducing search to a cloud commodity service. They claim you can get search for as little as $100 a month, which has to make other highly expensive, extremely complex search software vendors a bit nervous, at least on its face.
The question is: Can Amazon bring a decent search tool to market for this kind of money and can you really get up and running in one hour as their blog post title claims?
Matt Mullen, who covers search for Real Story Group doesn't think it's necessarily a big threat to enterprise search vendors, at least not yet, and he believes it could require more work than Amazon claims. "First impressions is that it is a set of basic search functionality for public facing documents, suited to relatively tech-savvy small and medium enterprises," Mullen said.
Getting into the technical details a bit, at least based on Amazon's description of the service, Mullen said it could require a fair amount of work to prepare the documents for the service. Although, that could be said about a lot of search products--but not all products are claiming you can be up and running in an hour.
"Feature-wise it is a list of useful, but broadly commodity elements, and to make use of it is going to require a fair bit of transformation of content for many (ingestion is of Amazon's own SDF format only, via JSON/XML). Integration, too, will suit those happy transforming those same formats, but does presume that your existing web estate is extensible enough to cope with it," Mullen explained.
Mullen added that beyond the formatting preparation he described, it might not handle some fairly common document types.
"If you've got all your content in well-formed web pages, some smart development resources and no current functioning site search then CloudSearch might be an option worth considering. However, if your content is multi-format (including common data containers like PDF), or likely to be problematic in shaping into Amazon's ingestion format, you've got a bunch of upfront work to complete before you can join in," he said.
Overall, it's an interesting first step, but from what Mullen says, it could require a fair bit of preparation for many sites to make it work, and that could add to the overall cost of implementation.
For more information:
- see the Amazon Web Services blog post announcing CloudSearch