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AWS mobile development tools hold steady lead

Today, AWS mobile development tools maintain large traditional Web and mobile applications like Netflix and Dropbox. There is marked success in the development, deployment and management of these applications on a cloud service like Amazon Web Services (AWS).Even

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when AWS had a major outage, there was minimal impact on Netflix and Dropbox. I use both applications daily and noticed no disruption in service, and I am sure I am not the only subscriber to these two services.

So, if I am looking to build and deploy a mobile application, what are my criteria for deciding the deployment platform? By far, my greatest concern is ease of use. Scalability of the infrastructure across the Web is my next-greatest concern. With any mobile application, there can be thousands of users, and the infrastructure will need to scale without any interruptions or delays in service. Cost is the final component, and it is far less important than ease of use and scalability.

AWS mobile software tools include those for developing applications for both Apple iOS and Android. For example, the AWS SDK for iOS includes Java application programming interfaces (APIs) for connection to the following:

  • AWS components, such as Amazon S3, Amazon SQS, Amazon SNS and DynamoDB.
  • Class libraries that eliminate the need to deal with lower-level code.
  • Code samples with common usage examples for building applications.
  • Documentation and reference material for the proper use of the AWS SDK for the iOS API.

Taking a look at the well-known example of Netflix, AWS is its sole provider for application hosting, including its mobile application versions. As SearchCloudApplications expert Chris Moyer explains, Netflix has a policy with AWS that states, "Any production server launched in AWS must be launched using an AWS auto-scaling group." Netflix is one of a few companies taking advantage of this lesser-known feature. Overall, AWS mobile development tools are far more mature in providing cloud services than the competition, Microsoft Azure and Google's Cloud Platform.

AWS focuses on the customer experience whereas Microsoft and Google are focused on the technology.

Microsoft Azure does have some competitive features for coupling modular applications, which increases scalability. However, Azure disappoints overall due to network configuration issues, including a lack of sophisticated administration tooling.

Google is solid with regard to the scalability and integration of applications within the Google product ecosystem. However, this platform appears to have limitations and lock-ins with certain vendors. This is definitely a deterrent when a mobile application is 100% reliant on one vendor and its applications.

AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google are all able to perform and scale. They all have the funding to compete with each other for product development, marketing and customer acquisition. AWS focuses on the customer experience, however, whereas Microsoft and Google are focused on the technology.

As of 2014, AWS mobile tools are my first choice due to their wide range of products and services. AWS' services include server instance provisioning, load balancing and providing private networks to create the infrastructure to run mobile applications. AWS customers can also take advantage of their APIs for various bits of functionality. AWS can enable code deployment on their system and will set up the server automatically. This automation enables developers to concentrate on mobile application development.

With the anticipated limitation of Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and even Rackspace, which I have not discussed in detail in this article, AWS mobile development tools are far more mature in their offerings and their catering to mobile application deployment. All others have yet to reach the flexibility, scalability and rapid deployment AWS provides for mobile applications.

This was first published in May 2014

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