Amazon Web Services 4.0 … what are you using them for?

I took Scott Watermasysk’s ‘book control’ and modified it recently to display more than one book (moving it to VB.NET along the way), and I reduced the file it pulls from down to just a list of ISBN #s…. but then I wasn’t able to display the title of the book as a tooltip (like the original does)… so I signed up for Amazon’s web services and added some code to pull the book’s info through the web services and cache it for use in the control.

Neat, yes… simple to code, even…. but totally illogical.

It would have been much better to build the use of web services as part of creating the source xml file… and store the book info (title, link URL, image URL) along with the isbn right into that file. That way the web services calls would be reduced to once when adding a book, not every few hours (depending on your caching choices). Normally, when I’m thinking clearly, I like to always go for the cleanest/simplest solution and that is certainly not what I did in this case… but it got me to thinking, now that I’ve tried these web services, how could I use them in a useful manner on my site?

I didn’t come up with any ideas.

Do you use the Amazon Web Services? What for?

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

4 thoughts on “Amazon Web Services 4.0 … what are you using them for?”

  1. I still need to clean it up some more, but have some code which takes your recently played list from ITunes, runs it against the Amazon web services, then displays the list of albums with their “buy” link.


  2. Jeff, you warned us not to look at the site. Geez, what a butt-ugly site.

    As for AWS, I love hearing what you guys are doing with it. Maybe someday a lightbulb will go off in my own mind on applications for it.

  3. Hi,
    I was googling around in regards to Amazon Web Services 4 (ECS 4). And found your article. I think you may be interested in a product that we are developing. It is called GMP Instant Associate Store (for Amazon Associates). It is written in and runs on 1.1, it utilizes AWS 4 and have many cool features. If you are curious please take a look at If you do happen to mention our product in an article or news item please do let us know.

    Best Regards,
    Allen Harkleroad
    GMP Services, Inc.

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