Building blocks in the cloud – Werner Vogels



Photo courtesy of Julia de Boer


Werner Vogels (@Werner) gave a passionate talk about the new way of building applications by making use of the cloud. He highlighted how the old model of Push, where a solution is designed, built and launched is being replaced by the Pull model.

Here products are defined by finding a service that is lacking, connecting to that user base, innovating to answer their needs or wants and reflecting on the outcome (and I guess refining it).

The idea of infrastructure being a service in itself has been solved and he backed this up by highlighting key service providers who operate in the cloud. This he said, is now an established world and the loop of a holistic range of services can now be seen in a variety of really interesting services.

He listed a range of characteristics and existing startups which will enable the development of services that will transform the next five years of application development. 

The characteristics include multi-device capable, the social graph, user generated content, virtual goods economy,  recommendations and premium support. From the outset these applications need to be infinitely scalable and must give the api user the ability to walk away without being bound to the technology and must be immediately ready. Servers, Vogels stated, are no longer the issue and this has been solved as a potential problem. The cloud has given us a range of new opportunities to build apps now and into the future.

Some of the highlighted services included; – allows any content to be dropped into a shared environment and converted into real time

simpleGEO – location service working from the GPS co-ordinates of a mobile device giving contextual information such as demographics, changes over time, physical objects and relevant information to make decisions.

animoto – videos on the fly from location based information

twilio – voice and sms – speech to text. Once closely guarded by Telcos, but now this company has simply enabled voice and text into existing applications quick and simply using an XML file. Enables you to be called and instructed from a website update.

Directed Edge – a service where you can upload data and move down social connections, a recommendation engine with available connections

Social Gold – ways of making money by selling virtual products with real currency (or virtual) They will also maintain the inventory and charge the customers – multiple currencies are supported throughout Europe

Chargify – crowd service allowing real payments

github – version control of your web development handled on the cloud8

8k Miles – project management and development teams provided for projects you submit for tender

Vogels said the new music industry (eg and spotify) has already got the power of this and are using it in the right way. All modern apps need or will need the tools above, the good news is that they are available and out there. His excitement about the possibilities were certainly infectious – architect it right, allocate the percentage of the income to the infrastructure and produce something relevant quickly with adaptability. Great talk, and giving a lot of ideas here.

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