SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 4, 2004--Two new services released today by Amazon Web Services (AWS) significantly enhance the power of software developers and Web site owners to build innovative, revenue-generating applications. Available at no cost, Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0 (ECS 4.0) offers unprecedented access to Amazon's technology platform and product data. Additionally, the Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS), which is available at no cost during the beta period, gives first-ever access to the vast database of Web site information and usage data compiled by Alexa Internet (www.alexa.com). Information about both services is available at www.amazon.com/webservices, including all the documentation, code samples, and sample applications developers need to begin innovating and building businesses immediately.
Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS)
The Alexa Web Information Service provides developers with programmatic access to the information Alexa collects from its Web Crawl, which currently includes more than 100 terabytes of data from over 4 billion Web pages. Developers and Web site owners can use AWIS as a platform for finding answers to difficult and interesting problems on the Web, and incorporating them into their Web applications. Several different types of data can be accessed through AWIS, including:
-- URL Information Web operation provides information pertaining to specific Web sites. Examples of this information include traffic rank, adult content identification, load speed, and related links. -- Browse Category operation provides a list of sub-categories for a specific top-level category. Depending on the request format, the service will return a list of Most Popular links in the category, or optionally, a list of all sites within that category. Using this service a developer could build a browse-tree service. -- Web Search operation provides a list of URLs that have content matching one or more keywords. -- Crawl Meta Data operation provides meta-data for a specific Web site, including size, checksum, frames, images, and links. -- Web Map operation is a topographic representation of Alexa's Web crawl and provides a list of all links in and links out of a particular Web page.
Both Amazon.com and A9.com are already using AWIS. A9.com (www.a9.com), for example, uses the AWIS URL Information operation to source the Web site information it presents to users along with their search results. When A9.com returns a list of search results, each result also includes a "site info" button, which can be hovered over with a mouse to display the link's traffic rank, number of sites that link to it, speed (average time it takes to load the page), length of time the site has appeared on the Web, and the top three sites that people who visit the site also visit. The AWIS URL Information Operation also powers the "site info" feature in the A9 Toolbar.
AWIS will be offered at no charge during the beta phase. Prices for the service will be announced when AWIS is officially launched.
Amazon E-Commerce Service (ECS 4.0)
Formerly Amazon Web Services 3.0, ECS 4.0 now provides access to information and customer reviews for all Amazon.com product categories, as well as the overwhelming majority of product images from Amazon's database. ECS 4.0 also gives developers deeper data on products, advanced search and shopping cart functionality, and features that make the Application Programming Interface (API) easier to use.
-- Product information for all Amazon.com categories is now available. Detailed information on more than one million additional products has been added to the millions of products already available through AWS. The new Amazon.com product categories available through ECS 4.0 are Apparel & Accessories, Jewelry & Watches, Gourmet Food, Sports & Outdoors, Musical Instruments, Health & Personal Care and Beauty. Adding these new products to ECS 4.0 means that developers can now innovate and create businesses using every Amazon.com product category. -- Access to more than one million new product images from Amazon.com's database has been added to ECS 4.0 for developers to build into their storefront or other applications that could benefit from this massive image collection. Previously, images for many new product categories were not accessible, which made it more difficult for software developers to attractively merchandise those products in their applications. The addition of these product images means that the overwhelming majority of Amazon.com's product images are accessible to developers. -- All Customer Reviews associated with a product are now available to be integrated into storefront applications and other innovative applications. Previously, developers could only access three reviews per product. In addition, with version 4.0, developers now have the ability to request reviews written by a specific reviewer. -- More Attributes about products from Amazon.com product detail pages are now exposed for the first time, which makes it easier for developers to describe the products they list on their sites and increase their Associates referral earnings. Previously, developers were limited to listing just a few product details. For example, developers could not describe computers using details like Battery Type, CPU Speed, Graphics Memory Size, and Total Firewire Ports. With ECS 4.0, these and dozens more attributes like weights and dimensions are now available to help developers innovate and describe the products they list. -- Extended Search functionality allows developers to create applications with more complex search options than those available before. Previously, developers were able to offer only a simple keyword search. Now, developers can build on the same functionality as Amazon.com's "Advanced Search," which allows users to search by numerous attributes, including brand, price, and category. Developers can also now merchandise products in innovative ways, such as by price, color, author, or artist. -- Amazon Wish List Search makes this popular gifting feature easier and more compelling for developers to use in building applications. Before ECS 4.0, applications using the Amazon Wish List feature couldn't offer users the ability to search for Wish Lists by name, which made the feature less useful for developers. With ECS 4.0, developers can now embed Wish List search by name, email address, city, and state into their applications. This added functionality will provide a much better user experience and will help developers retain their users on their sites or applications.
ECS 4.0 also offers improved usability for working with the API's, allowing developers to build their applications more quickly and efficiently.
-- Response Groups allow developers to make precise information requests, and will allow them to build quicker and more efficiently. Prior to ECS 4.0, developers were limited to 'light' or 'heavy' calls and then had to pick and choose desired data from the results. -- Multi-Operation and Batch Interfaces enable developers to input a single request and receive responses that include data from up to two operations, which means more data from fewer requests and faster application performance. Previously, if developers wanted responses from multiple operations, they had to make separate requests. -- Improved error messages give developers more specific information about the errors they receive and how they can resolve them. Previously, error messages did not explain why a request failed or how it can be changed so that it will succeed. Additionally, developers can now choose to receive error messages in Japanese. -- Built-in help functionality allows developers to access help information while working with the API's, instead of referring to the separate SDK documentation guide. This feature will save developers time, be useful as a learning tool and make it easier for third-party tool and Integrated Development Environment providers to integrate the AWS API's into their software. -- Additional Code Samples and Applications give developers more options for getting started quickly. Early ECS 4.0 Successes
ECS 4.0 makes it possible for new types of applications to be built and for developers to significantly improve existing ones to offer better customer experiences. Members of the AWS developer community who participated in a beta test of version 4.0 built or enhanced the following applications:
WWWinkazon (www.naturallyopen.com/wwwinkazon): Access Amazon.com products from any site on the Web. By simply highlighting text on a Web page and clicking on the browser's WWWinkazon icon, shoppers can open a pane right in their browser that includes a list of Amazon.com products and images pertaining to the keywords they selected. Shoppers can then click on a product or image to open an Amazon.com page where they can make a purchase or view the full Amazon.com product page. For example, a person reading a news article about a new stereo who wants to learn its price or availability at Amazon.com could simply highlight the name of the stereo using their mouse, click on the WWWinkazon icon, and get the information -- without ever leaving the article. Using the increased product information and image access in ECS 4.0, WWWinkazon now allows users to view illustrated product information from all Amazon.com categories.
Pluck (www.pluck.com): Perform persistent searches ("perches") for Amazon.com new and used products that fit complex and specific attributes, such as version, price, memory, and speed. The new version of Pluck leverages the myriad new product attributes accessible to AWS developers. For example, a person purchasing a laptop computer can set up a persistent search for a specific model and easily sort and filter large result sets based upon attributes like memory levels, speed, screen size and price. The perch regularly searches Amazon.com and notifies the user as it finds new matches or detects price changes. Pluck's solution for Amazon.com helps users find the best deals on exactly what they need, without having to continuously visit the site to perform the same searches.
The Hive Group (www.hivegroup.com/amazon): Discover Amazon.com products on a single screen using an innovative visual search interface. The Hive Group's Honeycomb software lets users filter the massive selection of computers in the Amazon.com Electronics Store by sliding minimum and maximum bars on a scale for various attributes, such as manufacturer, CPU type, CPU speed, hard drive capacity, RAM, price, average customer rating, and sales rank. Computers that match a user's specific filters are represented by colored tiles which can be hovered over with a mouse to present a photo and several other details about the product. The ability for users to discover the product that precisely matches the specifications they desire is made possible by the full access developers have to product attributes in ECS 4.0.
FeedBurner (www.feedburner.com): Earn Amazon Associates referral fees from RSS feeds by inserting relevant Amazon.com products. RSS publishers match Amazon stores to their own content categories and ECS 4.0 uses keywords to match the specific content of the RSS feeds to relevant Amazon.com products. For example, the author of a blog on politics could automatically program FeedBurner to insert relevant political books into the RSS feeds they publish. When a consumer of the blogger's RSS feeds clicks on a book and makes purchase, the blogger earns referral fees from Amazon.com.
Simplest-Shop (www.simplest-shop.com): Compare and contrast consumer electronics and other Amazon.com products using dozens of attributes. With Simplest-Shop's integration of the additional product attributes from ECS 4.0, shoppers can select products and their attributes to compare side-by-side. The comparison-shopping features of Simplest-Shop offer shoppers yet another tool for making informed purchase decisions.
AWS Zone (www.awszone.com): Experiment and learn more about what's possible with Amazon Web Services at this portal that includes a developer scratch pad, prototyping tool, and code samples. For example, developers can use the scratch pad tool to see how data would appear in real-time -- without affecting their live applications.
Amazon Products Feed (www.mrrat.com/aws): Obtain "scripts" for creating Amazon Associates sites that use the enhanced features available through ECS 4.0. Thousands of Associates like www.shopforpowertools.com and www.playlandstation.com have used developer MrRat's scripts during the past two years to build sites that include enhanced features such as real-time pricing, sales rank and customer reviews only available through AWS. Dozens more Associates are currently working on sites that merchandise products in the new categories accessible through ECS 4.0.
"We continue to be surprised by the innovative applications and businesses developers are building using Amazon Web Services," said Andy Jassy, Vice President of Web Services at Amazon. "Every time we expose new features, developers everywhere find clever ways to derive business value from them. Releasing ECS 4.0 and AWIS is another meaningful step in this direction. We continue to be committed to exposing the guts of Amazon.com for developers to build creative applications and businesses on top of our functionality and data."
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric Website, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com's affiliates and third party sellers list millions of unique new and used items in categories such as apparel and accessories, electronics, computers, kitchen and housewares, books, music, DVDs, videos, cameras and photo, toy, baby, software, computer and video games, cell phones and service, tools and hardware, travel services, magazine subscriptions, and outdoor living items.
Amazon.com operates seven Web sites: www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com, which is operated in cooperation with affiliates.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to potential future losses, significant amount of indebtedness, competition, commercial agreements and strategic alliances, seasonality, potential fluctuations in operating results and rate of growth, foreign exchange rates, management of potential growth, system interruption, international expansion, consumer trends, inventory, fulfillment center optimization, limited operating history, government regulation and taxation, fraud, and new business areas. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2003, and all subsequent filings.
About Amazon Services, Inc.
Amazon Services is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. that makes the technology and services that power Amazon.com available to third-parties. Amazon Web Services is a division of Amazon Services.
CONTACT: Amazon Media Relations, 206-266-7180
SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.