Instacart is an online delivery service for groceries under one hour. Customers order the items on the website or using the mobile app, and a group of Instacart’s shoppers go to local stores, purchase the items and deliver them to the customer. InfoQ interviewed Mathieu Ripert, data scientist at Instacart, to find out how machine learning is leveraged to guarantee a better customer experience.
Amazon's Simple Queue Service (SQS) recently gained FIFO (first-in, first-out) queues, which are designed to "guarantee that messages are processed exactly once, in the order that they are sent, and without duplicates". AWS rolled out this new queue type in the US East (Ohio) and US West (Oregon) regions and "plans to make it available in many others in early 2017".
This past November, Microsoft launched, what it is calling, the Industry’s First Cloud Bot-as-a-Service platform. The Azure Bot Service is powered by the Microsoft Bot Framework and has a serverless compute back-end built on Azure Functions. Using the Bot service allows developers to build conversational applications that plug into many popular chat applications.
Google has introduced Actions on Google which allow developers to build Google Assistant-based conversational apps, including integration with the Google Home device.
Microsoft recently announced an addition to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering called Azure Functions. Initially launched as a preview service in March 2016, Azure Functions provide developers with an event-driven serverless compute platform that allow organizations to pay for only what they consume.
At the recent AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon introduced a preview of their deep learning technology called Amazon Lex which can be used to build conversational interfaces using voice and text. Amazon Lex is powered on the same deep learning technology as Alexa, which is used in the portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled Amazon Echo speaker.
At their annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, AWS unleashed a flurry of announcements about upcoming cloud services. Amazon outlined over two dozen new capabilities coming to the public cloud, including directly querying data in S3 object storage, building code as part of deployment pipelines, provisioning cheap virtual private servers, and moving data in bulk, ETL-style.
Amazon has launched Lightsail, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) service to compete with companies like Digital Ocean, Linode and the multitude of Low End Box providers. The service bundles a basic Linux virtual machine with SSD storage and a bandwidth allowance. Pricing starts at $5/month with tiers by RAM allocation. Each larger configuration comes with more storage and bandwidth.
At the AWS re:Invent 2016 conference, held in Las Vegas, USA, a distributed tracing service named AWS X-Ray was released in preview within all 12 public AWS Regions. In a similar fashion to Google’s Dapper, Twitter’s Zipkin and the OpenTracing API, AWS X-Ray helps developers analyse and debug distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architectural style.
At the recent AWS Re:Invent event, Amazon announced a new preview service, called AWS Batch. AWS Batch allows organizations to optimize their scheduling and workload execution across a cloud-based landscape. Amazon has built this service in response to many AWS customers building their own batch platforms using EC2 instances, containers and CloudWatch.
At the recent re:Invent 2016 event, Amazon announced a new service called AWS Shield, which provides customers with protection from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. This announcement comes just over a month after Amazon was impacted by a DDoS attack on a DNS provider that Amazon used, Dynamic Network Services (Dyn).
AWS recently launched a Docker container image for its Amazon Linux operating system, complementing the EC2 specific Amazon Linux AMI with a versatile deployment option for custom cloud and on-premise environments. The image is available through the Amazon EC2 Container Registry (Amazon ECR), and also as an official repository on Docker Hub.
Amazon has updated their AWS Well-Architected Framework (PDF) based on feedback from clients, adding a new pillar, Operational Excellence.
AWS Mobile Hub has introduced three new features to simplify the provisioning of serverless app backends and improve sign-in and authentication options.
Oracle OpenWorld focused attention on the new Oracle Cloud Platform offerings - particularly in the IaaS space. Gartner selected AWS and Azure as leaders in IaaS, while Oracle didn't place in the latest Magic Quadrant. InfoQ spoke with AWS and Azure experts about the future of Oracle Cloud.