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Amazon adds messaging to its Web services

A new option for cloud-based Amazon Web Services allows developers to automatically push out notices to their subscribers and users.

Developers who use Amazon's cloud-based Web services should now have an easier way to send out messages to their users.

A new messaging feature called Amazon Simple Notification Service will let developers with Amazon Web Services accounts push out notifications to subscribers from their cloud-based applications, the company said Wednesday. Currently in beta, Amazon SNS will offer developers a Web-based interface in which they can create different topics of interest, subscribe people to those topics, and then automatically send out messages to subscribers via e-mail, HTTP, or other means.

Developers can use Amazon SNS to update subscribers on the status of their cloud-based applications, send out news of important updates, and push out other types of notifications. The service eliminates the need for developers to set up their own messaging services.

"Building and maintaining messaging systems is the type of undifferentiated heavy lifting that AWS works to remove for our customers," said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Amazon Web Services, in a statement. "An easy-to-implement and highly scalable notification service like Amazon SNS will enable businesses to avoid building this component themselves. And, for entrepreneurs, Amazon SNS makes it operationally and financially viable to create new types of applications that are heavily reliant on push notifications."

No upfront fees are required to use Amazon SNS, and the company is letting developers get started with the service for free. Amazon said its SNS customers will pay no fees for the first 100,000 Amazon SNS requests, no charges for the first 100,000 notifications via HTTP, and no charges for the first 1,000 notifications sent by e-mail. After that, the cost is 6 cents per 100,000 Amazon SNS API requests, 6 cents per 100,000 HTTP/HTTPS notifications, and $2 per 100,000 Amazon SNS Email/Email-JSON messages.