Amazon, Microsoft Partner on B2B Web Services

Amazon and Microsoft are partnering on an initiative aimed at getting Visual Studio.NET devs to build innovative apps to tie into Amazon's Web Services (AWS) platform. The two launched a dev contest, open through year's end, for building entrepreneurial apps that tie into Amazon product data and services for their own home-grown business, or for their enterprise.

Tags: Web Services, Microsoft, AWS, Devs, Visual Studio, Developers, Contest,

Amazon and Microsoft are partnering on an initiative aimed at getting Visual Studio.NET devs to build innovative apps to tie into Amazon's Web Services (AWS) platform.

Microsoft and Amazon jointly launched a dev contest, open through yearend, to invite .NET devs to submit their ideas for new entrepreneurial apps that tie into Amazon AWS-based product data and services. Top prize is $5,000 in cash.

"Amazon [AWS] is working very closely with several different groups at Microsoft, including Visual Studio and members from the Visual Studio starter kits. We both think that AWS is a great place for Microsoft developers to use their tools in a real world pragmatic sense to get a feel for what external web services can do." Jeff Barr, Amazon's Web Services evangelist, told Integration Developer News. "And, this contest is just the latest way we're looking to get the word out."

Entries can be for their own small business, or to support their enterprise business. Today, AWS apps range from sites that simply advertise products from the Web site to complex integrated B2B solutions for retailers selling merchandise through

The application entries for The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005/Amazon Web Services Developer Contest will be judged on four (4) different criteria:

  • Creativity of Application -- The uniqueness of the idea or implementation;
  • AWS Service Integration -- The quality and extent to which the AWS services are integrated into the application as a whole.
  • Commercial Appeal -- The consumer or business value represented in the application, (e.g., is there market appeal for the application?)
  • Fit and Polish -- How good is the look and feel? How stable and robust is the application?

  • We've done a joint contest Amazon and MS inviting devs to use web services in conjunction with MS tools to build exciting apps.

    Barr said that his experience at Microsoft PDC showed him that many Microsoft Visual Studio devs have already begun experimenting with Amazon's AWS. "I have heard from so many Microsoft developers [here at PDC] that have told me exactly that. I don't have the exact number, but it was pretty large - somewhere like 40%-50%," Barr said.

    We also asked Barr expected any of the content results - and developer feedback - might feed back into product plans from AWS or Microsoft tools.

    Barr told IDN he expects the entries and the questions from develoeprs will be used by both Amazon and Microsoft on several fronts. "We just announced the contest this week, so we haven't yet received any entries. But, I would say we could expect that for both. Anytime in the past that Amazon has done some kind of outreach to new groups of developers, they look to AWS with fresh eyes and ask us to do more with the shopping cart, or images or whatever."

    One Amazon/Microsoft collaboration project is already in process. "We're working with closely with the [Microsoft] Visual Studio starter kit teams to being AWS support to those. We haven't come out with them yet, but I would expect input from this contest to show up in those [offerings] when we do." Barr told IDN.

    At present, Visual Studio 2005 provides .NET devs a full suite of support tools for designing and building AWS-based web services, including a WYSIWYG design experience, IntelliSense statement completion, web services support for SOAP and WSDL access, integrated help, data design, administration and debugging.

    To enter the Amazon/Microsoft dev contest, or to download a full set of contest rules, just go to "All you need to do is register and start writing code. And, it's totally free to enter," Barr added. Entries close Dec. 31.