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AWS CTO Werner Vogels at re:Invent in Las Vegas, Dec. 1, 2016. (Dan Richman/GeekWire)
AWS CTO Werner Vogels at re:Invent in Las Vegas, Dec. 1, 2016. (GeekWire Photo / Dan Richman)

LAS VEGAS — Amazon Web Services unleashed another wave of technologies today at its re:Invent conference during a keynote by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels that stretched across two hours. Here’s a rundown of the key announcements made by the company today.

AWS Glue is a fully managed data catalog and ETL (extract, transform and load) service. Glue and several other new AWS offerings are intended to round out the cloud giant’s data-architecture offering, Vogels said. When used in conjunction with existing products for data analytics and warehousing, which Vogels spent considerable time summarizing, “now you can build a comprehensive data architecture on AWS,” Vogels said during his keynote.

Glue allows “building a data catalog, so you can point to various data sources — any JDBC (Java Database Connectivity API) database, even if it’s on-premises,” he said. “It reads the metadata. Glue then allows transforming data and prepare it into a format that your analytics engine needs. And it allows scheduling and running jobs. If data changes, it will make adjustments.”

AWS also introduced Batch, which Vogels described as a fully managed batch-processing service that dynamically handles batch processing at any scale. It takes advantage automatically of spot pricing, which can save considerably on AWS spending.

“You longer have to worry about this pain point in very large data processing,” he said.

Amazon Pinpoint is a new mobile marketing analytics feature within Amazon Web Services that helps app makers run targeted push notification campaigns.

AWS Shield is a new technology to protect sites against such distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

AWS Blox is a collection of open-source projects for container management and orchestration on the Amazon ECS container service. It lets developers build schedulers and integrate third-party schedulers on top of ECS, while using ECS to manage and scale clusters. Netflix is already using widely. It’s available at

Vogels said support for the C# programming language is now available in AWS Lambda, an announcement that drew applause.

So did Lamda@Edge, which allows doing Lambda functions at CloudFront locations. CloudFront is AWS’s content-delivery service, built so as to deliver web-based content with minimal lag time. Lambda@Edge allows sequencing Lambda functions, running them in parallel, chaining them and putting them into queues. Lambda functions are code snippets that can be executed upon command.

Chef Automate: Seattle-based software-automation firm Chef announced as part of AWS that the full capabilities of its Automate commercial platform have been integrated into a new managed service provided by Amazon Web Services.

AWS X-Ray is a fully-managed service that allows developers to debug their distributed applications. Using trace data from applications, X-Ray creates a visual console to easily visualize key metrics and health issues in code.

AWS Step Functions, also new, allows coordinating the components of distributed applications using visual workflows. It includes an editor that can map out the desired relationships among Lambda functions, whether they are in parallel, branches or sequences. “This is really going to change the way you build distributed applications,” Vogels said.

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