In today's ever-evolving technological landscape, staying up-to-date with the latest software and services can be a challenge. In this blog post, we'll look at five AWS services that you've probably never heard of that might be the perfect solution for your business. These services include Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Polly, Amazon CodeGuru, Amazon Lightsail, and Amazon Honeycode (Beta). Whether you need complex services or low-code/no-code solutions, it's worth discovering these hidden gems offered by AWS.
Got a huge set of images that need analysis? Rekognition is the service for you. AWS will give you thousands of images and videos per month free on the AWS Free Tier but you can scale this one up as high as you need to go. Don't have a machine learning team to build custom models and infrastructure? No problem. Use one of the pre-trained or customizable APIs without worrying about it. Millions of images needing to be analyzed? Again, no problem. Rekognition can handle it in seconds if needed.
Rekognition can apply to either videos or images and offers some nice features accordingly. For videos, there's object, scene, and activity detection. There's also the ability to moderate content (i.e. explicit content, nudity, etc.). You can still apply other detection methods too such as text detection, face detection, and even celebrity detection.
Amazon Polly is a more obscure, but still quite powerful service. Polly is more than just a text-to-speech service. It enables entirely new categories of speech-enabled products.”With deep learning used to create an incredibly natural sounding human speech–and dozens of lifelike voices across various languages–there are many exciting ways to use the service.
General features of Polly include customization and adjustment of speaking style, speech rate, pitch, and loudness. If you're looking for something more advanced, you can adopt a newscaster speaking style, modify custom lexicons, and even implement a “brand voice” where you work with the Amazon Polly team to build a “Neural Text-to-Speech (NTTS) voice for the exclusive use of your organization.”
Working in Java or Python? Give CodeGuru a look for complex codebases. CodeGuru is built to review actual code, find issues, and make recommendations to improve your code. Additional features include an “OWASP Top 10” check, AWS API security best practices, Java/Python crypto library best practices, sensitive information leaks, input validation, and much more.
While computer-initiated reviews of code are never perfect, it's always nice to have a second set of eyes that a human developer can double-check. For example, log injection, input validation, code duplication, and secrets detection are quick wins when it comes to patching security issues.
One of the challenges of getting fully on board with AWS is that they offer so many services. With new services being released all the time, it seems impossible to know where to start architecting and how to marry your business objectives with the technical side of things. For smaller applications that you just want to see up-and-running fast so you can start getting customer feedback, the core AWS offerings can sometimes seem heavy-handed or come with unwanted barriers to entry (i.e. learning and proficiently using said services). For those needs, check out Lightsail.
Using pre-configured development stacks, Lightsail will allow you to spin up entire applications, websites, blogs, or anything else you can think of quickly and easily. Lightsail boasts several use cases from simple web applications to small business inventory management, backups, financial and accounting software, and more.
While virtual servers (instances) are easy to set up and consistent with other AWS service reliability, you can also take advantage of containerization, load balancing (simplified), databases, and object storage. One of the more thoughtful features of Lightsail, however, is the fact that as your needs expand, you can easily move things over to AWS EC2 while still having access to the catalog of AWS services available.
Amazon Honeycode (Beta)
Not looking for something with full technical capabilities but need something better than ye olde spreadsheet? Honeycode is a new service from Amazon that attempts to empower teams via a no-programming-needed approach. While you may not have all of the capabilities of a more robust set of developer-friendly services, it may be the happy medium your business needs right now (perhaps even a stop-gap solution until you get fully integrated with AWS).
Some of the main features include marketing, HR, operations, sales, and product management templates to get you started. From there you can automate manual steps of the application to help keep contributors up to speed and aware of when action is needed from them. Most of all, the components appear to be pretty customizable and should fit any number of particular business scenarios.
Whether you need complex services or low-code/no-code solutions, it's worth taking a look at some of the less well-known software out there. Particularly when it comes to AWS, the ecosystem is vast and you may be overlooking just the right solution for your business.