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Will you be on Cloud9? AWS emits cloudy code editor it nabbed last year

Software dev tool relaunched with Amazon branding – plus other stuff

By Thomas Claburn in San Francisco

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AWS re:Invent Amid its torrent of product announcements tied to its re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services on Thursday introduced AWS Cloud9, a browser-based code editor with AWS integration.

Without the AWS prefix, Cloud9 can be had as open source software and on Google Cloud Platform. AWS acquired the company Cloud9 in July, 2016 and now has added its initials and hooks to its services to the captured software.

AWS Cloud9 is free, but it will cost you. It utilizes AWS CPU time and storage. Used eight hours a day, it would cost about $48.80 per month on a Linux m4.xlarge instance (4 vCPUs, 16GiB memory) or $5.62 on a less well provisioned t2.small instance. (1 vCPU, 2GiB memory).

But at least it supports a feature called auto-hibernate that stills the billing meter after a specified period of inactivity. It's recommended to ensure that pennies only leak during actual usage.

Strictly speaking, Cloud9 is more than just a code editor. It's an integrated development environment or IDE, which means it's suited not only for typing code but for debugging and running code. It handles collaboration too, for those who enjoy pair programming.

The editing component is based on the Ace editor, which evolved from Mozilla's Skywriter (Bespin) project. It's written in JavaScript but manages to be rather responsive.

"There’s no lag or other issues while typing," gushed Randall Hunt, senior technical evangelist at AWS, in a blog post.

AWS Cloud9 has a keybindings editor, for customized commands, and ships with the AWS CLI preconfigured, to simplify interactions with Amazon's cloud.

Among its more compelling features is SSH support.

"If you want to run Cloud9 outside of AWS, or on an existing instance, you can provide SSH access to the service which it will use to create an environment on the external machine," said Hunt. "Your environment is provisioned with automatic and secure access to your AWS account so you don’t have to worry about copying credentials around. Let me say that again: you can run this anywhere."

Integration with AWS Lambda could also be appealing. Those crafting serverless functions can view their Lambda code through the AWS Resources tab.

Speaking of Lambda, AWS Serverless Application Repository also entered into preview mode. The service, a place to package, publish, and share serverless applications that make use of AWS serverless tech like Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon DynamoDB, is intended to provide examples of Alexa skills, chatbots, data and stream processing, social media analysis, and the like.

It's not a market, it's a template dump; devs wishing to sell their SaaS are advised to go through AWS Marketplace.

And on an unrelated note, AWS launched Amazon Time Sync Service, which provides a way to synchronize clocks over Network Time Protocol using "a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks" at no extra charge.

Ands finally, really finally, there's now Alexa for Business so you can bung one of Amazon's voice-controlled assistants in an office and make it do biz-related tasks. ®

PS: Speaking of clouds, Google Cloud has signed up as chief operating officer Diane Bryant, Intel's former data center chief.

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