Amazon Lex, AWS, Polly, Lightsail

Yet another serverless processing project makes its way out of Amazon Web Services after AWS Lambda. The new service is called Kinesis Analytics and it will allow users to analyze real-time streaming data with the help of standard SQL queries.

Regular databases work with data which is static, meaning that it doesn’t change once the value has been set. But there are domains like Internet of Things, ad analytics and many others which involve analyzing data that could change a hundred times in a second. For these types of applications, standard analytics aren’t efficient enough. In a bid to make analyzing real-time streaming data much more effective, AWS announced Kinesis Analysis in the AWS Cloud.

The service uses standard SQL queries and all you have to do is create a Kinesis Stream or Kinesis Firehose, arrange to pump data into it, and then build an application to process or analyze it. This means you will not have to get a new software development kit or learn a new computer language in order to work with this new AWS analytics service.

Explaining the workings of this service in detail, Jeff Barr writes in a blog post:

When I think of running a series of SQL queries against a database table, I generally think of the data as staying more or less static while the queries come and go pretty quickly. Rows are added, changed, and deleted all the time, but this does not generally matter when considering a single query that runs at a particular point in time. Running a Kinesis Analytics query against streaming data turns this model sideways.  The queries are long-running and the data changes many times per second as new records, observations, or log entries arrive. Once you wrap your head around this, you will see that the query processing model is very easy to understand: You build persistent queries that process records as they arrive.

While the information in your database will be refreshed several times every second, there are applications where you’ll have to get access to aggregated values. For such cases, you can make use of a processing “window.” Kinesis Analytics supports three different types of windows– there’s Tumbling that could be used for periodic reporting, which, in short, summarizes data over time, then there’s Sliding that can be used to monitor and detect trends and finally there’s an option to custom build your window.

AWS Kinesis Analytics is currently live in Amazon’s EU (Ireland), US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions. Release in other regions might take a bit longer. Pricing and other details depend upon the processing power requirement as well as the memory you wish to utilize. For more details, head on to the service’s main page.

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