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Amazon adds to developer choices with JavaScript SDK for Web Services

The SDK can be used to build fast and scalable network applications for Amazon's cloud

The general release of the AWS (Amazon Web Services) SDK for Node.js is available for download, allowing developers to build server-side applications in JavaScript that then can run on Amazon's cloud.

The free SDK follows a preview version that Amazon announced in December last year. One of the advantages of Node.js is that developers can scale their applications without having to deal with polling, timeouts and event loops, according to Amazon. It is based on Google's V8 JavaScript engine and includes a library of functions that work under an event-driven model.

New features added to the generally available version include bound parameters, streams, IAM (identity and access management) roles for EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances, proxies and version locking. The latter feature allows users to lock into an API version for a service, which Amazon recommends if the API is relied on for production code. This way companies can isolate themselves from changes in updates of the SDK, it said.

Applications written using the SDK can be integrated with a long list of Amazon's cloud services, including Amazon's Relational Database Service and its Virtual Private Cloud offering, which lets users create logically isolated virtual servers and an optional VPN connection to their own data center.

Recently, Amazon also announced a version of Elastic Beanstalk for Node.js-based applications. Elastic Beanstalk aims to make it easier to quickly deploy and manage applications in Amazon's cloud. The tool can also be used with Java, PHP, Python, Ruby and .Net applications.

The preferred way to install the AWS SDK for Node.js is to use the npm package manager for Node.js, according to Amazon's documentation for the kit, which also includes a configuration guide and code examples.

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