Technology Review has an interesting article that talks about how Amazon’s Web Service API has encouraged 65,000+ developers to build new web applications based on its web store data.
For example, Alan Taylor (a former Amazon programmer) has developed Amazon Light, a less cluttered Amazon web store that also offers product links to external web sites. For example, if the item you are viewing is a DVD, there will be a button that let’s you see in a single click whether the same disc is for rent at Netflix. If it’s a CD, you can check whether Apple’s iTune music store has a downloadable version.
After reading the story, I begin to realize the truth power of Web Services. By making its Web Service API public and free of charge, an e-commerce company like Amazon can encourage the innovation of new web services and attract new customers.