AWS offers Alexa developers free cloud credits

Developers interested in extending the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant have some more free tools in their arsenal, thanks to a program the company announced Wednesday.

Developers with an active Alexa skill —  a service that expands the capabilities of the virtual assistant — can apply for $ 100 in Amazon Web Services credits every month to help pay for what they’ve built. After that, they can receive up to $ 100 per month in additional credits if they incur usage charges for their skills.

The credits are meant to build on AWS’s existing Free Tier, which offers developers a small bundle of free services every month, but charges them for any usage that goes over those low caps. According to a blog post by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, the move is supposed to make it free for developers to operate most Alexa skills.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Salesforce targets ‘citizen developers’ with new tools and training

If there’s an overriding trend in the world of enterprise software lately, it’s democratization, as tools previously reserved for experts are put in the hands of average users. On Tuesday, Salesforce.com climbed on board with new software, training and support services that aim to help more users — not just professional developers — build applications for the Salesforce platform.

There aren’t enough trained developers to create apps for the business world, the company says, so it wants to help users in all parts of the organization make their own. More than 2.8 million developers have already built some 5.5 million apps based on the company’s customer relationship management software, it says, and at its TrailheaDX developer event in San Francisco, it made several announcements to expand that further.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Microsoft pitches developers on building apps for Office users

Microsoft Executive Vice President Qi Lu had an interesting pitch for developers Thursday: Build applications that use data from Microsoft Office.

Microsoft’s crown jewel for building apps that integrate with Office is its Graph set of APIs, which let developers build applications that know how users work with one another. Lu, speaking at the company’s Build developer conference, announced six new APIs to improve the Microsoft Graph, including one that allows developers to see when a group of users is available to meet.

That functionality will let developers build more intelligent applications that help people who use Office to work together, which can help Microsoft tie customers deeper into its productivity ecosystem. According to Lu, API calls to the Microsoft Graph have been growing 420 percent month over month since it was released last year.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Developers get new tools from Google to analyze images

Developers can now easily build powerful applications that understand the content of images thanks to new machine vision tools released by Google.

The company unveiled the beta of its Cloud Vision API on Wednesday, giving select developers an opportunity to run advanced image processing services that let their applications more easily handle pictures. Applications can use the tools to do things like identify the most important thing in an image, determine how someone feels from their picture, and detect whether the content of an image is inappropriate. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

IBM aims new IoT community site at developers

Hoping to rally the worldwide development community around the Internet of Things and drive business to its cloud services as well, IBM has launched a community space for programmers to write software to connect remote devices to back-end cloud systems.

The site, called DeveloperWorks Recipes, provides a base for developers to learn about how IoT systems work and how to create code to run these systems.

This is the second community site that IBM has set up in the past month. Last week, the company established DeveveloperWorks Open, to help developers collaborate on building open-source business software.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

The Cloud Wars Are Great For Consumers But A Headache For Developers

The Cloud Wars Are Great For Consumers But A Headache For Developers
Amazon released new Android and iOS software developer kits for its Amazon Cloud Drive service on Wednesday. For the first time, developers can bake direct access to Amazon's cloud storage into their apps, freeing users from having to log in to their …
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Cloud providers offer six-figure discounts to eligible startups
In an effort to convince startups to adopt the cloud — and by extension, eventually be profitable customers — the big three public cloud providers are offering six-figure discounts to startups working with approved startup accelerators and incubators …
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The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is an underdog in the global cloud computing industry, but it has one thing going for it: it's Chinese. Alibaba this week scored a minor deal with China's northeastern port city of …
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