It doesn’t happen very often when there’s a true tech breakthrough, but this is one of those moments. If you care about Internet applications, pay attention to this one, it’s important.
- Expand this headline to see a crude hand-drawn illustration of how it works today.
Dropbox broke new ground
- Then a little over a year ago, Dropbox did something amazing.
- They basically sucked the functionality of the proxy server into dropbox.com, making it unnecessary to create an inbetween server. All of a sudden you don’t need to write server software to build an app that connects with Dropbox. Poof! There goes the scaling problem. And also the need to raise money or sell the users to advertisers.
- The scaling still has to be done, but it’s done by Dropbox. They make it work not by selling users to advertisers, rather by charging people to use their service. Perfect. These economics feel just right.
- And that’s how we built our Fargo outliner, and that’s why it performs great no matter how many people use it.
Now Amazon is doing it
- I have tested the claim, very quickly in a limited way, using a sample app they provided. I had to register as a developer on Facebook, so the user can use their login to access my software. I created a new bucket, s3.scripting.com, put my app in the bucket, added a CORS configuration, and ran it. It worked the first time. I can click a button and upload an image to my bucket, using my Facebook login, and there’s no proxy server involved.
- You can try it yourself. Here’s the app.
- I will have to delete any pictures that are uploaded there, I don’t want to compete with Instagram or Flickr, but I want you all to see the idea in action. And there’s the code, just do a View Source, you can take it and modify it to work with your servers. The instructions that Amazon provides are pretty easy to follow.
Where to next?
- PS: Also we need a better acronym than SJSA. Ideas? 😉