Not sure, but this morning I received my monthly AWS bill, and it was double its usual amount! When I investigated the extra cost it was due to 133GBs of downloads from my www2.gobansaor.com bucket. This is the S3 bucket in which I store the xlAWS zip file, xlAWS being a “library-of-sorts” of VBA/VB6 helper code for accessing Amazon S3 and SimpleDB.
It’s linked to from this page on my blog (which has had 200 or so hits this month) and from this AWS Community Code page. The excessive hits on the bucket started on the 28th of Feb , the day the xlAWS code was published on Amazon and continued through most of March. Talking the size of the zip file, 133GB represents approximately 100,000 downloads. I don’t have server logging enabled on the bucket, so I can’t be sure how much is due to the other public files in the bucket (all belonging to the VBA/Proto SQLite xLite project), but as that project has been available for months and is accessible only through my website (who’s stats show a consistent 5-10 downloads per week) I’m guessing the downloads are for xlAWS.
Who would have though that there would be such interest in VBA/VB6 code for accessing AWS services! I wonder was it the Excel VBA side of the house or the dispossessed (and p*ssed off) VB6 developer hoards who downloaded it the most? Leave a comment if you downloaded and used the library, I’d love to know.
I’ve been meaning to try out the Apatar ETL/Mashup tool for sometime and today being yet another rainy day in this the worst Irish summer that I can remember (and Irish summers are not renowned for the lack of rainfall) I decided to give it a try out. Not impressed I’m afraid; comes up short when compared to either Kettle (Pentaho PDI), Proto, RSSBus or Talend. Very few database connectors (e.g. no SQLite,DB2 or Firebird support) this wouldn’t be a problem if the product offered a generic JDBC or ODBC connector. It does have one nice feature the others (other than RSSBus) haven’t, an Amazon S3 connector. But the thing that I find amazing is that a product that’s positioning itself as an Enterprise 2.0. mashup tool doesn’t have the ability to read and write Excel files! And no, CSV files don’t count.
The announcement of Google Gears is of course a game changer for those working in the development of online apps; its addition to Goggle Reader alone would make it worth while for me and I’m sure we’ll see it integrated into Google Docs and GMail in the near future. If you had any plans to develop a web based app or already deploy one you need to give this technology some quality time.
But it is the use of SQLite as the client-side persistence engine that excites this datasmith’s old heart. Since first coming across SQLite (while learning Ruby on Rails) I’ve been convinced that this “good enough” micro-database on steroids was a winner. Since then, as well as using it with Ruby ,I’ve integrated it with excel to use as a micro-ETL tool, I was instrumental in getting SQLite support added to Kettle (Pentaho PDI), I wrote a SQLite custom module for Proto, in fact the first thing I now do when checking out a data manipulation tool is to check if it supports SQLite.
Google Spreadsheets now supports simple graphs and named ranges; see the announcement on the google-d-s.blogspot.com blog. I’ve also just noticed that my Google Apps account now includes Docs & Spreadsheets; finally I can move my business documents from my private GMail account into Goggle Apps. Looks like a presentation tool is also on the way.
This confirmation of Google’s continued commitment to D&S is opportune as I had decided a few weeks ago to invest some time finally getting my head around GData, in particular, the Spreadsheets and Calendar APIs. I investigated the APIs using VBA, as my main interest in interfacing with GoogleD&S & Calendar is as a back-end to Excel; i.e. using Excel as the front-end heavy duty data tool and Google Apps as the collaboration and orchestration tool (and Amazon S3 as the back-end data store). But I didn’t use VBA within Excel, instead as I was also investigating Proto I used this excellent Proto example as my starting point.
Byron Binkley CEO of Proto has kindly offered a total of 50 licenses (until July 13th 2007) at $79.50, a 90% discount to the listed price for Proto Individual (http://www.protosw.com/products/purchase). The offer applies to anybody mentioning this http://gobansaor.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/proto/blog post. I have no connection financial or otherwise with Proto Software, just a fan of the product.
I’ve said before that these two would make an ideal couple, I see the
courting flirting has begun …..