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Amazon Web Services Adds Alexa Data

Online superstore Amazon.com has expanded its Web Services platform for developers, adding a new service for access to the Alexa database and increased access to the Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0.

The new Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS), which is available as a free beta, gives developers access to data collected by the Alexa Web Crawl, which includes more than 100 terabytes of data from over 4 billion Web pages.

Alexa, which was acquired by Amazon.com in 1999, uses a Web Crawl technology to collect data about Web site information and usage. With AWIS, Amazon.com is now providing a platform to access information, like traffic rank, for Web sites, adult content identification, load speed and related links.

The new Web Service also offers a Browse Category operation. A Web Search operation provides a list of URLs that has content matching one or more keywords, as well as a Crawl Meta Data operation that returns meta-data for a specific Web site, including size, checksum, frames, images and links.

AWIS also comes with a Web Map operation that offers a topographic representation of Alexa's Web crawl and a list of all links in and out of a particular Web page.

The Amazon E-Commerce Service, which is free, gives developers access to customer reviews, product information and images for all products from the company's home page.

With Version 4.0, Amazon.com has added a simpler API for shopping cart features and access to new information on categories like apparel and accessories, gourmet food, sports and outdoors and musical instruments and health.

The new version also features extended search functionality to let developers create applications with more complex search options than those previously available, Amazon.com said.

The company has posted code samples and sample applications on its Web Services site.