The Amazon Web Services team just ended an impressive year with one last innovation: Amazon DevPay. DevPay builds on Amazon's strengths in running both online shopping services and online web services to create a business infrastructure to support developers using their web services like S3 and EC2. It helps simplify the process of billing and tracking for apps that use these pay-per-use Amazon APIs, essentially enabling a reseller model (DevPay also includes it's own licensing API and you can see our a API profile here).
As they describe on the AWS blog:
This new service allows entrepreneurial developers to wrap their own business models around Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2, taking advantage of Amazon's existing customer base and billing infrastructure. With DevPay, developers can focus on being creative and innovative while dispatching the less-than-glamorous aspects of dealing with bank accounts, credit cards, and so forth to us.
Developers use DevPay's web-based registration interface to create pricing plans for their applications, monitor customer signups, and track usage. The developer's customers use another web-based interface to sign up and enter payment information for the applications that they wish to use.
You can think of DevPay as an enabling technology for our other services.
Using Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), developers can accept payments on websites. It has several innovative features, including support for micropayments.
Amazon DevPay instruments two Amazon Web Services to enable a new sort of Software as a Service. Amazon DevPay supports applications built on Amazon S3 or Amazon EC2 by allowing you to “resell” applications built on top of one of these services. You determine the retail price, which is a mark-up above Amazon’s base price. Customers pay for your application by paying Amazon. We deduct the base price plus a small commission; then deposit the rest into your Amazon account.
It's another intriguing building block in the web services infrastructure stack. The cost? "Your customers will be billed for usage of their DevPay-powered applications on the first day of each month. We will then deduct a 3% fee plus another 30 cents, and deposit the remainder in your DevPay account."
One of the first S3 customers to begin using this service is Amanda Enterprise, a supported version of the Amanda open source backup and recovery tool which now use DevPay along with Amazon S3 to backup, archive and retrieve customer data. See Amanda profile here.
Looks like SmugMug might start using it soon as well.