- Create and configure a Search Domain. This is a data container and a related set of services. It exists within a particular Availability Zone of a single AWS Region (initially US East).
- Upload your documents. Documents can be uploaded as JSON or XML that conforms to our Search Document Format (SDF). Uploaded documents will typically be searchable within seconds. You can, if you'd like, send data over an HTTPS connection to protect it while it is transit.
- Perform searches.
Barr boasts that users can get CloudSearch up and running in an hour. On top of this, the service updates continuously as documents are added, changed, and deleted, which provides a "near real-time" search.
As for the dollars and cents, CloudSearch price ranges from $0.12 to $0.68 per hour. Any new configuration of data for re-indexing purposes will result in a $0.98 per gigabyte charge.
This announcement has already generated some healthy discussion, with emphasis on a need for clarification of some of the specifics of CloudSearch's capabilities. Some commenters have been asking if this is compatible with S3, which I can only assume will be the case given both services are provided by AWS, which should be promoting cross-compatibility of their various cloud-based services. Commenters are also wondering if CloudSearch will support languages other than English, and if the service will provide autocomplete.
Check out the Webcast if you get the chance: Introduction to Amazon CloudSearch
Have you gotten a chance to try out CloudSearch yet? Is it compatible with documents stored in other Amazon Web Services? Tell us about your user experience by providing your comments below.