What is Amazon Simple Storage Service?

Amazon Simple Storage Service (AWS S3) is one of Amazon Web Service’s oldest, most matured services. S3 was originally developed as a way for Amazon.com to store all of it’s product details and images. Amazon realized that many other companies needed a simple way to store their data online. They modified the storage service they built for Amazon.com to make it massively scaleable, built an easy to use interface and started selling access to their system. Thus, Amazon Web Services was born.

Since 2006, S3 has been the industry standard for cloud storage. It’s fast, cheap, flexible, reliable and available around the world. Because it is so very good at what it does, online services across a wide range of industries use S3. Massive international companies like General Electric, Georgia Pacific and 3M depend on S3 every day. If you’ve ever watched Netflix, played Minecraft, looked at Pintrest or Reddit, you’ve used S3.

What can I do once my data is in AWS S3?

  • Speed up and/or slim down your FileMaker solution by storing a URL link to your file instead of the data in your container.
  • Send a URL link to a file in an email or text message.
  • Send a temporary URL link to a file as part of a REST API call.
  • Keep the file private and use it as a backup.
  • Use bucket level encryption protect the file.
  • Set a lifecycle policy to automatically archive or delete the file after a set number of days.

What other services does AWS offer that require my data to be in S3?

AWS has over 200 other services, many of which do some very amazing things with data files. Many of them are free or have a free tier, but none of them are very expensive. Here is an incomplete list of AWS services that are great for FileMaker.

Document and text services

  • Amazon Comprehend – Great for analyzing a “comments” or “notes” field. Upload your text as a file, then do some really cool stuff with Amazon’s Comprehend AI: Medical named entity recognition and extraction (NERe), sentiment or syntax analysis, keyphrase extraction and more.
  • Amazon Textract – Great for turning documents into FileMaker records. Textract reads a scanned document and uses optical character recognition (OCR), form/table extraction, handwriting recognition to describe the scanned document as code, which you can then import as a record.
  • Amazon Translate – Upload a plain-text file to S3, then use Amazon Translate to identify and translate the text into your language of choice. Works with 70+ spoken languages.

File Type Conversion

File Analysis

  • Amazon Athena – Run SQL queries on all of your uploaded S3 files at once. Includes the inside of CSV and JSON files!

Artificial Intelligence

  • Amazon Transcribe – Upload an audio file, then perform a speech to text transcription. Great for phone calls, clinical documentation, subtitling a video and a lot more. Supports dual channel audio, channel and speaker identification, custom vocabulary and medical language.
  • Amazon Rekognition – Analyzes image and video files by using machine learning. Label images, moderate content, detect text, recognize and analyze faces… this one is REALLY cool. Use Rekognition to identify people who aren’t wearing their PPE or students that are not paying attention. No machine learning expertise required.

Are any of these other services available via s3.fm?

As of August 2021, we haven’t put the time in to make these other services available via s3.fm. That doesn’t mean we’re not interested in connecting your preferred AWS service to s3.fm. Let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll either:

  • Help you configure custom code to do it just how you need it.
  • Build a private s3.fm connector you can resell with your product.
  • Offer you a chance to invest in a public s3.fm connector, which will earn you a return per use.