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Amazon unveils new weapon in its fight to dominate software services

Amazon Unveils Its First SmartphoneAmazon Unveils Its First Smartphone founder and CEO Jeff BezosPhotograph by David Ryder — Getty Images

Amazon is continuing its push to make its massive cloud computing business a full-service IT shop

Thursday, at an Amazon (AMZN) Web Services conference in New York, the company detailed a new service that specializes in a type of technology known as an application programing interface, or API. This technology is basically a software version of a broker that can connect various software languages, databases, and programs. Using APIs as a sort of glue, developers can piece together applications that talk to each other and share data.

For example, in order for Yelp to show users a map of restaurants they might be interested in, it uses APIs to spool in data that displays the locations of the restaurants as well as user reviews.

But building those APIs is hard and once a business has multiple APIs, they can be difficult to manage.

Amazon claims that its new API Gateway service allows developers to quickly build APIs and keep track of all them as they start working. Basically, if a company has a mobile app or is building a connected device because the Internet of things is so trendy right now, it can use the Amazon service to whip out an API that can hook it to different databases or services to make the application more dynamic, like Yelp.

As of now, Amazon’s service is only available from the company’s northern Virginia, Oregon, and Dublin cloud datacenters.

Once Amazon brings this service out more broadly, it could challenge companies like Apigee. Apigee (APIC), which went public in April, has an API management service and works with tech big-wig SAP to resell its services.

Intel (INTC) bought a San Francisco company called Mashery to help build out its API offerings. Mulesoft, a unicorn startup that raised $128 million in May, also offers a similar API service.

With so many options out there, it might seem off that Amazon is trying to jump in on the game. However, Amazon’s modus operandi is to dominate the entire world of business infrastructure, from providing the basic building blocks of a company’s backend—networking, compute, and storage—to providing the services needed to support that infrastructure.

APIs are just another tool in Amazon’s cloud computing arsenal to get more businesses willing to set up their infrastructure on AWS and build applications on top of it.

The also company rolled out a couple developer-related tools and a catalog service that shows businesses what is going on with the many services and applications they may be running. Amazon previewed these services last fall.

And Amazon hasn’t forgotten about storage either.

The company said Wednesday that heavy regulated businesses, like financial companies that need to store data in a way that meets SEC regulations, can now use a new service to help them do so. Once they set up the appropriate configurations that makes sure the data the need to keep for long periods of time abides by compliance rules, they can lock it down so it can never be tampered with.

Again, another example of Amazon pushing aggressively in new features, which it typically roles out fast and furiously.

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For more on Amazon’s cloud business, check out the following Fortune video: