Given the recent explosion of web-based social apps and widgets, there are a handful of companies who are making it easier to build and host your apps. Sites like Sprout and KickApps have Flash-based IDE’s to let you easily build lightweight apps, and the big guys like Google are building out full stacks to support larger-scale efforts. However, one big piece of the puzzle that I haven’t seen is the ability to create a very simple hosted web service that allows developers to create a basic CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) interface to a data store.
Here are a few key features that a service like this would need to succeed:
- It must be ridiculously easy to set up. Users could just paste a SQL “create” statement, or could use a simple interface to define the columns.
- It must be scalable. S3 on the back-end for the basic package, with maybe some faster local storage options available for premium packages.
- Pricing must be competitive. Again, S3.
- It must be easy to load existing data into the store. Several options like CSV files or even Excel exports.
Other interesting features? A set of open source or shared read web services that could be created or used by anyone. This could be as simple as basic options to fill a drop down list (i.e. standard set of countries, states, cities) or something more complex like IP-to-location mappings.
What do you guys think? Is there something like this already out there? Any other features you’d like to see?