They have also released a library which makes it really easy to make calls to Amazon SimpleDB. The library wraps all of the SimpleDB SOAP calls and handles all of the authentication as well. Per their recent blog post, all you need to do to get started is to enter your AWS developer credentials. You can read about the library here. Per my earlier blog post, you can also access Amazon FPS from Bungee Connect with ease.
Bungee Connect is the development component of Bungee's Platform-as-a-Service model. Without leaving your desk (or your web browser) you can design, build, and deploy a complex application. The application might involve calling SOAP or REST web services, mashing up data from multiple local and remote sources, and doing some significant local processing as well. There's no charge to develop an application. Once built and deployed, the developer is billed based on actual usage of the application. There's more on this over at ProgrammableWeb.
You may be reading this and thinking that it sounds cool, only to realize that you don't yet have access to Amazon SimpleDB. We are adding new users to the SimpleDB beta just as fast as possible. If you are not yet on the waiting list, go here and click the Sign Up for Web Service button near the top right of the page. Before you do that, make absolutely sure that you have attached a credit card to your AWS account. If you are already using another for-pay service such as Amazon S3 or EC2, you have already done this. About 99.9% of our existing SimpleDB beta testers gained their access in this way.
The other 0.1% were desperate for access and managed to beg their way into the beta using various social engineering tricks. Sample tricks include desperate emails to me, emails with a very predictable pattern:
Paragraph 1 is always something like "Hey Jeff, remember that time we were using a PDP-8 together back in 7th Grade? Man, those were the good old days. I've been meaning to catch up with you for a long time. How's life?"
Paragraph 2 is then "I'm now at a startup, and my life wont be complete without access to SimpleDB. Can you help?"
Believe it or not, I get at least one such email per week. In fact, our limited betas have proven to be very effective at getting reconnected to old friends, which is never a bad thing. Of course, the more clever and more desperate the appeal, the better.