As SimpleDB is so different, it helps to have a tool for manipulating and exploring the database. When developing with a MySQL database, phpMyAdmin allows the developer to work directly on the database. SimpleDB has a similar free Firefox plugin called sdbtool (http://code.google.com/p/sdbtool/). Another Firefox plugin used in the more advanced examples is S3Fox (http://www.s3fox.net/) for administering the Amazon S3 storage. In this book, we cover several basic sample applications. We have also provided code to show each SimpleDB application using three languages: Java, PHP, and Python.
As access to SimpleDB can be from any site on the Web, the PHP samples can be downloaded and run directly from your site. To run any sample, an Amazon account is required. These samples let you explore most of the SimpleDB API, as well as some of the S3 API capabilities.
You can both download and try the PHP samples from http://www.webmasterinresidence.ca/simpledb/.