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Discover some of there free Cloud services, functions, and tools offered by many of the top Cloud providers.


Free Cloud Computing StuffIntroduction to Free Cloud Computing Stuff


Many developers are already using Cloud services. Whether this is Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, or many of the others, the features and functionality the cloud offers have made it a viable tool or platform for the solutions they are building.

It is often a fear of runaway costs that can keep people away. Ironically, most of the major software companies offering Cloud solutions have programs that will allow developers and others to try their services at no cost. These programs might include a time limit, a quota limit, or a fee limit; however, in many cases you are able to get a feel for the service without the risk of spending money.

The following slides indicate some of the free programs offered by some of the major Cloud providers. Each slide includes a link to where you can either find more information or gain access to the offerings. Of course, what the providers offer is subject to change.

About the Author

Written by Bradley L. Jones, CEO of Lots of Software, LLC. Brad is a technologist that has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP, as an international bestselling author, speaker, director, webmaster, and much more.


Free Amazon Cloud Stuff!Free Amazon Cloud Stuff!


Amazon offers the Amazon AWS Free Tier to allow you to try the AWS platform, products, and services before committing financially. The free tier will let you get hands-on access to paid features as well as access to numerous items free for the first year or always free.

Amazon’s list of items for free access for 12 months is rather extensive. Free items include access to the Amazon API gateway for up to 1 million API calls per month, a GB of storage in the Amazon Cloud Directory, 50 GB of storage in Amazon CloudFront, 50K of text monthly for each API in the Amazon Comprehend natural language processing (NLP) service, and more. Other services in the 12-month free area include IoT Device Management remote actions, AWS OpsWorks node hours (for Chef and Puppet Enterprise), AWS Greengrass, AWS IoT, AWS Data Pipeline, transcribe minutes, Translate AI services, RDS, message brokering (Amazon MQ), bot text request services, Elasticsearch services, and more.

In the category of always free, Amazon also provides access to a variety of items. This includes unlimited access to Amazon Chime for unified communication services. Also included are 10 custom metrics and 10 alarms in Amazon CloudWatch as well as access to services such as Amazon Cognito for mobile identity, Amazon Glacier for access to object storage, Amazon Macie for data classification, Amazon mobile Analytics, Amazon SES for email services, Amazon SNS for messaging services, Amazon AWS CodeBuild for building and testing code in the loud, AWS CodeCommit for managing source control, AWS Pipeline for continuous delivery services, AWS X-Ray for analyzing and debugging applications, a NoSQL database (DynamoDB), and much more.


Free Microsoft Cloud Stuff!Free Microsoft Cloud Stuff!


Microsoft has been promoting their Microsoft Azure services for many years. Like many of the Cloud providers in this slideshow, Microsoft is offering a full range of Web services and features via their Azure program.

Although their free offering has changed over time, they have generally provided a means to try their services at no initial cost. Microsoft currently offers a $200 credit that can be used in the first 30 days to allow you to try any Azure Cloud services. Beyond the $200 credit, Microsoft allows you to set a spending cap so you are never surprised by a bill. You can set the cap to $0 to avoid being billed after trying the free offerings.

In addition to the $200 credit, Microsoft offers a few services free for 12 months, such as the use of Linux Virtual Machines, File Storage, SQL Database usage, 15 G of bandwidth, and several other features. There are also free products, such as App Compute Services for Web, mobile or APIs that are free for up to 10 apps. Also free are Service Fabric containers, Active Directory stored users (for 50,000), Compute functions (up to 1,000,000), Visual Studio Team Services developer tools (for teams of up to 5), and much more.

Finally, it is worth noting that several of Microsoft’s programs include Azure credits. This includes their BizSpark and MSDN subscription programs. For example, an MSDN subscription might include a $150 monthly credit for development and testing on Azure.



Free IBM Cloud Stuff!Free IBM Cloud Stuff!


The overall IBM Cloud offers a variety of services, including compute, storage, management, security, data management, analytics, AI, IoT, mobile, developer tools, blockchain, integration, migration, private cloud, and VMWare support.

IBM offers a lite version of its cloud offerings that is free with no time limit. It includes 256 MB of Cloud Foundry memory, one instance per Lite plan; an application auto-sleep feature; and more. The Cloud Foundry is used to deploy and scale applications without the need to manually configure or manage the servers. Registration allows you to avoid entering a credit card, plus it will allow you to try the IBM Cloud paid services by upgrading and using a $200 credit during the first month.



Free Oracle Cloud Stuff!Free Oracle Cloud Stuff!


Like the previous Cloud providers, Oracle offers a variety of services for SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and on-premises solutions. Oracle offers a free program that provides $300US credits that can be used within the first 30 days to access their variety of services. In general, their credits apply to their pay-as-you-go subscription services. The list of services includes a NoSQL database platform, (Data Hub), a security broker for applications (CASB, Cloud Access Security Broker), identity services, mobile services, a Visual Builder application creation tool, integration automation, an event hub, compute for big data, IoT services, real-time data integration and replication services, the MySQL database, application containers, an API platform. Storage, and much more.

In addition to the free Cloud trial, Oracle has a number of other, separate trials for things such as Business Intelligence solutions, Java SaaS extensions, DaaS for Sales, EPM, SCM, ERP, HCM, and Customer Experience (CX).



Free Google Cloud Stuff!Free Google Cloud Stuff!


Google provides their Google Cloud Platform, which contains tools, services, and more to tap into the Cloud. Not to be outdone by others, they also offer a free tier to their Cloud so that you can learn and try building without first outlaying a lot of money. Additionally, they offer both a 12-month program with $300US in credit as well as many services that are “always free”.

In the area of “always free,” Google provides a limited use of their standard app engine (28 instances per hour per day with 5 GB of storage), use of their NoSQL database (Google Cloud Datastore with 1 GB of storage), and use of their compute engine (1 micro-engine per month with up to 30 GB-months of HDD. They also provide Cloud storage, real-time messaging and data streaming, a serverless environment for building and connecting to cloud services with code (Google Functions), container orchestration, an analytics warehouse (1 TB of queries and 10 GB of storage), a vision API, machine learning usage, and much more.



Free Progress Cloud Stuff!Free Progress Cloud Stuff!


Progress is not a broad-based Cloud provider like many of the others listed in this slideshow, but it is a platform and tools provider that offers a chance to try several Cloud products and services without spending any money. If you are wanting to try a serverless Cloud backend, you can try their Kinvey platform. For data connectivity and integration, they offer trials of their DataDirect Connectors for tapping into relational, SaaS, big data, and hybrid cloud solutions as well as hybrid connectors for any Cloud or on-premises data source that uses a standard data interface (ODBC, JDBC, REST/OData). There are also Web content management tools and a predictive analytics offering.

The use of the Progress tools is limited based on a variety of programs ranging from internal use to 90-day licensing. You need to check each product to determine how it can be used in a free manner.

In addition to their Cloud tools, Progress also offers trials for many of their developer tools as well, including Telerik, Test Studio, Kendo UI, NativeScript, and more.



Free Cloud Stuff… From Many More!Free Cloud Stuff… From Many More!


Progress was listed in the previous slide as an example of the many companies that are not often considered as one of the mega-players in the Cloud space. There are many other companies such as Progress that offer developers tools and libraries for use. Many have migrated their offerings to Cloud-based (such as SaaS) solutions, and many offer trials. If you have a favorite tool company, it never hurts to check them out and see if they are offering something new under a free trial! Some companies even push full versions of older products to an open source and free model. It never hurts to check!

Feel free to comment on this slideshow about any free Cloud platforms, services, or tools you believe are good that you also believe other developers would get value!

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