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The creation of the Sherpa cloud database taught three main lessons: Developing a good cloud API is an underappreciated art, developers should decide carefully what and what not to build, and real load testing is critical. Cloud platforms are evolving and becoming ever more complex. Initially, providers such as Amazon offered only simple resources such as storage and computation for rent. Now, many cloud providers offer higher level services with more features and semantics. Examples include:Google's AppEngine, which provides a full Web development platform; Amazon's various services, including Elastic MapReduce for complex computations over data;the Yahoo Query Language, a platform for combining Web data sources; cloud data-warehousing offerings such as Aster Data's cloud edition; andvarious open source tools for cloud computing developed by Cloudera and others.