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I'm trudging through the Amazon docs for a quick answer, but while I'm looking I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask here. My client uses custom software that uses (wait for it) Microsoft Excel to store data as opposed a RDBMS. Either way, their server is outdated and they are interested in using Amazon's cloud services, but would installing this software be possible, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

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Wow, not even Access?! I hope they're also interested in an improved business process. – Michael Hampton Oct 22 '12 at 23:35
Be careful about installing Microsoft Office on EC2. If your EC2 instance is stopped and restarted (and ends up on different hardware), the software may deactivate. – Matt Houser Oct 23 '12 at 0:24
I'm sure there's a better title for this question. I edited "custom" to "licensed", which seems better to me, but maybe there's a better word to describe how MS Excel is different from e.g. your very own fork of Apache. – pjmorse Oct 23 '12 at 11:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Amazon EC2 essentially is just a platform for you to do what you want with it. You are given a choice of operating systems to use, which can be a Linux distribution, Windows Server or really anything you wish. After that, you are free to install whatever software you would install on your own servers. In reality, the only difference between an EC2 instance and running software on your own server is that Amazon hosts the server for you. Most of your day to day server operations will be exactly as if you owned the server yourself.

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Yes of course it is. Once deployed, you can do with the server as you wish (within licensing rules for your app anyway).

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