Amazon Simple Storage Service
Console User Guide (API Version 2006-03-01)

About Amazon S3 Resources and Operations


This is the User Guide for the old Amazon S3 console. If you are looking for the User Guide for the new Amazon S3 console, see Welcome to the New Amazon S3 Console User Guide.  

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. You can think of Amazon S3 as a collection of resources and operations. Buckets and objects are the primary resources. Amazon S3 provides APIs for you to create buckets and upload objects. In addition, there are other resources, many of which store bucket and object specific configuration information. These are referred to as subresources. For example, the following are some of the bucket subresources:

  • lifecycle – You can define lifecycle configuration rules for objects that have a well-defined lifecycle. For example, archive objects one year after creation, or delete an object 10 years after creation. The lifecycle subresource stores the lifecycle configuration rules. For more information, go to Object Lifecycle Management.

  • website – You can host a static website on Amazon S3. To host your static website, you configure your bucket for website hosting. The website subresource stores the website configuration information. For more information, go to Hosting a Static Website on Amazon S3.

  • versioning – Versioning provides protection from accidental overwrites and deletes. We recommend versioning as a best practice to prevent objects from being deleted or overwritten by mistake. The versioning subresource stores versioning configuration information. For more information, go to Using Versioning.

  • policy and ACL (access control list) – These subresources store access permission information. By default, all your resources are private. You as the resource owner must grant permissions for others to access these resources. For more information, see Resource Owner.

There are also subresources associated with objects. For example, Amazon S3 provides an ACL subresource that helps you manage object-level permissions.

Resource Owner

By default, all Amazon S3 resources are private. Only a resource owner can access the resource. The resource owner refers to the AWS account that creates the resource. The resource owner can optionally grant others permission to access the resources. These can be other AWS accounts, IAM users in an AWS account, or applications that get permissions via the IAM roles. For information about AWS accounts and IAM users, see What is IAM? in the IAM User Guide. For more information about permissions, see Managing Access Permissions to Your Amazon S3 Resources in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Developer Guide.

Resource Operations

To help you work with buckets, objects, and related subresources, Amazon S3 provides a set of operations. You have the following options to work with Amazon S3:

  • Use the Amazon S3 console to perform operations without writing any code.

  • Use the AWS SDKs that provide wrapper libraries for Java, .NET, Python, PHP, and other languages. For more information about the available SDKs, see Sample Code and Libraries.

  • Use the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) to manage Amazon S3 objects by using a command line user interface. For more information about the AWS CLI, go to AWS Command Line Interface.

  • Both the console and the AWS SDK libraries internally make the Amazon S3 REST API call described in the API reference. If you need to, you can also write code to make the REST API calls directly from your application.

For a list of Amazon S3 operations go to, Operations on Buckets and Operations on Objects in the Amazon Simple Storage Service API Reference.