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Announced at the AWS re:Invent 2023, Amazon Q is a generative AI tool that will revolutionize how businesses leverage their data. Amazon Q works like an AI expert, combining the roles of a business analyst and a cloud assistant. It’s designed to enhance the building experience on AWS.

AmazonQ taps into your company’s vast repositories of information, codes, and enterprise systems to deliver insights and advice that can streamline tasks and enable innovation in the workplace. Think of it like an assistant that is instantly capable of grasping situational context through your business data!

This article serves as your guide to understanding Amazon Q, with a focus on its pricing structure and the costs associated with its diverse features.

What is Amazon Q?

Modern developers and IT professionals grapple with rapidly evolving technologies, balancing new feature development with maintaining existing systems.

Amazon Q alleviates this strain by offering instant, expert advice on a wide array of AWS functionalities, from simple feature inquiries to selecting the optimal EC2 instance for specific workloads. It significantly reduces the time spent navigating documentation, forums, and team discussions, focusing on productive development instead.

Including Q, the AWS Bedrock Foundations Models List allows users to pick from over 6 leading AI providers offering their FMs for building generative AI applications.

How does Amazon Q work?

Amazon Q operates on the Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) technique, combining a retrieval component that fetches relevant documents and a generation component that uses these documents to answer queries. This system rests on a large language model (LLM), trained on a vast corpus, making Amazon Q a well-informed and versatile tool for businesses.

Amazon Q, Framework, Diagram, Flowchart, Generation, LLM, IDP, Retrieval
  • User Query: The interaction with Amazon Q starts when a user submits a query. This query could range from simple informational requests to complex problem-solving tasks, depending on the user’s needs.
  • Retrieval Component: Upon receiving the user query, Amazon Q’s retrieval component swings into action. It searches through various indexed documents to find those most relevant to the query. These documents could be in various formats, such as .csv, .docx, HTML, JSON, .pdf, plaintext, .ppt, .rtf, and .xlsx.
  • Generation Component: The retrieved documents are then passed on to the generation component. This component, leveraging a large language model (LLM), synthesizes the information from these documents to construct a coherent and relevant response. The LLM is a sophisticated machine learning model trained on a vast corpus of data, enabling it to generate accurate and contextually appropriate answers.
  • Large Language Model (LLM): This step involves the LLM processing the information to formulate an answer. The model’s extensive training enables it to understand complex queries and provide detailed responses, drawing from the rich information contained in the retrieved documents.
  • Response to User: The final output is a response that is presented back to the user. This response aims to be clear, accurate, and directly relevant to the initial query, providing the user with the information or guidance they sought.
  • Additional Processes:
    • Identity Provider (IdP) Check: In some cases, especially when accessing sensitive or restricted information, Amazon Q may verify the user’s identity through an IdP. This ensures that users only access data they are authorized to view.
    • Guardrails and Chat Controls: These tools allow administrators to define what topics Amazon Q can discuss and the sources it can use for generating responses, ensuring the conversation stays within predefined boundaries.
    • Plugins: Amazon Q can interact with third-party services like Jira and Salesforce, enabling users to perform specific actions (like creating a ticket) directly within the Amazon Q interface.
  • Document Enrichment and Data Source Sync: Amazon Q can enhance documents during ingestion (document enrichment) and synchronize them with the Amazon Q index for real-time retrieval, ensuring up-to-date and comprehensive data availability.
  • Hallucination Check: Before delivering the response, Amazon Q performs a hallucination check. This step is crucial to ensure that the response is based on actual data and knowledge, avoiding any irrelevant or speculative content that doesn’t align with the provided documents or user query context.

Building on AWS with Amazon Q

This AI-powered assistant, rich with 17 years of AWS experience and knowledge, is readily accessible via various interfaces, such as the AWS Management Console, IDEs, and chat applications like Slack.

Streamlined Development Process – Amazon Q simplifies AWS services, accelerating the start-up process, learning new technologies, and designing robust solutions. By asking Amazon Q questions about AWS capabilities, developers receive detailed, concise answers, complete with citations and relevant links.

Facilitated Feature Development– When developers need to add new features, Amazon Q reduces the traditionally time-consuming process. It drafts a step-by-step plan, writes code, and suggests changes for feature implementation, significantly speeding up the development cycle.

Code Optimization and Debugging: Amazon Q assists in optimizing and debugging code. Developers can request optimization suggestions for specific queries, and Amazon Q provides a natural language description along with actionable code.

Amazon Q, Framework, Diagram, Flowchart, Pricing, Cost, Additional Charges,
Source: AWS

Amazon Q for Business Intelligence

Unlike general-purpose AI tools, Amazon Q is specifically designed to align with an organization’s unique data landscape and operational needs. Amazon Q’s ability to connect to a company’s data and systems allows for the creation of customized AI solutions.

Direct Connection to Diverse Data Sources: Amazon Q links directly to a multitude of data repositories, including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Salesforce. This direct connection enables the AI to draw from a rich and varied pool of business-specific information.

Custom Connectors for Unique Needs: Beyond standard sources, Amazon Q accommodates custom connectors, allowing businesses to integrate unique internal systems like intranets or wikis, further tailoring the AI’s knowledge base.

Authentication System Integration: Amazon Q uses existing authentication systems to understand user roles and access permissions, ensuring employees receive information tailored to their specific needs and authorization levels.

This democratization of AI technologies due to cost, energy, and performance efficient chips like AWS Graviton 4 or Trainium 2 can level the playing field for smaller businesses, allowing them to compete more effectively with larger enterprises.

Amazon Q Pricing Tiers and Plans

Amazon Q offers two distinct pricing tiers catering to different user needs, enhanced by its seamless integration with AWS services. Each tier is designed to provide unique capabilities and benefits, ensuring that users can choose the option best suited to their requirements.

  • Amazon Q Business: Priced at $20 per user per month, this tier focuses on leveraging internal company data and systems to solve problems, generate content, and find insights.
  • Amazon Q Builder: At $25 per user per month, this tier combines the capabilities of Amazon Q Business with expert AWS knowledge, aimed at developers and IT professionals for building, optimizing, and operating applications on AWS.

Comparative Table of Features and Pricing

FeatureAmazon Q Business ($20/user/mo.)Amazon Q Builder ($25/user/mo.)
Business ExpertiseYesYes
AWS ExpertiseNoYes
Enterprise System ConnectorsOver 40 (e.g., S3, Salesforce)Over 40 (e.g., S3, Salesforce)
User Permission UnderstandingYesYes
Task Completion & Streamlining CommunicationsYesYes
Enterprise GuardrailsYesYes
Integration with QuickSightYesYes
Code Debugging, Testing, OptimizationNoYes
Feature Development AccelerationNoYes
Code Transformation CapabilitiesNoYes
SQL Query Generation in RedshiftNoYes
Access in AWS Management Console and IDEsLimitedExtensive

Amazon Q Additional Charges Cost

Users should be aware that utilizing Amazon Q in tandem with other AWS services might incur additional charges. For instance, using Amazon Q with AWS QuickSight for advanced business intelligence analysis or AWS Redshift for SQL query generation may result in extra costs depending on the volume of data processed and the complexity of the tasks performed.

FeatureCharge DetailsNotes
Expert Knowledge of Your BusinessNo user-based charges during previewIncludes ready-to-deploy web interface, enterprise system connections, file upload in chats, actions execution, and access controls.
Amazon Q Index$0.14/hour ($100/month) per 20K documentsIncludes 100 hours of connector usage per month. Minimum 10 users required for application with business knowledge.
Expert Assistance for AWSNo additional charge during previewAvailable in AWS Management Console, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and IDE. Troubleshooting, optimization, and EC2 instance selection included.
Amazon Q in IDE (CodeWhisperer Individual)Included in featuresOffers inline code suggestions, conversational coding, security scanning, and vulnerability remediation (50 scans).
Amazon Q in QuickSight30-day free trial, then see QuickSight Q pricingEnables executive summaries, detailed responses with visuals, and data story creation.
Expert Assistance for AWS in IDE (CodeWhisperer Professional)$19/user/monthAdditional features include feature development, Java application upgrades, code customization, and increased security scanning (500 scans).
Amazon Q in Amazon CodeCatalystFree to Enterprise tiersRanges from 5 to 300 pull request summaries or descriptions per space, with automated feature development in higher tiers.

It’s important to note that some features of Amazon Q, including expert knowledge integration and AWS-specific assistance, are available at no additional charge during the preview period. However, certain functionalities, like document indexing and AWS in the IDE, may incur charges.

Amazon Q Use Cases and Examples

Businesses from different sectors are leveraging Amazon Q to harness the power of AI for streamlined operations and productivity. Let’s explore how different companies are utilizing it-

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals: In the biopharmaceutical industry, Alnylam is utilizing it to streamline AI project deliveries. By accessing internal data repositories and enterprise systems, Amazon Q accelerates innovation cycles, consolidating the complexities of AI projects.
  • Deloitte: Deloitte integrates Amazon Q to infuse generative AI into its client’s business processes. This helps in defining productivity, enhancing decision-making, and adapting to evolving business needs swiftly.
  • Gilead Sciences: In the healthcare sector, Gilead Sciences employs Amazon Q for faster analysis of extensive data. This accelerates the innovation process, leading to more rapid medical breakthroughs and productivity gains.
  • REPAY: As a modern payment technology company, REPAY uses Amazon Q to analyze internal data swiftly. This aids in improving customer service and optimizing product innovations, thereby enhancing overall operational efficiency.
  • Virgin Pulse: Specializing in digital health and wellbeing, Virgin Pulse leverages Amazon Q to unify search capabilities across its content-rich platform. This enhances employee experiences, leading to more efficient and impactful health and wellbeing solutions.
  • Wunderkind: In digital marketing, Wunderkind utilizes Amazon Q for efficient content discovery and creation. This results in a 30% reduction in content discovery time and a nearly 50% acceleration in the content creation process.


Amazon Q is a transformational asset for those building on AWS. Its ability to provide instantaneous expert advice and its deep integration with AWS services streamline the development process.

It revolutionizes the way employees interact with data, aiding in faster decision-making and fostering creativity. Understanding the spectrum of Amazon Q’s capabilities, along with its pricing structure and additional charges, is essential for any organization looking to enhance their AWS IDE.

Looking to save on AWS costs?

As cloud resources become increasingly integral to business operations, ensuring fiscal discipline through effective AWS budgeting will only grow in importance. If your organization is facing high AWS expenditure, book a free demo with Economize today and see how we can help you save up to 30% costs within 10 minutes.

Adarsh Rai

Adarsh Rai, author and growth specialist at Economize. He holds a FinOps Certified Practitioner License (FOCP), and has a passion for explaining complex topics to a rapt audience.

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