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Development-as-a-Service is the future of Platform-as-a-Service

There is a basic opinion on the net that “PaaS Is The Future Of Cloud Services”. I also share this opinion but I go one step further: “Development-as-a-Service is the future of Platform-as-a-Service”!

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) helps you to host, debug and execute your application over its whole lifecycle. Therefore PaaS offers an infrastructure stack (like LAMP, WAMP, etc.) which generally implements the OS, a webserver like Apache, a database e.g. MySQL and the programming language e.g. PHP, Ruby, Python etc. Good examples for PaaS offerings are Google AppEngine or cloudControl.

For using PaaS solutions you have to develop your application on your local machine and upload it to the PaaS infrastructure afterwards. There you can execute it etc. That means you still need a local IDE (integrated development environment) like Eclipse and you are not able to work on the code parallel from different machines. Ergo: The PaaS offering is “just” useful for hosting and executing your application.

What developers really need is a Development-as-a-Service solution on which they can hack their code without using a local IDE. And because of the demand of working and developing things distributed still raises the need for hack on the code parallel from different locations growth.

Cloud9IDE goes this way and offers a commercial development environment for JavaScript which also supports HTML5 features and scripting languages ​​like Python, Ruby and PHP. Unlike conventional Platform-as-a-Service solutions applications are written using a fully browser-based development environment. This environment uses the open source project Ace, which implements an editor written in Javascript. In the background a NodeJS server provides the hosting and processing of online developed applications. Besides syntax highlighting the editor features automatic engagement and disengagement, and an optional command line. Furthermore, there is a vi and emacs mode and the environment is ready for handling up to 100,000 lines of code. Beside a built-in chat feature multiple developers can work simultaneously on the same program code and run and debug JavaScript applications. Another feature is the direct link to the web hosting service github.

Really cool is that you actually have a fully intergrated (best of) stack of IaaS + PaaS + SaaS. So you are able to deliver your application one-stop from one platform: code + debug + deliver + done (next loop)!

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By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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