There is a lot of buzz going around BlueMix. So I thought of sharing my two cents on BlueMix. Since BlueMix is a platform-as-a-service offering, so it becomes imperative for me to spend the Part 1 of this blog series explaining what platform-as-a-service is?
Suppose I wish to build a web application to do something, say data cleansing then one can guess what all will I as a developer would have traditionally wanted?
- I need to outline its infrastructure requirements so the right development environment could be manually installed and configured by specialized members of my team, often resulting in significant delays. I would need to set up the appropriate development tools, middleware, as well as install the correct runtime environment—software the application needs to access to function properly.
- If the application required the end user to input information, a database would have to be installed, requiring manual configuration, enabling of the application to “talk” to the database, and monitoring and management by a database administrator, all of which took more time.
- Once the application was finally coded, I would face the dreaded ‘bottleneck’ of being released into production. Operations and database teams had to install and configure the same development environment on servers that could handle a larger workload. The developer-tested application frequently wouldn’t work on this new environment and would require a painstaking process of modifying the application to integrate and function correctly.
All this can potentially derail the process, consume time, and waste resources. But as a new breed of developer, I may demand the following:
- I would need applications, optimized middleware, development tools, and Java and Web 2.0 runtime environments (set of resources that are used to run a program or process) without huge investment.
- I would want to utilize some already built services to do a portion of my work.
- I would want a way to build things quickly to get a quick feedback from customer.
- And if my idea did not click, I would not want my investment on the hardware/software to go waste.
Now with the power of cloud and the concept of platform as a service, new tools and techniques are being created that reduce the time it takes developers to go
from idea to app. What used to take weeks and months now can happen in days and, in some cases, even hours.
The primary innovation that cloud has brought to the IT landscape is the introduction of a pay-as-you-go model. The enterprise can now use hardware and software as a service, eliminating the need to purchase servers and spend the time and resources maintaining them and the software needed to run them. An ideal PaaS offering gives developers access to the right development tools, runtimes and services to take them through the application development lifecycle faster and more efficiently than ever before. It should also be open and flexible and make it easier for corporate developers and independent companies alike to create applications and connect them to existing computing systems.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): The delivery of a computing platform, including applications, optimized middleware, development tools, and Java and Web 2.0 runtime environments, as a service over the Internet. PaaS allows developers to create web applications quickly, without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying software/hardware.