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Is My Platform as a Service Open Enough?


One thing I look at for when looking at cloud computing services and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings is how I could apply their features to applications I've developed in the past.  This gives me a good guide for the types of architectures I'm likely to work with in the future.  Most of the applications I've been involved with have been complex in nature with moving parts that often don't fit into many PaaS offerings.  Very few have been applications that fit neatly into a PaaS box.

Cloud technology is often associated with flexibility as instant-on servers can enable developers an unlimited supply of servers to deploy code.  PaaS is really about convenience and potential productivity.  The potential productivity comes from getting your developers to work in the boundaries defined by the platform, and reducing the number of decisions that may need to be made.  It provides these benefits at the expense of choice.  This is certainly not a new decision for software engineers to make.  Every software project is continuous stream of decisions to "buy" or "build".  It's one of the things that makes the open source community so compelling.  Of course building can give all the flexibility to make code that does exactly what is needed exactly the way the engineers intend, but there are often many choices of libraries and applications that can do the job.  It's only a matter of deciding which application's boundaries can be lived with.

In the current platform as a service landscape, there are a only a few players in many different technology spaces.  With only a few choices, it's important to evaluate each service to know what types of applications are possible and what concessions will need to be made to develop for the platform.

With CloudSwing, we've built upon our past experience building enterprise applications for many different industries and listened to our enterprise customers tell us what features they needed in a flexible cloud platform.  We've built in features to allow users to customize their own platforms and save them for continued use later.  This provides the ability to make the choices that best fit the needs of the application.  This is the foundation of an Open PaaS.

How well do your applications fit the current PaaS offerings?


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