NoSQL vendor Couchbase recently announced that its business partner KuroBase released a suite of products designed to render Couchbase more accessible on the Heroku platform as a service infrastructure. Specifically, KuroBase released the “Heroku Add-on for Couchbase” that allows users to provision an instance of Couchbase Server with the click of a mouse. In addition, KuroBase rendered available “Heroku Buildpacks for Ruby and Node.js” on GitHub that allow developers to quickly deploy applications coded in Ruby and Node.js within a Couchbase infrastructure on the Heroku platform. Collectively, the releases stand to render Couchbase’s NoSQL document-oriented database more widely available to the thousands of developers that use the Heroku platform and continue to accelerate its adoption. More importantly, the Couchbase-Kurobase partnership underscores the potential for synergistic collaborations between Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the NoSQL space. This week’s announcement by Couchbase illustrates the possibilities for PaaS to continue the acceleration of the adoption of NoSQL platforms for highly responsive, interactive applications in the mobile and online gaming space, amongst other use cases.
Salesforce.com recently consolidated Heroku’s leadership position in the Platform as a Service space by announcing Heroku Enterprise for Java, a component of the Salesforce.com platform that streamlines the development and deployment of enterprise-grade Java applications. Heroku Enterprise For Java provides developers with a pre-packaged Java solution that can be provisioned with the click of a mouse. Whereas traditional models of Java development require the coordination of a constellation of resources including source-code control systems, integration servers, load balancers, test and staging environments and in-memory caching systems, Heroku Enterprise for Java delivers a unified infrastructure for Java development and testing.
The basic premise of Enterprise for Java is to simplify the process of Java development by reducing the number of steps required for deployment as well as expanding the range of development options. Heroku’s chief operating officer Orin Teich remarked that Heroku Enterprise for Java “can bring 80 [development and deployment] steps down to four,” assuming a high quality implementation of the application.
Heroku Enterprise for Java features the following components:
•Complete Java stack
•Heroku runtime and tools
•Support for core Java Development Kit, Java Virtual Machine, JDK 7 and JDK 8
•Memcache for session management
•Postgres for relational data management
•Separate environments for development and staging
•Support for Eclipse
•Direct deployment of WAR files
Teich elaborated on the innovation of the Heroku Enterprise for Java platform as follows:
“Enterprise developers have been looking for a better way to easily create innovative applications without the hassle of building out a back-end infrastructure. With Heroku Enterprise for Java, developers get all the benefits of developing in Java along with the ease of using an open, cloud platform in a single click.”
Heroku did support Java development previously, along with Node.js, Scala, Clojure and Python and PHP. However, the Enterprise for Java Platform is designed to expand the platform’s appeal to large-scale enterprises in addition to startups and small to medium size businesses. Meanwhile, Salesforce is working hard to integrate its Force.com platform with Heroku through Force.com Canvas, which enables applications coded in other languages into the Force.com platform. Because Salesforce’s Force.com platform is coded in its proprietary APEX language, Force.com Canvas steers the company in the direction of allowing applications built on the Heroku platform to pull metadata from the Salesforce Force.com infrastructure.
In an effort to gain market share in the Platform as a Service cloud computing space, Jaspersoft announced it had reached an agreement with Red Hat to bundle its community edition for free with Red Hat’s PaaS OpenShift. Jaspersoft’s availability within the OpenShift platform is intended to entice developers and administrators to embed Jaspersoft business intelligence analytics into their applications. Developers who progress from the free, community Jaspersoft edition to a subscription version will be able to migrate all of the code used in the community version. Karl Van den Bergh, Jaspersoft’s Vice President of Product and Alliances, noted that Jaspersoft’s integration with Red Hat constitutes the “first of several [partnerships] that demonstrates our leadership in BI for PaaS.” Jaspersoft’s strategic alliance with Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS platform illustrates an emerging sub-market within the cloud computing space separate from cloud security, namely, business intelligence applications integrated with PaaS or IaaS cloud offerings. Gooddata, for example, offers BI development capabilities within the Amazon Web Services environment. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Jaspersoft is additionally targeting VMware’s Cloud Foundry as a possible seeding ground for its BI software as well as Salesforce.com’s Heroku.
The PaaS market currently features products such as OpenShift (Red Hat), Cloud Foundry (VMware), CloudSwing (OpenLogic), Engine Yard Cloud (Engine Yard), Heroku (Salesforce), Azure (Microsoft), Google App Engine (Google), Cumulogic PaaS (CumuLogic), dotCloud, and Appfog. Although PaaS revenues are currently miniscule in comparison to IaaS, the market is expected to grow rapidly in the next five to ten years from Gartner’s projection of $707.4 million in 2011 PaaS revenues.
This week, Platform as a Service vendor Heroku added yet another language to its growing “polyglot platform.” Heroku now supports Scala, the Java virtual machine language that combines objected oriented and functional programming. Heroku began as a Ruby on Rails Platform but recently followed suit upon its August announcement to support Java by adding support for Python. Heroku’s Cedar stack release now supports the following languages: Ruby, Node.js, Clojure, Java, Python, PHP and Scala.
In September, Heroku announced a partnership with Facebook that allows Facebook developers to directly launch Facebook applications by selecting Heroku as an external provider, and then provisioning and launching the application from within Facebook’s development interface. Within twenty four hours of Facebook revealing its deployment of Timeline and a host of other features, Heroku reported the deployment of 33,800 Facebook applications, amounting to a rate of over 20 Heroku Facebook applications per minute.
Heroku’s rapid transition to a progressively multilingual platform illustrates the way in which Platform as a Service vendors are using multilingual support as a way of keeping up with the increasingly dominant IaaS space. PaaS vendor Engine Yard recently announced support for JRuby subsequent to its acquisition of the PHP platform Orchestra, to complement its Ruby on Rails platform.
Given all of the hype about OpenStack, Red Hat and Amazon Web Services, PaaS vendors may well be coming to the realization that the best way to compete in the enterprise space is to empower developers to deploy applications in as many languages as possible. Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, VMware’s Cloud Foundry and AppFog all embrace more than one language and are increasingly following the market trend to diversify their linguistic offerings to the development community.
Heroku was acquired by Salesforce.com in January 2011 for $250 million.