Platforms, Languages, and App Services: Economies and Communities of Scale

Platforms, Languages, and App Services
The case for cloud platforms is being made convincingly these days. Platforms magnify the power of virtualized cloud infrastructure first by providing an ability to quickly deploy and scale applications. And second by providing greater visibility and control of this virtual environment. The growth and success of platforms such as Heroku, AppFog, and others make it clear that this component of the cloud stack is not just central to building scalable apps but also key in terms of reaching and influencing developers.

The trend towards a polyglot world is also something that has gained momentum within the past year. Successful companies like Heroku, AppFog, Twilio, and New Relic realize the innovation taking place across a wide spectrum of computer languages and rather than picking sides or playing favorites, a +1 strategy around all languages makes the most sense. And as much enthusiasm and momentum as cloud platforms appear to be getting, languages are generating even greater heat and passion among developers. The creation of communities of interest around dynamic languages and frameworks is only just accelerating.

And so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see us move into a multi-platform multi-language world. The announcement of PHP and Python support along with release as an add-on within the AppFog program are important milestones for us. We bring our services to two important language communities — PHP and Python — and we add AppFog, a cloud platform leading the way towards a NoOps world, to our list of other platforms we’re integrated with.


The IT Reference Model for the Next 5-10 Years

The developers in these communities creating cloud applications represent only a small fraction of the app development taking place but they’re leading the way in what the future looks like. The tools and services they are using — along with the patterns and best practices — are the ones that will make up the IT reference model for the next 5-10 years.

Our goal at is to be a key part of this reference model. We see Messaging as a Service and Background Processing as a Service as essential elements within the emerging cloud stack. Combining elastic messaging and background processing with scalable app servers and expandable storage solutions is a natural fit.

An obvious benefit this combination provides extremely fast application development with far less complexity. A common reaction with using platforms and infrastructure services is that developers almost feel cheated because it’s too easy to get started. They don’t have to earn their stripes by doing a lot of sys ops work (standing up servers and loading up OS and binary images). Of course that quickly turns into one of relief because they’re able to get right down to the core of the application.

Economies and Communities of Scale

And now, it’s not only speed and agility that come to the forefront. With proven platforms and application services, developers also get scaling, durability, and the potential for massive capacity. These benefits can accrue to the leanest startups as well as to mega-organizations with multiple applications, large datasets and the need to compete with companies much more nimble.

The combination of cloud platforms like AppFog and Heroku with dynamic languages like PHP, Python, and Ruby and application services like IronMQ and IronWorker are changing IT in ways that are only apparent once you start using them. Fortunately, the numbers are in favor and growing each day and all along the way, these developers are creating new economies and new communities of scale.

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