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@CloudExpo: Article

Simplifying Cloud Development

Heroku provides single-click provisioning for Java applications in the cloud

Heroku, a cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and a company, has announced Heroku Enterprise for Java, a new service for companies and IT organizations to build and run Java applications in the cloud.

Enterprise for Java is designed to enable quick creation and deployment of enterprise Java applications. It also greases the skids to move development processes to a continuous delivery model, all without traditional, on-premises software or IT infrastructure. Enterprise for Java is part of the Salesforce Platform, which is being updated and expanded this week at Dreamforce in San Francisco.

Traditionally, creating Java applications applications has required piecing together both a range of development and runtime infrastructure tools -- such as source-code control systems, continuous integration servers, testing and staging environments, load balancers, application server clusters, databases and in-memory caching systems.

Developers get all the benefits of developing in Java along with the ease of using an open, cloud platform in a single click.

This often drags out application building and deployment by months. With Heroku's new offering, enterprise developers can get a complete Java solution in a single package, provisioned with a single click, says Heroku.

Heroku began as a PaaS for dynamic languages like Ruby, but has since gone "polyglot," with support for Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure and Python and PHP. The Java push is designed to expand Heroku's appeak beyond start-ups and SMBs for Web apps into the fuller enterprise development lifecycle.

And moving to a polyglot PaaS and continuous delivery model for applications is an essential ingredient of IT transformation to a fuller hybrid services delivery capability, said Oren Teich, COO, Heroku. The Heroku PaaS approach not only streamlines development, it modernizes the very processes behind delivering IT better as a service, he said.

“Enterprise developers have been looking for a better way to easily create innovative applications without the hassle of building out a back-end infrastructure,” said Teich. “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 aims to simplify the Java process by automating data connections, sessions management and other plumbing requirements, while keeping up-to-date on reference platform and JDK advancements. These have mostly been the labor of skilled Java developers, and hence costly and time-consuming (when you can find and keep the skills).

Heroku is therefore providing a "curated" and full Java stack that allows developers to use standard tools like Eclipse and Spring Framework to then build and deploy on a common and integrated PaaS, built around Tomcat 7. This is designed to improve compliance of applications to the runtime environment, in a large degree automating the process of deployment to spec.

"We can bring 80 steps down to four," said Teich, of Java deployment with full compliance.

And let's face it, Salesforce is not just targeting the productivity of developers. They are targeting the cost and complexity of the Java runtime targets in the enterprise: Oracle's Weblogic legacy and IBM's WebSphere. "Total cost of ownership for Java apps needs to come down." You hear this a lot in enterprise IT environs.

To me, the costs-benefits analysis of creating new apps -- especially quickly and in volume to support the voracious need for mobile apps -- and being able to deploy without hassles is a pure accelerant to PaaS adoption in general, with even greater economic and agility benefits when applied to Java.

And so Heroku Enterprise for Java also comes with a new and potentially disruptive payments plan of $1,000 per application deployed per month, with no costs incurred until production deployment. Think if that in comparison with total costs of a mission critical traditional Java app across its lifecycle. The math is compelling.

Heroku also Wednesday announced integration with products from Atlassian, which provides enterprise collaboration software for product development teams. A new Heroku plug-in for Atlassian’s Bamboo continuous integration service lets developers automate application delivery across all lifecycle stages.

Product features

Heroku Enterprise for Java includes:

  • Full-Stack Java: Enterprise for Java provides a full stack of pre-configured systems needed to build scalable, high-performance, highly available applications. This also includes memcache for session management and horizontal scaling, and Postgres for relational data management.
  • Heroku Runtime: In addition to providing runtime and management of the full stack of components, the service includes separate environments for development and staging. These environments can be provisioned instantaneously, providing a way for IT organizations to adopt rapid development methodologies. These applications can be scaled to serve massive volume with a simple control change.
    Enterprise developers have been looking for a better way to easily create innovative applications without the hassle of building out a back-end infrastructure
  • Continuous Delivery Framework: When combined with Atlassian’s integration service, Bamboo, Enterprise for Java automates the application delivery process. From code check-in to test builds, staging deploys and production promotion, developers get an out-of-the-box experience with no server set-up needed. All components are automatically provisioned and configured.
  • Native Java Tools: The offering also includes native support for Eclipse Java IDE. Developers can create and deploy Java applications directly within their IDE. In addition, Heroku now supports direct deployment of Java WAR files, providing a simple way to migrate existing Java applications to the cloud.

Pricing starts at $1,000 per month per application, and it is available starting today.

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