When it comes to the cloud, there is no shortage of platforms and associated APIs that developers need to watch when deploying their applications. Not only do developers need to ensure that an application is compatible with a specific set of cloud APIs, they also need to make sure the application stays compatible over time as APIs evolve and change.
To achieve that goal, Cloud Technology Partners (CTP) has created PaaSLane, which now provides full Microsoft.NET language support in the form of 200 .NET-specific rules for various cloud platforms. These platforms include Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, Pivotal CloudFoundry and the Apprenda platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment.
PaaSLane already supports Java applications running on a variety of cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). But with the addition of support for .Net, version 2.0 of PaaSLane, which was announced today, now supports the majority of classes of Java and Microsoft.net applications that enterprise IT organizations would most likely be moving to the cloud, says Ben Grubin, director of product management for CTP.
PaasLane was originally developed to help speed the application evaluation process within the CTP consulting practice. Version 2.0 analyzes code based on the rules that CTP created and updates every time there is a change to an API on a cloud platform, Grubin says. By analyzing that code, PaaSLane 2.0 not only tells developers whether an application can be successfully deployed in the cloud; it also identifies specific areas that must be addressed to make the app compatible with the API used by a particular cloud service. That information is critical because it’s a major factor in any effort to estimate the time needed to make an application compatible with a cloud service. For example, the applciation might use Tomcat as an open source application server, rather than using the proprietary application server on which the application was originally built.
Right now PaaSLane 2.0 is a tool that developers use, but Grubin says CTP is in discussions with cloud service providers to make it available as a service that developers can more easily invoke before installing their applications on any given cloud.
In theory at least, the existence of the OpenStack cloud management framework should rationalize many of the APIs in the cloud. Even then, however, there may be a lot of room for OpenStack interpretation along with the creation of any number of potential extensions. At the same time, AWS and VMware will continue to offer their proprietary APIs for cloud environments that are either directly managed or are created by any number of cloud service provider partners.
As far as APIs in the cloud are concerned, this means things will continue to be a foggy for a long time to come.