Utah-based startup Bungee Labs is in the news today having taken the wraps off Bungee Connect, their web-based application development and hosting platform. Bungee aims to provide an end-to-end environment for developing applications in the cloud: from editing code through to debugging, deployment and runtime. Nothing installed locally, everything happens on their infrastructure. They've worked to make the programming experience familiar to developers as you can see in the screenshot below showing their browser-based code environment:
The service will be priced on a utility model where billing is based on the amount of time an application is used. Like Amazon's utility services there are no upfront costs or fixed fees. Target customers are developers in small to medium sized companies or departmental groups in larger organizations. Note this platform, with its C-like language BungeeLogic, is designed for developers, in contrast to tools like Microsoft Popfly or IBM's QEDWiki, both of which are targeted outside of traditional IT.
This launch is notable because there's clearly a race on in this new market that's now being called "Platform as a Service". Players include companies like Salesforce.com and Etelos, and it's widely expected before long a variety of major vendors including Microsoft, Google, Amazon and others will be increasing their offerings in this area. Whether that means discrete pieces like development tools, or deployment and runtime infrastructure, or metering and billing, we expect to see a real battle for developer's hearts and minds on this front. For more, see coverage from ZDNet's Dan Farber on this announcement.
In addition to the public beta, Bungee is also releasing a fairly sophisticated reference application shown below called "WideLens". This mashup is a calendar application that reads and writes in realtime to sources including Microsoft Exchange, Google Calendar, Salesforce.com, Facebook, MySQL and iCalendar feeds. Running an application like this would cost somewhere between $2 to $5 per user per month.
Bungee Labs is a ProgrammableWeb sponsor.