Just about every provider of a platform in the cloud is moving down the same path; albeit at different rates of speed. First they figure out that developers of third-party applications can drive more usage of their platform, so they publish a private API. However, it’s not too long before they figure out that making that API public winds up driving the most usage of their platform.
A few months ago, ProgrammableWeb announced the release of Heroku’s Platform API, which allowed developers to integrate the Heroku platform with third party applications and services. Now, Heroku has launched a public beta for OAuth 2.0 support for the Platform API. OAuth 2.0 support allows developers to control service needs as opposed to offering full service access to all user accounts.
One of the challenges with testing applications in the cloud is that it’s difficult to replicate the production environment where those applications will ultimately run. No matter how big the cloud is, the data center where those applications are tested usually bears little resemblance to the data center where the applications will actually end up running.