Application PaaS-Development Models in the Cloud

By Ramesh Loganathan, Vice President & Managing Director, Progress Software
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
By Ramesh Loganathan, Vice President & Managing Director, Progress Software
Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) is a global software company offering enterprise integration, data interoperability and application development including several others. This Massachusetts headquartered company has a current market capitalization of $1.37 billion.

In terms of fashionable technology, in recent years, businesses have found themselves consumed by chatter around a number of trends including BYOD, mobility and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). What these have in common is that they all represent huge steps away from traditional one-size-fits all business technology. The industry is moving increasingly towards more bespoke applications and strategies. Large enterprises have fully transitioned their IT functions onto the cloud and are now making use of capabilities such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to further enhance their tailor-made technology.

As such, it's clear that more and more people are willing to get involved and offer their own spin on the benefits technology can provide. In 2011, Gartner predicted that by 2014 a quarter of all new business applications will be developed by so-called "Citizen Developers". Gartner defines a "citizen developer" as an end user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT. Regardless of whether the prediction of Gartner will come true, it is fair to consider the future of the IT professionals in the development process.

Complicated technology is gradually becoming broader, more accessible and more comprehensible to the average layman. The rise of the 'citizen developer' is a prime example of this. The emphasis on complicated back-end function has transitioned into the business opportunity presented as a result. This is the turning point where all businesses stop adopting the same technology and start differentiating themselves by what they can do with it. Employees within businesses are now developing applications designed specifically to their needs, quickly and easily. With a PaaS toolkit full to the brim with simple drag-and-drop facilities and the ability to turn business processes directly into applications, business-savvy individuals can build apps to their exact specifications and reap the benefits.

Cloud enables this notion of citizen developers developing their applications. Earlier, one had to setup many layers to even begin building an application- from getting a server, install the OS, install the application platform and web server software, build the application, testing it, and then repeating much the same process in the production environment. One had to think about the programming language required, its access models and availability on devices; online, offline, smartphones, tablets etc. One needed multiple versions of their application programs to run in each environment and device. All this could be done only by a team of developers. But now, cloud has abstracted out most of this!

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