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Cloud Foundry: The Open Source PaaS with Close Java Ties : Page 2

Cloud Foundry's open approach to Platform as a Service differs from many PaaS offerings -- and provides a particularly convenient platform for Java and Ruby developers.


The Open PaaS Approach of Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry's open approach to Platform as a Service differs from many PaaS offerings, which restrict developers' choices of frameworks, application infrastructure services and deployment clouds. Open source technology allows rapid progress while avoiding lock-in -- a major concern in the adoption of cloud computing.

The platform is open in three notable ways:

  • Open to multiple frameworks and developer communities
  • Open to multiple services (provided by VMware or other vendors or communities)
  • Open to a choice of underlying deployment destinations

Choice of deployment destination is particularly important to the Java community, as Java is heavily used to build enterprise applications and many organizations are not willing to run their enterprise applications in a public cloud. Using Cloud Foundry, developers can run their apps wherever they choose.

Recently, Cloud Foundry added a new feature that allows developers to open a "tunnel" to any Cloud Foundry data service via a local port. Now, developers can use familiar client apps to directly analyze, manipulate or port data in the data services tied to their Cloud Foundry apps. The new feature is in a preview release of the Cloud Foundry command-line tool VMC. Underlying it is Caldecott, a simple Ruby application that provides an HTTP endpoint that facilitates a port forward on a local box. VMC contains built-in scripts to run some popular client software in the local environment and automatically connect to specified services, or simply create the connection to the service.

This solution is ideal for importing and exporting data when moving an application between different clouds running Cloud Foundry (e.g. CloudFoundry.com and Micro Cloud Foundry), for debugging during development, as well as for ad-hoc queries and modifications to data in a deployed application.

Herman Mehling has written about IT for 25 years. He has written hundreds of articles for leading computer publications and websites.
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