The new framework, known as “Ferris,” empowers millions of developers worldwide and reduces the time and cost associated with building cloud and mobile applications on the Google platform. The framework is dubbed “Ferris” in a nod to the short-cutting main character from the popular 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Cloud Sherpas’ engineers designed the framework last year and it has been used extensively by the firm to reduce application development time by 80 percent on average for its Google Apps clients.
Google Apps is a fast-growing cloud messaging and collaboration platform with over 50 million users and five million business customers. Google App Engine is used by these companies to build highly scalable applications that extend the value of the Google platform. It is estimated that more than one million applications have been developed in the five years since Google launched App Engine. Cloud Sherpas itself has created hundreds of applications using Google App Engine for clients including global logistics company Quality Distribution Inc. (QDI), Printpack and Lamar Media Corporation.
“QDI needed to overhaul our pickup, delivery and service ticketing system. Ferris enabled us to build an Android tablet mobile application to and get it into production in about a week,” said Cliff Dixon, vice president of IT at QDI, in a statement. “With the help of Ferris, all of the repetitive developer tasks were eliminated, allowing us to focus on the business logic. Now our customers can track the delivery of packages in real-time, and we’ve gone paperless.”
Ferris is a lightweight, customizable, open source software framework that is available for free under the Apache License, Version 2. Ferris is designed to help developers quickly build Google App Engine applications in Python.
Some of the key features of the framework include a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and flexible routing for Ruby on Rails-like rapid application development. Ferris also features automatic create, read, update and delete (CRUD) scaffolding of actions and views, a template and theme engine built on Jinja2, form definition and processing with WTForms library, and integration with Google Accounts.
Other Ferris features include:
· Plug-in architecture to drop-in additional functionality and share functionality between applications
· Auth2 and Google Client API integration
· Device detection for changing themes, layouts, and views to suit mobile and tablet devices
· Automatic REST/JSON API for Models
· Uses native App Engine libraries for data modeling
· Integration with the App Engine Search API
“Ferris is a significant accomplishment that will influence how millions of Google Apps developers build cloud and mobile applications,” said Douglas Shepard, president of the Google business unit at Cloud Sherpas. “For developers using Ferris, the benefits are faster time-to-market for their applications and a more intuitive development environment. For CIOs and IT departments, Ferris could mean massive cost savings, richer end-user experiences and increased revenue from customer-facing applications. We are very excited to deliver Ferris and look forward to feedback and support from the open source community.”
Cloud Sherpas was named a Google Apps – Implementation partner of the year for 2012. Since 2007, the company has helped more than 5,000 customers adopt, manage and enhance cloud solutions from Google, salesforce.com, ServiceNow and other leading cloud vendors. Whether working with a global retailer to help them make their business more connected and collaborative with Google Apps or helping a financial services firm deploy sales cloud and service cloud to better manage their customer relationships, Cloud Sherpas has the experience and expertise to help organizations leverage the cloud and respond with agility to the rapid consumerization of IT, the company said. Cloud Sherpas is headquartered in Atlanta.