The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology approach is all about enabling enterprises to deliver and deploy applications in the cloud easily. Enterprise Linux and Java middleware vendor Red Hat today is extending its PaaS vision with the concept of xPaaS, providing more developer and integration tools to further enable cloud deployments and adoption.
The "x" in xPaaS is meant to be a variable, Craig Muzilla, vice president and general manager for middleware at Red Hat, told eWEEK.
"It’s an indication of the variety of different PaaSes that one could do," Muzilla said. "We are beginning to see a variety of different types of PaaSes and xPaaS is just one way to describe the many different types of PaaSes one could have."
Among the different types of PaaS offerings is application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS). Integration PaaS, or iPaaS, is another type of PaaS. There is also one for business process management as a service (bPaaS or bpmPaaS).
To that end, Red Hat is now pushing its own xPaaS portfolio, supporting Red Hat's JBoss Java Middleware portfolio of products.
Before today, a developer could have created an OpenShift PaaS cartridge with any technology they wanted, Muzilla explained. OpenShift is Red Hat's PaaS platform, and a cartridge is how Red Hat defines a unit of technology capability within the PaaS.
"What we are announcing here is that we are preconfiguring and purpose-building the services in OpenShift that can accomplish all of these various xPaaS services—all from within the JBoss product line and community," Muzilla said. "Any user in the marketplace could take their own technology and create a cartridge, but it won’t necessarily be a service that is accessible by everyone, and it won’t be tightly integrated with the rest of the OpenShift offering."
Muzilla stressed that what Red Hat is now doing is providing greater orchestration and integration on a standardized platform. Among the new integrated xPaaS capabilities is a mobile push-notification service and an integration service.
"The mobile push-notification service is part of a JBoss Community project called AeroGear," Muzilla explained. "The integration service is based on JBoss Fuse, and the upstream projects are things such as Apache Camel, as well as JBoss SwitchYard, which is a service development framework, and some of the projects associated with our SOA governance."
For Red Hat OpenShift customers, leveraging the new xPaaS capabilities is relatively easy. For example, with the push-notification service, Muzilla explained that it's a service that users can see when they go into OpenShift Online today.
"You can see it as a service, and you can begin to use it," Muzilla said. "When you’re developing your applications, if you’re developing a mobile application and you want push notifications as part of that, you can select the push-notification service."
Integrated Development Environment
Most developers will use some form of an integrated development environment (IDE) as part of the development process. Today, developers using OpenShift can use the Web console, or integrate with JBoss Developer Studio via the open-source Eclipse IDE, and a number of cloud-based IDEs can be used, including Cloud9 and Codenvy.
"As we begin to roll out the bpmPaaS, there will be browser-based tooling available rather than just having to rely on things like Eclipse," Muzilla said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.