Aptana to Launch Cloud Platform

Aptana will build off of its IDE and AJAX success with its new technology.

SAN FRANCISCO-As the application development forecast continues to get more "cloudy," Aptana will break out its own solution in a few weeks.

The startup, which focuses on delivering infrastructure software for Web developers, plans to release Aptana Cloud, a platform-as-a-service offering for developers to build Web applications based on open-source technology.

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Kevin Hakman, director of product marketing at Aptana, said the company is building on the popularity of its open-source Web development IDE (integrated development environment), Aptana Studio, to deliver its cloud offering. Hakman spoke with eWEEK at the Web 2.0 Expo here April 25.

Hakman said Aptana Studio is continuing to pick up steam, as it is poised to surpass 1.5 million downloads by the end of April. And as Aptana Jaxer, an open-source AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L) server released earlier this year continues to gain users, Aptana has unveiled Aptana Cloud, the next aspect of its strategy aimed at winning over Web developers who use scripting languages, Hakman said.

Aptana's mission is to be the leading provider of tools and infrastructure for Web developers who use scripting languages, he said.

When released, Aptana Cloud will be the first elastic application cloud with ready-made Web stacks for the most popular scripting languages, "featuring the most popular and widely adopted Web infrastructure, ready to use and scale as you need it," Hakman said. "You can develop on your desktop and sync out to the cloud."

Aptana Cloud features ready-to-go services, such as PHP, MySQL and Apache Web servers. In addition, Aptana Jaxer enables AJAX developers to use their JavaScript and AJAX skills on the server-side to build entire applications, data services or presentation tiers that complement PHP and Ruby On Rails.

"Ruby on Rails is what's next on deck for Aptana Cloud support, and Python would be a natural extension, too." Hakman told eWEEK.

Meanwhile, Aptana Cloud is built to complement cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon, Google and Joyent, Hakman said. Aptana's initial cloud computing partner in the effort is Joyent.

"Your apps can tap up to 95 percent of the 8-plus cores on each server in the cloud," he said. "And that includes up to 10 terabytes of data transfer per month. Aptana Cloud is an effort to complement infrastructure providers. This is to complement; this is not to compete. To some extent, we're adding value on top of the cloud computing stacks."

Aptana adds extra value via IDE integration, deployment automation and active monitoring and notification services, Hakman said. "It's like the ease and simplicity between iTunes on your desktop and its connectivity to services on the Web," he said.

For developers, the IDE plug-in integrates cloud development, deployment and management lifecycles right into Aptana Studio in either its standalone or Eclipse-based editions, Hakman said. "The ability to deploy stuff to the cloud from Eclipse is part of this as well."

Other developer features include instant deployment of projects to the cloud; one click can sync your project to the cloud or provide fine-grained sync control; the technology features integrated cloud services management, enables users to provision their cloud right from Aptana Studio, configure desired memory size and disk size, develop and instantly preview remote files right inside the Studio desktop environment, and includes Subversion Source Control.

Meanwhile, for administrators, Aptana Cloud allows them to manage and size services as needed, monitor statistics and logs, perform remote database administration, integrated Google Analytics, system status notifications proactively routed to devices, and one-click backups. The product also features team roles and rights management. And for site and application owners it saves time and money by simplifying the entire end-to-end Web development, deployment and management to monitor and super-simplify scaling the apps through the Elastic Application Cloud infrastructure, Hakman said.

Hakman said Aptana Cloud is now in a private beta with select users, but the company will announce an Early Access Program in a few weeks. There will be a free 30-day trial use of the offering. However, pricing for using Aptana Cloud is expected to start at less than $1 a day, he said.

"It's the integration of development efficiency with cloud computing," Hakman said.