Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PaaS Takes Center Stage

Over the last week, Platform as a Service has moved out of the shadows to become big news in the cloud world. Here is a quick roundup of recent events:
  • RedHat acquires Makara: this is a great move by RedHat, who has been hitherto a peripheral player in the great cloud game. Makara gives RedHat a platform that makes it much easier for developers to deploy cloud applications while also providing rich debugging capabilities. The Makara founding team came from Wily and brings deep understanding of application lifecycle management for cloud applications.
  • Cloudbees gets funding for a Java PaaS: this breathes life into the Java PaaS market, bringing the same kinds of turnkey cloud management to the Java community that Engine Yard and Heroku bring to the Ruby on Rails Market. Cloudbees was founded by the former CTO of JBoss and has tied their Java PaaS to the Hudson
The first phase of cloud computing was focused on the hardware side of things and Infrastructure as a Service. In order for cloud computing to gain widespread adoption, a software management layer is required to simplify the process for deploying and managing applications in the cloud.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Powerful Web 2.0 Alternative to PowerBuilder

Rich Bianco over at the Displaced Guy blog just wrote a post entitled WaveMaker delivers for the cloud like PowerBuilder did for client-server. In it, he talks about using WaveMaker to migrate PowerBuilder applications to Java.

He makes a number of great point in his post. Here are the key take-aways

1. PowerBuilder is a powerful product but developers need a rich internet alternative.
"I’ve spent most of my career doing PowerBuilder development against every major DBMS and I still believe it offers productivity beyond anything on the market for client-server applications. But the writing is on the wall for client-server and rich internet applications and WaveMaker are the future."
2. WaveMaker is particularly easy to learn for PowerBuilder developers because it uses the same visual development and data window-like concepts
"WaveMaker is the first development tool since PowerBuilder to catch my attention and keep it. WaveMakers’ claim of building a functional enterprise web application without needing to write Java code is for real. In a single day, I’ve taken an existing PHP / MySQL web 1.0 application and re-created a good portion of the core functionality using WaveMaker."
3. WaveMaker is just plain fun, particularly for PowerBuilder developers!
"From the day I downloaded WaveMaker and gave it a test run I knew that it was the next step for me as a former PowerBuilder developer. Not and not only am I still having a blast but I feel as confident as ever to tackle the challenge of developing enterprise web applications, or robust SaaS solutions."
It has taken WaveMaker almost 3 years to build a worthy replacement for PowerBuilder. We certainly have not achieved the full breadth of functionality that developers can get from mature client/server tools like PowerBuilder, MS Access and Oracle Forms. However, for developers who want a fast and easy way to build Web 2.0 applications, WaveMaker rocks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Migrating from Microsoft to Open Cloud Tools - Mind the Gap

A recent survey of WaveMaker's 15,000 developers found that over 20% had moved to WaveMaker as an alternative to Microsoft development tools like MS Access and MS .NET.

"Microsoft shops" typically employ a variety of Microsoft products and have dozens to hundreds of applications that now need to be migrated.

Having worked with many companies going through this migration process, here are some best practices I have seen:
1. Triage, triage, triage - figure out which apps are really critical to your business/users and focus on them. Often, as you migrate them from Microsoft to WaveMaker you will find that you can combine several clunky client/server apps into a single rich internet application.
2. WaveMaker makes open a lot easier - WaveMaker hides most of the alphabet soup web technologies from the user (html/css/javascript/java etc). This flattens the learning curve to get out from under all those MS technologies. From our survey, we found that fear of the steep web development learning curve is one of the main reasons companies stick with the proprietary Microsoft tools.
3. WaveMaker is a lot more productive - we find that MS .NET apps can typically be rebuilt in WaveMaker with 80%+ fewer lines of code. See the Nationwide video on the WaveMaker web site for a case example that resulted in 98% fewer lines of code! That translates to big savings in productivity and quality, both in development and maintenance.
4. Open is still a bit messier - even though WaveMaker hides most of the hard stuff, it can't hide all of it. Microsoft's great advantage is that everything is tightly integrated into one convenient but proprietary package. In contrast, WaveMaker integrates with many databases, report writers, etc, which is more flexible but puts more work on the developer to manage their environment.

In short, WaveMaker provides a much gentler path for migrating from the Microsoft Borg to the wonderful world of open standards, but there is still a cost for all that flexibility.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Citrix & WaveMaker - A Little Leverage Goes a Long Way

Citrix and WaveMaker's partnership to deliver a complete cloud developmentplatform is gaining attention.

This week, John Abbott of the 451 Group wrote a piece on how the Citrix Cloud Center strategy is coming together, thanks to a little help from WaveMaker (registration required).

The Citrix/WaveMaker development and test solution gives Cloud Hosting Providers a way to build a cloud ecosystem that will help them attract and retain customers. As John says:
"Telcos and service providers want the elbow room to differentiate their services from competitors by adding their own intellectual property."
With WaveMaker's cloud development platform, Cloud Hosting Providers make it easy for developers to build applications that deploy seamlessly to their cloud and can take advantage of their unique services for security, scalability and manageability.

Finally, the 451 Group points out that WaveMaker gives Citrix an easy-to-use PaaS solution that can leverage the Citrix cloud stack, much as SpringSource can leverage the VMWare stack. All in all, WaveMaker is shaping up as a game changer for cloud solution providers!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WaveMaker in the Warehouse

Althought the iPad is getting all the press these days, WaveMaker customers are building pretty compelling apps with plain old ruggedized PCs.

This week we announced an application built using WaveMaker that meets the demanding requirements of warehouse loading docks for grocery stores and retail chains.

The Costa Solutions warehouse loading dock application runs on handheld tablet PCs from Motion Computing. Because internet connectivity is not reliable on warehouse loading docks, where, the WaveMaker app is architected to run in both connected and offline modes.

When the tablet is offline, data and pictures are collected and stored on the tablet PC. When internet connectivity is re-established, WaveMaker automatically synchronizes the changes back to the logistics data center.

The application includes digital signature capture, digital camera integration, counterfeiting protection and automatic application update.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Free Alternative To Microsoft Access - WaveMaker

Getting somewhat adventurous, I started a new blog and created a post on Free Alternatives to Microsoft Access.

We see it as our patriotic duty ;-) to make the world safe from proprietary client/server platforms.

Enterprises are increasingly moving from proprietary platforms like Microsoft Access to open Java platforms. Yet training Microsoft Access developers to use complex Java tools can be time consuming and costly.

WaveMaker provides a unique solution for migrating Microsoft Access developers and applications to open Java standards. WaveMaker's visual development tools are easy for Microsoft Access developers to use, while generating standard Java code that runs in any Java server.

WaveMaker's visual, drag and drop studio is ideal for developers who want to focus on creating enterprise applications, not coding. In particular, WaveMaker flattens the learning curve for moving from proprietary platforms like Microsoft Access to open Java.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

WaveMaker 6.1 - Cloud Development On A Roll!

WaveMaker is on a roll - having hit profitability at the end of last year, we are now targeting 300% growth for 2010. This week, we announced the latest release of WaveMaker.

With our 6.1 released, WaveMaker truly delivers on our "PowerBuilder for the Cloud" vision. We are the only company offering visual, browser-based development of cloud applications that comply with enterprise Java standards.

By eliminating the complexity of building and deploying cloud applications, WaveMaker 6.1 enables these Citizen Developers to take advantage of cloud computing. Cool new features include:

  • One-click deployment to Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Eucalyptus and OpSource.
  • Automated multi-tenancy and secure, tenant ID-based data isolation
  • Dynamic widget loading for up to 500% faster performance.
  • Rich text editor, Twitter feed and other widgets.
  • Improved SVN integration for team development

In keeping with Gartner's prediction that cloud computing will create a major shift in how "Citizen Developers" build applications, we are seeing the bulk of our growth come from companies migrating from proprietary platforms to open Java. WaveMaker is an ideal open Java alternative for Oracle Apex, Microsoft Access, Microsoft .NET, PowerBuilder, Lotus Notes and Coldfusion.

Get started with WaveMaker today by going to www.wavemaker.com/download!

Friday, March 26, 2010

CIOs Beware: Citizen Developers are on the Loose

Gartner this week released a report entitled "Citizen Developers are Poised to Grow." The report by Gartner Analyst Eric Knipp describes how forces like more computer literate employees, cloud computing and better tools are fundamentally changing the role of IT.

Eric paints a vision that in one stroke could eliminate the feared IT backlog: "Citizen developers leverage shared services and 4GL-style development platforms, releasing IT resources to do what they do best, if IT leaders allow it."

Gartner argues that CIOs should enable business analysts to build "self-service" applications that can be managed centrally by IT. This puts IT in the role of providing a secure infrastructure while enabling business developers to implement business processes using 4GL-like tools.

According to Eric, "CIOs who attempt to block citizen developers are fighting a losing battle."

Of course, arming citizen developers will require new tools. In particular, the Gartner report calls out "the latest crop of 4GL products such as Oracle APEX, WaveMaker and Zoho Creator provide a compelling AD environment for citizen developers."

While much of the focus on cloud computing has been on the heavy duty, mission-critical applications, it is likely that the truly disruptive impact of cloud computing will be on enabling non-expert developers like business analysts to prototype, create and maintain applications with minimal direct IT involvement.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It takes a community

Open source companies live or die by the health of their communities. WaveMaker's proudest achievement last year was creating a passionate and rapidly growing community.

Thinking back, probably our most important decision affecting community health was made early in the year, when we decided to dump our AGPL license in favor of Apache.

Although we had never gotten direct feedback that the community didn't like AGPL, we had more forum posts than we thought was healthy that asked pointed questions about our licensing. This let us know that people were confused, and if there was any doubt in our minds, the licensing debacle at Ext js convinced us that Keep-It-Simple-Stupid is the only way to go here.

Once community developers felt confident that they could do what they wanted to do with our Community edition without somehow triggering a commercial fee down the road, the community literally exploded. Together, here is what we accomplished in 2009:
  • Stunning community growth: 18 months after our product launch, the number of registered developers for WaveMaker (15,00) is about one third the size of the Spring community (49,000)!
  • Profitability: WaveMaker closed 2009 as a profitable company and saw revenue growth of 53% in our last 3 months!
  • Gartner recognition: WaveMaker was featured in 9 different Gartner reports last year, including one which identified WaveMaker as the only open source platform for cloud development!
Why the tidal wave of support for WaveMaker? That's easy - WaveMaker makes it ridiculously easy to build great-looking, standards-based Java applications.
  • Web 2.0 enabler: at companies like Macy's, National City Bank and Pioneer Energy, WaveMaker enables non-Java developers to create Java apps with minimal training.
  • Productivity multipier: at ISVs and systems integrators, WaveMaker reduces development costs for Java and Web 2.0 applications by over 75%.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

WaveMaker Finds Pot of Gold On Top of Cloud

WaveMaker started 2009 staring into the abyss and ended the year on top of the clouds - funny how things work out in the startup world. During the year, WaveMaker doubled annual revenues and achieved profitability while also increasing quarterly sales by over 53%.

The biggest momentum driver came from the success of our Cloud Quick Start Partnership with IBM, Amazon and RightScale. We also started seeing significant sell-through from SaaS ISVs and systems integration partners.

WaveMaker's position as the only open source cloud development platform makes it a "must have" cloud ecosystem partner. WaveMaker is ideal for ISVs who want to SaaS-enable their offerings and enterprises who want an easy way to take advantage of cloud computing's compelling economics.

Analysts groups are jumping on board as well - Gartner alone produced 9 reports featuring WaveMaker in 2009! Here are some of my favorite quotes from the year:
  • "Our walk into the cloud with WaveMaker turned out to be a very short journey - and a pleasant one!" - Mark Angel, CTO KANA
  • "Consider WaveMaker Cloud Edition if you want a 4GL-style development tool that uses standard technologies and open-source frameworks, and you wish to create new SaaS-style offerings." - Eric Knipp, Research Analyst, Gartner Group
  • "I predict that WaveMaker will be an important cloud company to watch in 2010!" - Judith Hurwitz, President Hurwitz & Associates
  • "2010 just might be the year to crown WaveMaker the PowerBuilder for the web" - Brian Gentile, CEO JasperSoft
2009 was a tough slog - we are determined to make 2010 a victory lap!