PaaS Specialist Startups for 2012
Platforms-as-a-Service startups continue to expand in 2012 with a specialist for every field of development. We take a closer look at some interesting PaaS specialist startups for 2012 which includes Parse, AppFog, Heroku and Stackmob.
Basing their operations on the Cloud Foundry project (and using Cloud Foundry code), AppFog.com is designed for the web app developer looking to instantly develop an application without having to set up a server. They support stacks for PHP, NodeJS, Ruby, Python, Java, .NET, MySQL and PostgreSQL and should provide developers looking to work with Cloud Foundry code a good outlet. Originally called PHP Fog, the name change came about when they picked up Cloud Foundry recently and they should rise or fall with the project, although competition is very quickly becoming stiff.
Originally known for their stack backend service regarding Ruby on Rails projects, Heroku has subsequently expanded to support the six stacks of Ruby, Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure and Python cloud PaaS. Following an Agile development methodology they are one of the first PaaS in the market. A recent partnership with Facebook has also resulted in the Heroku Facebook App package, which allows users to reliably create Facebook apps from the cloud based server stack back-end.
As of the time of writing, StackMob.com has gone public! Dubbed as the “Heroku for mobile” this startup is in direct contention with Parse.com above but seems to be offering much more advanced services. This includes more analytics along with social media integration. The company seems a bit more well-established than their competitors as they look to have more than 20 million apps running on their back-end. Pricing for the new public packages start from free to $29 and $399 to $2,999 with the more expensive range referring to their Pro pricing packages. Users who get onboard with the Pro package will be given access to all of the services at StackMob including push notifications, REST API creation and management and custom code to go with the social integration and analytics mentioned above.
Many PaaS are offering stacks for a variety of fields. Parse.com has zeroed in on the mobile app developer by offering a currently free beta service for these mobile app developers. While they are offering support for iOS and Android devs, support for HTML5 is also on the way. Running on the Cloud, this company provides stack backend services such as the ability to store, sync and push data for supported mobile platforms. Since it is still in beta, expect there to be a few chinks here and there, but when it does come out of its own dev mode (and starts asking for money) it looks to provide a relatively inexpensive service to these developers for faster overall deployment.
By Muz Ismial