The benefits of cloud development are endless. Compared to the desktop IDE, cloud computing continues to lead the way in increasing productivity, improving security and compliance in less time.
Development in the cloud frees up developers to focus on what matters most, developing. Centralizing the workspace allows projects to run faster and smoother and increases collaboration, while improved accessibility allows users to log on anywhere, anytime. The cloud is designed for system efficiency and allows for shared resources across the enterprise.
Let’s face it, all these improvements mean a better bottom line for the company and more money in the bank.
When comparing a cloud environment with a desktop environment, we have to take a wider view of the IDE. The real problem stems from understanding the developer’s desktop workspace and the issues that the system imposes on the individual, the individual’s team , and the corporate team. Currently, developers spend up to one third of a project’s time configuring their desktop development environment. With 16 million global professional developers, this is potentially 10.5 billion hours of lost productivity each year. A developer’s workspace is more than an IDE; it’s a combination of the IDE, the local build system, the local runtime (to test and debug the locally edited code), the connections between these components, and the connections between these components and their dependencies. All of this is orchestrated to create a fast, efficient, and production-approximate environment to enable developers to perform their artworks.
Cloud development allows organizations to get more work done in less time with less people. Because cloud-computing services are typically ‘pay as you go,’ there is no need to spend additional money on hardware, software, or licensing fees. And similarly, as cloud-computing is much faster to deploy, businesses have minimal project start-up costs and more predictable ongoing operating expenses.
To elaborate a bit, let me break down the top three reasons a cloud development environment will save your business money…
1. Increased Collaboration. Centralization of applications, data, and information is crucial. A recent survey by Frost & Sullivan found that companies who invested in collaboration technology had a 400% return on investment. With a centralized workspace, multiple people can co-edit, co-build, or co-debug. Developers can communicate with one another within that workspace, and employees can sync and share apps and documents simultaneously. Cloud environments function as centralized, 24/7 application and data repositories, allowing all employees – wherever they are to receive critical updates in real time.
If developers have an issue they cannot resolve, the logical workspace can be copied and offered as a replica to others via a Factory. Factories are URLs that when clicked by others, create a copy of the original workspace that is in the exact same edit, build, and debugging state. Whether teams use the invite or factory capability, the onboarding process is much simpler. It’s a “configure once, URL many” model and the entire team is ready to code.
2. Easy to Control. Of course, safety is paramount. Since enterprises or ISVs may need to run dedicated clouds for a private developer population, we have structured the entire system to be installed behind a firewall. The Codenvy cloud system can be installed on a private AWS, Eucalyptus, or OpenStack cloud infrastructure. This allows enterprises to determine the level of hardware they want to service. This system provides administration controls that allow for system administrators to monitor, control, and configure the environment according to their needs. The enterprise therefore gains a number of benefits including the removal of IP drift issues, centralized monitoring of development activity for offshore teams, and the elimination of VDI/VPN requirements for remote development teams.
3. Cost and Time Savings. It’s simple and fast. Cloud development environments reduce the time to search for, download, update, and configure appropriate plug-ins. IDEs still take the basic form– a downloaded product, a complicated configuration process, a highly-sophisticated text and file manipulator, and some sort of debugger that integrates with a runtime (usually co-located with the IDE on the same computer). Project spaces can be represented as URLs. Such URLs contain the IDE configurations and projects that should be loaded, built, and deployed. This single URL concept is useful in enabling on-demand buildable projects. This is especially good for evaluation, support organizations, and pre-sales. Additionally, we can enable a better Eclipse plug-in ecosystem. Systems such as Eclipse have 4000 plugs-ins, which can be daunting for people to sort through.
Overall, switching from an outdated IDE to a progressive cloud development environment can reduce overhead, improve productivity, provide better employee satisfaction, and allow for better overall collaboration. Besides, with so many applications moving to the cloud, wouldn’t it make sense for your development environment to be in the cloud too?
Tyler is CEO of Codenvy, the cloud development environment, and a venture partner with Toba Capital where he focuses on investments on businesses related to middleware and application development. He sits on the board of WSO2 and ExoPlatform, and has made investments in ZeroTurnaround, InfoQ, and AppHarbor.