Are Indian developers ready to use PaaS?

|September 12, 2016 0

Anil Chopra

App developers are critical not only for e-commerce firms but also for traditional industries like retail, healthcare, BFSI and telecom. They are the prime movers for business, as companies focus on Apps to connect with their consumers via mobile.

However, most enterprises are still struggling to achieve the required agility to innovate fast simply because the process for development and testing of new applications process takes too long. That’s because setting up new environments can take weeks or even months.

                                 

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With just the task of maintaining the database and middleware that support all application development and deployment environments can become so time consuming that IT has little opportunity to update or extend existing applications. As a result, innovation slows while the cost of supporting that innovation continues to rise.

In this context developers across organizations are looking for tools to rapidly develop new solutions, and Platform as a Service(PaaS) is coming out as a strong solution to address this need. So instead of investing in separate products and platforms, developers can leverage the resources they require as a service from the cloud.

In this context we spoke to Sanket Atal, Group VP-Product Development at Oracle India. The idea was to understand why has PaaS become important in app development, the benefits it offers over using traditional on-prem development environment and what’s Oracle doing to speed up the transition to PaaS with its own offerings.

Why is PaaS important in app development and what impact can it have on companies and their growth prospects?
The idea is to help companies becoming more efficient in their DevOps. So while traditional enterprise development cycles used to take 18 months, with our platform, it comes down to just 6-8 weeks. We also want to enable all companies to leverage Oracle products, and with our PaaS, we’re providing not just all the basic building blocks to put together an application—Java support, Oracle database, etc. but we provide it all in an IDE like environment to create apps in a drag and drop manner.

Moreover today, it’s all about application integration. Our integrated cloud service allows you to integrate applications from various vendors, including the ones you already have. For instance, on our platform, you can use all three different applications at the same time—Hadoop, SQL, and Oracle DB.

Also, if you look at SMEs and startups, one of their biggest barriers to entry for using enterprise-grade software is the price point and with getting the software on-premise. So if you want a database, you have to buy the software, hardware, install and configure the apps, setup backup and recovery, and then get database administrators to manage it. There’s a lot of cost associated with all this, but with our DB available as a cloud, you can do the same thing as a service, because we’ve automated the entire database provisioning process and everything that goes along with it like backup and recovery.

As a result, the time to market for the company becomes much lower than what it used to be, while providing a very high quality of service at the same time.

Are Indian developers ready to use PaaS? Is it cost-effective even for independent developers or restricted to those in large enterprises?
There’s tremendous interest among developers for our cloud products, especially because of the value proposition we’re creating around it. In our recently announced Oracle startup cloud accelerator program for instance, we’re even offering access to industry experts who can  mentor the startups on how to use our products. This provides them with a nice immersive experience.  It’s a first of its kind program that will encourage them to use our products, as we provide generous offer, with free access to people who’re a part of the program.

What are some of the key drivers for the success of PaaS? Is it portability of app stacks across multiple infrastructure solutions, or multi-cloud support, or integration with IaaS features?
It depends on how you define portability. For certain applications, we have services, like NodeJS, Python are supported. So if you look at various methods people are using, we also support open source products you use to develop your applications. If you’re already on that, then you should be able to use our service.

The other part is to port your database from one to Oracle, and we provide tools for you to do that, like ETL tools to extract data. If you’re developing your software using our on-premise solution, then migration to our cloud should be seamless.

Some companies have restrictions on where their data can reside, so what we’ve done is that we have our Oracle public cloud, but we can also get the cloud machine on your premise. It provides the exact same public cloud software on premise, and Oracle manages it. Your experience is the same. It can be migrated across on premise and cloud. As a result, we’re able to integrate public, private, and hybrid solutions. Currently, it’s all restricted to Oracle products, and portability between other products is possible, if your application is standards compliant.

What are some core business cases for PaaS to succeed? Is simplifying the IT models to develop quickly enough?
There are new areas and old ones that are better enabled now through PaaS. One is IoT, which is being used in various manners all over the place. E.g. factory automation, where you’ve got devices in your factory, each one has something what you’re monitoring. Pharma companies making medicine use IoT to monitor chemicals and get feedback. IoT cloud service provides that, where the company realizes in a much more efficient way of managing their production.

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