Parse teams up with Heroku to make devs’ lives easier

Facebook’s cloud development platform, Parse, has partnered with Heroku to make it easier for developers to take advantage of both platforms’ capabilities.
Parse announced last month that it would now support Node.js alongside its own Cloud Code, which is based on the same V8 JavaScript engine. Partnering with Heroku is supposed to make it easier to bridge the gaps between the two.
“Developers choose Heroku because it gives the developer experience they deserve and allows them to focus on building great apps. Heroku’s elasticity makes it easy for for them to scale their apps to the needs of their business — whether a tiny Y Combinator startup or Macy’s,” says Heroku’s head of product for ecosystem Craig Kerstiens. “This new partnership and integration means they can combine those benefits with powerful SDKs from Parse. Whether you’re targeting mobile, embedded devices, or IOT, you’ve now got new choices on how to build them with Heroku and Parse together.”
Parse and Heroku are both popular amongst startups and large companies alike. Connecting the platforms could not only make life easier for cloud developers, but could also make both platforms more popular by virtue of cross-promotion.
“Parse and Heroku have similar goals — helping developers build great apps using the best cloud backend tools,” says Parse product manager Supratik Lahiri. “Because of this similar focus, our teams have been in touch for a while, and the conversation developed naturally. At Parse, we’ve been looking for ways to make Parse more open and flexible for developers and a Heroku integration was a great way to do that.”
Facebook acquired Parse in 2013, just two years after its debut. Wired characterized the deal as Facebook buying its way into the “heart of the app world” because so many developers relied on Parse for their mobile apps. It’s now used by everyone from Cisco and MTV to McDonald’s and Samsung.
Heroku was founded in 2007, and it’s used by many startups to build and deploy their Web apps. It was acquired by Salesforce, which spent an approximate $212 million on a startup that raised only $13 million in funding, so it could be “the cornerstone for the next generation of app developers.”

Heroku’s new app-development product line is meant for the enterprise

Heroku, the Salesforce-owned company that powers the application-development process of hot startups like Lyft and Upworthy, announced a new product line Thursday called Heroku Enterprise. It’s geared for big companies that want to develop the kind of modern applications seen at startups while providing the type of features that many large enterprises want, including security features and access control.

Essentially, the product line claims that large enterprises can now have it both ways: a way to make the type of applications that are typically derived from an agile-development process (with access to trendy technology like containers and new database services) all while being monitored under the iron fist of the enterprise. Kudos to Heroku if it can pull that off.

With Heroku Enterprise, organizations can supposedly now monitor all their developers, applications and resources under one interface. Companies can keep tabs on what applications are in production, which developers are working on an app and how each app is eating up resources, according to a Heroku blog post detailing the announcement.

From the blog post:
[blockquote person=”Heroku” attribution=”Heroku”]Heroku Enterprise introduces a new kind of application-level access control called a privilege. Privileges strike a balance between fine-grained permissions that are too hard to manage and coarse-grained, all-or-nothing flags that won’t do the job. In this initial release, we are introducing three app level privileges in beta: deploy, operate and manage. [/blockquote]

The new product line also comes packed with Heroku Connect, which can link up a company’s Salesforce data to the Heroku platform. [company]Salesforce[/company] said that pricing for Heroku Enterprise will be based on how many resources a company consumes.

Of course, developing the types of applications seen at Lyft and Instacart requires a type of developer mindset that can contrast with the old waterfall-style of development seen at big enterprises in which releases don’t come as often and the development lifecycle at large is more sequential in nature.

Even with a new product, it’s important for companies to realize that development is not just tool-centric, but also requires a bit of a culture shift.

Cloud monitoring category gets busier

Server monitoring gets hot

SolarWinds, which monitors multi-vendor technologies running in house, last week bought Librato to extend its reach into the cloud. Librato is noted for its ability to watch workloads running in Heroku and Amazon Web Services as well is in internally-run Rails, Node.js, Ruby, Rails and Java applications.

Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds is betting that, despite the hype, most companies will not move everything to a public cloud or a SaaS vendor but will want ways to monitor workloads whether they are running in the server room down the hall, in AWS US-East or wherever.

For the $40 million purchase price SolarWinds “gets a way to bridge on-prem and cloud worlds and provide visibility across both,” Kevin Thompson, Solarwinds president, (pictured above) said in an interview.

The goal is to give “IT and devops pros a way to manage everything from on-prem to cloud and everything in between or we can’t guarantee a level of performance,” he said.

That’s a tall order. But it’s also a potentially huge market as it’s increasingly clear that most big tech buyers will continue to spread their bets between private and public resources.

[company]Solarwinds[/company] will not, however, meld Librato’s cloud monitoring service in with its existing services but rather field discrete services so customers can buy what they need, he said.

It started down this road to cloud by purchasing Pingdom, a website and application monitoring company, in June. Librato is more about monitoring infrastructure at all layers in cloud environments, according to SolarWinds.

There’s been a flurry of activity in server monitoring over the past year. In May, Google purchased StackDriver, which provided monitoring tools for AWS and Google Cloud Platform. Three months later Idera bought Copperegg, another server monitoring product.

Investors are paying attention. Last week another server monitoring entry, Datadog, snagged $31 million in new funding bringing its total funding to more than $50 million. Other entries in this space include Boundary and Server Density.

What’s that again? Amazon to break out its cloud numbers?

But the really big news in cloud last week was all about AWS accounting. [company]Amazon[/company] always talks about how transparent it is. And yet,  the size of its clearly huge AWS business was treated like a state secret, hidden inside another category — which also includes sales of various and sundry other stuff including co-branded credit cards.  That left pundits to guestimate its size. (My favorite anecdote is when an Amazon employee complained to me about [company]Microsoft[/company] being opaque in claiming Azure was a $1 billion business a few years back. FWIW, I agreed that the Azure number was fuzzy at best, but oh the irony that Amazon, of all companies would complain about that.

Sooo, when, on the Q4 earnings call Thursday,  Amazon’s CFO said the company would at last break out AWS numbers, starting this quarter, I had to triple check the news. Make no mistake, this is a big deal, but the break out of cloud numbers won’t necessarily illuminate all mysteries. But baby steps, people.

The down side? Our nifty “Amazon North America Net Sales (other)” chart now can be retired. So here it is one more time (along with associated growth chart.)

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Structure Show! All about data!

Check out this week’s Structure Show as data nerd Derrick Harris talks to data nerd Matt Ocko, of Data Collective Venture Capital, about real opportunities (a la beyond the hype) for big data technologies. DCVC has put seed money into database companies (MemSQL) and satellite companies (Planet Labs).

And if that chat leaves you wanting more, you can get it when Ocko speaks at Structure Data next month in New York). Last week’s guest, Hilary Mason will be there as well. So come for an embarrassment of data riches; stay for the parties!

 

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A top apps list worth a look from Meldium

Tis the season of “top apps of the year” lists. Many are skippable. But this one compiled by password management company Meldium, now part of LogMeIn, caught my eye.

Based on the examination of usage data from “multiple tens of thousands” of users — the exact number wasn’t disclosed — Meldium came up with a list of the most popular applications across six categories — communication, collaboration, retail and service, sales and marketing, and social media.

Some results were hardly surprising: [company]Twitter[/company], for example, was undisputed overall champ and the champ within social media by far.

But a few results were more eyebrow-raising. In the dev tools category for instance, [company]Heroku[/company] got the top slot over perennial dev favorite [company]Github[/company]. No offense to Heroku, which is popular, but it just seems odd that it would have more users than Github, which as far as I know, pretty much every developer uses.

Chris Corde, Meldium’s director of products, agreed that this was surprising on the surface, but given that Meldium is designed to enable workgroups to securely share account credentials, it’s really not a shocker. Github users tend to have individual accounts even if they work in groups, while Heroku is particularly suited for groups of colleagues, Corde noted.

Other tools filling in the top five development tools category were Zapier, an API integration service; [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services Management Console; and Bitbucket’s free source code hosting.

It was also somewhat surprising to Corde that [company]GoDaddy[/company] won the retail and service category, but then again, a ton of accounts use that company’s DNS registration services.

Take a look at the whole post for other interesting tidbits, but the top-line results are below.

 Overall winners:

  1. Twitter
  2. MailChimp
  3. Gmail
  4. Amazon Web Services
  5. Mixpanel

Category winners

  1. Collaboration — MailChimp
  2. Dev tools — Heroku
  3. Retail and service — GoDaddy
  4. Sales and marketing — Salesforce.com
  5. Social media — Twitter
  6. Analytics — Mixpanel

Ex-Heroku CEO Byron Sebastian joins the board at Codenvy

Byron Sebastian, the former CEO of Heroku who was most recently an executive vice president at Salesforce.com, is joining the board of directors at developer darling Codenvy. The company sells a cloud service, and software, that uses Docker containers to simplify the configuration, deployment and sharing of development environments. Sebastian, who has also held VP and CEO roles at BEA Systems and SourceLabs, respectively, left Salesforce.com in September 2012 to grow olives has yet to return to tech in a full-time capacity.

Platform as a service is still a work in progress for enterprise apps

Heroku has been at the platform-as-a-service game for a long time now, and it’s still trying to bridge the gap between its web-application-centric roots and the enterprise developers it desires. CEO Tod Nielsen explains how it’s going about that and why he thinks it will succeed.