Red Hat has unveiled its JBoss xPaaS services for OpenShift, designed to offer a single comprehensive middleware services stack that developers can use to build enterprise applications capable of bridging on-premise, private cloud and public cloud infrastructure.
Although announced now, Red Hat's strategy is actually a roadmap to deliver key capabilities for enterprise application development, such as business process management (BPM) and integration services, on top of its OpenShift platform as a service (PaaS) over the coming year or so.
This is starting today with the availability of a mobile push notification service, to be followed by developer preview versions of integration PaaS (iPaaS) and BPM PaaS technologies in the coming few months.
Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of Products and Technologies, explained that as enterprise customers move workloads to cloud computing, they want to have the same services available as they have to support their internal enterprise applications, but these facilities just do not exist at the moment.
"There's a real gap between what is in existing PaaS platforms and what enterprise developers need in order to build applications and integrate them together," he said.
In particular, available PaaS tools tend to be point solutions, according to Red Hat, which are good for creating simple standalone applications, but only provide a subset of the services and capabilities enterprises require.
"Developers don't want to have to go to a bunch of different providers in order to get all the facilities they have in enterprise middleware. What's needed is a coherent PaaS offering," said Cormier.
Red Hat, which already has a successful middleware offering in the shape of its JBoss enterprise Java platform and a cloud computing PaaS stack in OpenShift, naturally sees the opportunity to fill this void by combining the two, and then fill in the gaps to make a comprehensive cloud application platform, and this is what xPaaS is, in essence.
Under Red Hat's vision, OpenShift forms the foundation of its developer stack, with JBoss forming what it calls the Application PaaS layer above this, and other key services such as the BPM PaaS in turn sitting on top of this.
Cormier said: "XPaaS completes the picture. You can think of it as the developer interface to the operating system of the cloud."
OpenShift itself is already available as a hosted service running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure and as an OpenShift Enterprise version packaged for deployment on-premise or in other public clouds.
The firm also confirmed its intention to make the JBoss xPaaS services for OpenShift available on the OpenStack cloud framework, especially as it now has its own Red Hat OpenStack distribution that packages the cloud platform with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
Red Hat said that its roadmap (pictured above) is flexible, and that the order in which the remaining pieces of its xPaaS suite will be delivered will be based on feedback from customers and the open source developer community.
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