Not too long ago, selling middleware and tools to software developers was a big business. Large technology empires were built on a single premise: that computers need software, written by software developers who need a panoply of infrastructure tools and middleware - and that you could charge the developers for that …
Can take as read the "only a moron would put their IP on someone else's server" comments and NSA witticisms, rather than have to suffer them for the Nth time?
Well, Americans probably don't have to worry about economic espionage by the NSA. Anyone else, however, is probably better off not putting their crown jewels in the hands of the yanks.
I was asked to develop a small collaborative web app with database support. After prototyping with Tomcat and MySQL on my Thinkpad, I decided to eat my own dogfood as they say* and move the mess over to Rackspace. Smallest Xen based server (256MB) cost me $11 a month. So that's $132 per year, times maybe 100,000 other guys and girls doing the same, or about $13,200,000. Most will want bigger servers. The coolest thing about IaaS is that I can experiment with firing up multiple instances and taking them down a few hours later for maybe a buck or two So in the aggregate, assuming millions of developers worldwide, the $billions are possible. At the individual level, it is peanuts.
* dogfood is probably healthy, but tastes rather bland.
"service" is the key difference
As an independent dev I can't justify handing over insane amounts of money for dev tools, not knowing how much of that cost is going to be recouped in product revenue.
The economics favour investing the time to learn free or low-cost tools because while they may be a small drain on one's productivity it's a proportional & progressive cost, rather than an up-front expense that is particularly galling if it turns out that there is something else that is better.
So yes there is mileage in dev tools as a service - I really don't mind a small "tax" on what I am producing in exchange for better productivity, and the more I can do the more both I and the vendor gain.
missing the point a bit?
A lot of the pain of running an internet service isn't the coding per-se (bunch of scripts, some sql, some php, whatever floats your boat), it's the configuration, installation, maintenance, backups, etc. that are needed to keep the backend up and running. A while back I worked at the world's tiniest telco (a video voip service) as one of three backend developers. We had about 12 IT people to sustain operations, maybe 5 of whom were fairly capable network engineers. If we'd been an earlier stage startup, having PaaS, DBaas, etc. would have been great options.
The oldest swinger in town
Its a bit sad dear old auntie IBM out there with a toupee and fake Tats trying to get down and get with it. With the cloudy young things.
The " cloud" is just time sharing and nobody will ever make serious money out of it.
It's time for IBM to restore its dignity, get back into the blue suit with sober tie, and start giving its business customers value for money.
Re: The oldest swinger in town
"Value for money" is a dirty phrase in the IT industry today.
FLOSS eviscerated the developer market?
`Disruption came from marrying up the rainbow-and-sandles world of FLOSS to the free-loading spirit of the web .. technologies like Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby coupled with free, "enterprise grade" web services like Apache (and then nginx) all but eviscerated the "developer market" in the 2000s'
This is news to me that Open Source eviscerated the developer market?