Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why you should try WSO2 App Cloud - Part 1

I have written a blog post on how to get started with WSO2 App Cloud couple of months ago and it can be found at Lets get started with WSO2 App Cloud. My intention of writing this post is to explain why you should try it. I'll be listing the attractive features of WSO2 App Cloud which makes it special from other app cloud offerings available.

  1. Onboarding process
  2. Creating your first application
  3. Launching your first application
  4. Editing and re-launching the application

Onboarding process

WSO2 App Cloud allows you to sign-up by providing your email address. Then you get an email with a link to click and confirm your account. Once you click it, as the next step, you are asked to provide an organisation name which you want to create.

WSO2 App Cloud Sign-Up page

WSO2 App Cloud has an organization concept which allows a set of developers, QA engineers, DevOps persons to work collaboratively. When you create an account in WSO2 App Cloud, it creates an organisation for you. In other words, this is a tenant. Then you can invite other members to this organisation. You can assign members to different applications developed under this organisation entity. I'll explain this structure in a future post (to keep you reading through this :))

Some of the other app clouds available today do not have the organisation concept. They only have the application entity. You sign-up and create an application. Then you are the owner of that app. You can invite others to collaborate with your app. But, if you create another app, you need to invite them again for collaboration.

Creating your first application

After you sign-up and sign-in successfully, lets have a look at the first app creation experience. WSO2 App Cloud support multiple application types to be created. They are,
  • Java web applications
  • Jaggery web applications (Jaggery is a Javascript framework introduced by WSO2 itself)
  • JAX-WS services
  • JAX-RS services
  • WSO2 Data Services
  • It also allows you to upload existing Java web apps, JAX-WS, JAX-RS and Jaggery apps
WSO2 App Cloud is planning to support other app types such as PHP, node.js in the future.

In WSO2 App Cloud, creating an application is a two click process. After you login in, you click on "Add New Application" button, fill in the information and click "Create Application" button. This will create the skeleton of the app, a git repository for it, build space for the app. Then it will build the app and deploy it for you. All you have to do is, wait a couple of minutes, go to the app's overview page and click the "Open" button to launch your app. This has the following advantages.
  1. You don't need to know anything about the folder structure of the app type you are creating. WSO2 App Cloud does it for you.
  2. Within a couple of minutes, you have an up and running application. This is same for new users and users who are familiar with the WSO2 App Cloud.
See this video on WSO2 App Cloud's app creation experience.


Other offerings have different approaches when creating applications. Some of them needs users to download SDKs. Users also need to have knowledge about the structure of an app which they want to create. After a user creates and uploads/pushes an app, they have to start up instances to run it. Some offerings provide a default instance, but if you want high availability for your app, user has to start additional instances. WSO2 App Cloud takes care of them by default, so the user does not need to worry about it.

Launching your first application

Lets see how a user can launch the application they have created.

When you create the app in WSO2 App Cloud, after it goes through the build process, it is automatically deployed. Within seconds of creation, it presents you the URL to launch your app. A user with very little knowledge can get an app created and running easily.

Editing and re-launching the application

Its obvious that a user wants to edit the application he/she creates by adding their code.WSO2 App Cloud dominates the app cloud offerings when it comes to development support. It provides you a cloud IDE. You can just click the "Edit Code" button and your app code will be open in the browser. Not only you can edit the code in the browser, you can build and run it before pushing the code to the App Cloud. Very cool, isn't it?

Second option is to edit the code using WSO2 Developer Studio. To do this, you need to have a working installation of WSO2 Developer Studio.

Third option is to clone the source code and edit it using your favourite IDE. 
WSO2 App Cloud IDE
See this video on WSO2 App Cloud's cloud IDE.


Special thing to note is, there is no other app cloud offering which provides a cloud IDE for the developers.

I'll be writing the second part of this post by discussing some more attractive features of WSO2 App Cloud and I am expecting to discuss
  • Using resources within the app (databases etc.)
  • Collaborative development
  • Lifecycle management of the app
  • Monitoring logs
Your feedback is welcome. Stay tuned :) 

4 comments:

  1. Hello Mr Arachchi,

    Nice blog! I am editor at Java Code Geeks (www.javacodegeeks.com). We have the JCG program (see www.javacodegeeks.com/join-us/jcg/), that I think you’d be perfect for.

    If you’re interested, send me an email to eleftheria[dot]kiourtzoglou[at]javacodegeeks[dot]com and we can discuss further.

    Best regards,
    Eleftheria Kiourtzoglou

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