Feeds

Developer heads are in the cloud, Andreessen says

Build a platform and they will come

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Marc Andreessen predicts a future where systems companies like Sun Microsystems see their volume businesses shrink and massive online services providers become prime customers.

Andreessen, who helped launch the internet revolution through his work at Netscape Communications and on the Mosaic browser, said developers will flock to Salesforce.com, Amazon and eBay and companies of their ilk because they provide the operating system and server infrastructure as a platform so that developers can focus on building software and services.

Appearing at the Salesforce.com developer launch in San Francisco, Andreessen said the industry is in a phase where these providers have begun delivering on-demand development services, such as Amazon's S3 and Salesforce.com's Force.com. This follows previous years' work where the companies made their APIs (application programming interfaces) publicly available.

Speaking in the wake of Sun's $1bn acquisition of MySQL to drive its server business, and of Oracle's capture of BEA, a middleware competitor, Andreessen said this new wave is attracting thousands of start-ups and creating a challenge for such "historical platform vendors".

Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com's chief executive, hosting Salesforce.com's development day, called BEA's acquisition the end of an era and proof that on-demand is the future. "The industry needs a new kind of application server, a new kind of pricing model... [this] is the way things are going to go."

According to Andreessen, Sun sees its future as a supplier to start-ups such as his latest venture, the social network Ning - a self-confessed "big" customer of Sun. "The total aggregate of customers might shrink a lot but if you can get Google, Salesforce or Amazon, then there is quite a bit of growth," he said.

"From a developer standpoint, we are a big developer building the Ning platform on those old-style platforms and represent a new style platform to our developers and users, so our users never deal with the operating system."

Reflecting on his days growing up, Andreessen said he could never have got started if he'd worried about which middleware, operating systems or server to pick.®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.