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Apprenda adds Java to its .Net PaaS

Touts single- to multi-tenant conversion features

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Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider Apprenda has come up with a way to morph single-tenant Java applications into multi-tenant hydras without developers having to do much legwork.

The company announced on Wednesday it had added Java support to its previously .Net-only PaaS.

Apprenda's technology abstracts the IT runtime environment away from data center infrastructure, cutting the time it takes to develop new applications, much like other PaaS's such as Heroku, Engine Yard, and Cloud Foundry.

The kicker is that Apprenda will also morph your app from single- to multi-tenant as well. This separates it from its rivals and makes it a potentially neat bit of tech for large organizations that are loathe to invest in more developers.

"You build your app using standard web app principles, bundle it up, push it to Apprenda, then specify what you want from the platform," Apprenda's chief executive Sinclair Schuller told The Register. "When you choose that, our platform instruments that into the application."

The app is delivered to Apprenda as a composited app within a zip file that gets opened up and analysed heuristically by the PaaS.

Apprenda then builds a model of the application that lets it modify indexes to have multi-tenancy built in. This yields a DB table structure that is "drastically different" from the original, says Schuller. The software then whacks a layer of abstraction in front of it so it still looks like the original application.

"The first class citizen in Apprenda is not infrastructure, it's the application component," Schuller said. "We enhance the behavior of those non-runtime components."

The multi-tenant conversion feature strikes The Reg as a kind of code-converting black box that could eventually end up as a form of lock-in, as your apps are now multi-tenanted via the Apprenda layer.

If you get rid of Apprenda, you'll still have your data but you will need to re-architect the way your app handles data to get it to work with the Apprenda-fied now-multi-tenant data, or "suck all the data out on a tenant-by-tenant basis." This sounds like a drawn-out, unpleasant job.

Alongside the news of Java support, Apprenda announced that banking giant JPMorgan Chase was using the PaaS internally. Over 2,000 applications now live on Apprenda at the money firm, and every single line of business touches on it. "It is, as far as we know, the largest private PaaS deployment on the planet," Schuller said.

Perhaps Apprenda's claims of dramatically simplifying the IT development process can be backed up by the coincidental fact that news leaked on Monday that JPMorgan Chase was making 17,000 people redundant over the next few years.

Pricing for Apprenda is according to the amount of RAM the Apprenda system is sitting on, and this price ranges from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand. The cost of an Apprenda deployment tends to range from the low six-figure range up to the mid-seven figure range, he said. ®

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