Feeds

Heroku publishes API for its platform cloud

Amazon piggybacker wants kids of its own

The essential guide to IT transformation

Heroku has released the public beta of a platform API to help its developers build apps and services that sit on top of its PaaS, which in turn sits on Amazon Web Services.

With the platform API, Heroku is letting developers "automate, extend and combine Heroku with other services," the company wrote on Thursday. This lets you build a service which sits on a platform (Heroku) that sits on a virtualized infrastructure cloud (Amazon).

Potential use cases include automating workloads, combining Heroku with other services, and building apps for controlling Heroku environments from smartphones and tablets.

A handy way of thinking about this is that Heroku is a pilot fish to Amazon's great big shark, and now Heroku has made an API available that could let developers build little complementary Heroku fish.

"Someone developing a self-hosted blog could create a tool to automatically build up all the required settings for a blog into a user's account. Or someone running a continuous integration server could use this to manage test runs on Heroku or [deployments] based on passing tests," Wesley Beary who heads up Heroku's API team, told The Register via email.

"IDEs can use the API to provide insight into the running version of the code as you edit it," he says. "You can also build tools to help you bootstrap apps or ensure apps match your expectations (especially across environments, like staging vs production)."

The API uses HTTP and JSON to transfer data. Available methods include DELETE, GET, HEAD, PATCH, PUT, and POST, with comprehensive documentation available.

"Previously our API was focused on providing for our internal needs as we developed toolbelt and dashboard. As a private, undocumented API falls short of external needs, we have iterated toward a better designed and documented, supported way to extend and build upon Heroku platform primitives," Beary says.

The availability of the API follows Heroku's recent expansion into Europe via renting resources in Amazon Web Services' major European data center hub. Amazon operates its own platform-as-a-service via Elastic Beanstalk, which is handy for developers building apps within an IaaS-heavy environment, but has fewer features than Heroku for those devs who want to stay away from infrastructure entirely.

As computing is steadily being abstracted further and further away from underlying hardware, companies piggybacking on the growth of megaclouds are in a bind – do they keep on automating the middleware and management and hope Amazon doesn't clone their service, do they keep on fleeing up the stack, or do they become brokers and manage other clouds?

With the public API, Heroku is trying to run up the stack and maintain developer loyalty in the process. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.