Development Costs In The Cloud

As more of our applications migrate into the cloud, some interesting questions for development rise up. What about development? How will developer use cloud services in the development process? How do you attract developers to develop on your cloud services? How much will cloud services cost you if you use cloud services in the software development and QA testing process?

You can always stub cloud storage services, for example, and simulate data access up to a point but somewhere during the development and QA process you'll need to talk to real cloud services to fully develop and test. Usage costs can mount as development teams are billed for storage, data transfer, network bandwidth and compute power usage. The bigger and more complex the application, the greater the potential costs. Performing stress testing for an online service with a very large user base could rack up some significant costs. Unique service interfaces and environments may not be easy to simulate. Microsoft SQL Server Data Services for example doesn't use standard SQL for querying table but uses LINQ (Language Integrated Query), and other services like Google have their own data query mechanisms.

Microsoft has some different challenges beyond just the costs for developers using cloud services. I've talked in previous blog posts that the "big shoe" left to drop in cloud services are development tools, and that I think Microsoft will make some strong announcements in this area of the next six months or so. College students today learn how to develop using open source Linux, Java and other non-Microsoft technologies. Recruiters tell me they just don't see students emerging from our education system with Microsoft skills, but rather with Linux and open source skills.

Microsoft needs to expand the development environment for its cloud services to attract more open source and Linux developers. And costs to develop in the cloud need to be free, as they are today in other services, such as Google's Web Engine. Microsoft has an opportunity to attract existing and new developers, or further restrict the population of developers who can create services in Microsoft's emerging cloud services. Which will it be? It would be wise for Microsoft to turn the corner and attract a wide audience of developers, new and old. How do they do that? No so clear - it's a bit cloudy.

As a developer himself, Ozzie should be able to come with some good strategies for attracting developers. Cloud services is a great opportunity for Microsoft to raise developers on new Microsoft technologies. What will Microsoft do to attract developers away from open source-based alternatives? As I said earlier, that shoe is still left to drop.

Like this? Here are some of Mitchell's recent posts.Meet Up At Black HatPodcast: SOA and Web Services, But BizTalk? Do You Trust The Cloud? Symantec & McAfee Finally Get Run For MoneySaaS, If It Was Easy, Everybody Would Be Doing ItAnother Cuil Search Engine On The Block Product Reviews: Microsoft Live Mesh Google App Engine Xobni Outlook plugin Recent Converging Network Blog Posts: Get Ready For XaaS Everywhere Unbelievably Bad Web Password Security Back From Hiatus, Saved by Web 2.0 Technology It Takes a Village.. ah, actually, being there first and tons of hard work

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