Congratulations! You have just came up with the next $1bn dollar idea. Now, all you have to do is to build your idea and test it out in the marketplace. Easy, right? Although technology has jumped over numerous hurdles to make this process easier for developers, there are still gaps that can be closed with a Platform-as-a-Service and more specifically, Bluemix.
Here is a short list of the many areas where Bluemix makes life easier for web developers.
- Free-tier testing of a minimum viable product without:
- Purchasing a domain name
- Paying a virtual private server for a web hosting service
- Auto-scaling handles extra tasks, such as load balancing, automatically
- Integration with other services, such as popular databases, is made with the click of a button
- High quality security services offered by IBM are either automatic or easy to use
- Enterprise quality assurance of hardware and middleware backed by IBM
- It takes 30 seconds to push your applications onto Bluemix for hosting
1. Free-tier testing of an MVP
Without a platform-as-a-service, you would have to pay for a domain name as well as a host to house your application. If you are testing a new idea, the entire idea of using Bluemix to build a minimum viable product is to keep costs as low as possible. The process of acquiring a domain and a host adds extra burden too whereas Bluemix allows you to almost instantly get an application up and running.
When creating your first application, the URL will be www.your_application_name.mybluemix.net. In this way, you can create an application and send out the link to potential customers to immediately start receiving feedback on your idea.
When building out a web application, the creators must begin to worry about scaling and load balancing as the website grows in visitors. Two popular load balancing tools are NginX and Apache. While these tools are extremely useful, if your sole goal is to test an idea out as quickly as possible, wouldn’t it be nice if this was automated for you?
That is exactly what the Bluemix auto-scaling function does. It is a free service that scales up your application in terms of instances and memory as more visitors come to your website. Whenever your web application becomes profitable, then it is a great time to use the auto-scaling application to make your development life easier.
3. Service Integration
Bluemix supports over 75 IBM and third party services in the catalog. The old process of adding services to an application required integration code. Now, you can do this in under 15 seconds with a few clicks. It is that simple to get a SQL, Cloudant NoSQL, or MongoDB up and running.
Bluemix has top notch security backed by IBM.
- Some services have security built-in
- Security services can be added manually – such as Single Sign-on (which supports OAuth 2.0)
- Security services can be added that run automatically – such as AppScan Dynamic Analyzer
For those that are further interested in security, please see this additional security resource.
5. High quality hardware and middleware
When you host your web application on other platforms, you always have to be cautious about the availability and reliability. When it comes to the backbone of Bluemix – SoftLayer – the concern is mitigated because you know that you are getting the best in the market.
If you have your code ready, you can have it running on Bluemix with a link extending to the outside world in about 30 seconds. It is incredibly fast. Want to see what it looks like to build a sentiment analysis of tweets on an internet of things platform with a Mongo back end – in five minutes? This short video demonstrates the power of Bluemix for creating and testing new ideas in the marketplace.
What has been the biggest problem for you when developing a new web application? I’m curious to hear about it and see how Bluemix can help you.