Adobe recently announced, in conjunction with Amazon, that they would bring LiveCycle to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). To quote Adobe:
Adobe is now offering developers subscribed to the Adobe Enterprise Developer Program access to their own virtual instance of LiveCycle ES through LiveCycle ES Developer Express. LiveCycle ES Developer Express provides a pre-configured, virtualized installation of LiveCycle ES Solution Components in a self-contained development environment. LiveCycle ES Developer Express is hosted on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). AEDP members can test, build, store and develop their applications in a cloud-base environment where all LiveCycle ES applications are pre-configured and running. The Adobe Enterprise Developer Program will offer a minimum of 10 hours of runtime per month, with additional hours to be available separately.
What is cloud computing and why is it important?
The term cloud computing, as used by some commentators, refers to the use of scalable, real-time, Internet-based information technology services and resources. This somewhat nebulous concept incorporates software as a service (SaaS), utility computing, Web 2.0 and other recent technology trends. The common theme stresses reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of users, without them needing knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them. An often-quoted example is Google Apps, which provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on Google servers.
The cloud element of cloud computing derives from a metaphor used for the Internet, from the way it is often depicted in computer network diagrams, and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.
How do Adobe and Amazon fit into the equation?
Adobe and Amazon have similar goals. They both want to gain more share of the enterprise market. Amazon needs to convince the enterprise that its version of the cloud is capable of supporting the demands of enterprise applications. On the other hand Adobe wants to convince the developers who already use AWS that LiveCycle is the platform of choice for the enterprise.
What is Adobe LiveCycle?
Adobe’s LiveCycle Enterprise Suite is a J2EE-based server software product used to build applications that automate a broad range of business processes for enterprises and government agencies.
LiveCycle combines technologies for data capture, information assurance, document output, content services, and process management to deliver solutions such as account opening, services and benefits enrollment, correspondence management, request for proposal processes, and other manual based workflows.
What are Amazon Webservices?
Since early 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided companies of all sizes with an infrastructure web services platform in the cloud. With AWS you can requisition compute power, storage, and other services–gaining access to a suite of elastic IT infrastructure services as your business demands them. With AWS you have the flexibility to choose whichever development platform or programming model makes the most sense for the problems you’re trying to solve. You pay only for what you use, with no up-front expenses or long-term commitments, making AWS a cost-effective way to deliver applications to customers and clients.
How do they fit together?
Essentially, Adobe has put a Red Hat JBoss J2EE stack on AWS and deployed LiveCycle on the stack. Adobe state that this platform is purely for prototyping, developing and testing applications, rather than production environments, but that is likely to change.
Deploying LiveCycle on AWS has wider implications, not only for Adobe products. By setting up a J2EE stack on AWS it makes it possible to deploy any Java-based application; yes that does mean one developed in Adobe’s ColdFusion or indeed its chief rival, Railo.