Zend Technologies, the PHP Company, recently launched the Simple API for Cloud Application Services project, a new open source initiative that allows developers to use common application services in the cloud, while enabling them to unlock value-added features available from individual providers. The project aims to facilitate the development of cloud applications that can access services on all major cloud platforms.
Zend, IBM, Microsoft, Nirvanix, Rackspace and GoGrid are co-founding contributors to this community project.
The Simple Cloud API project empowers developers to use one interface to interact with a variety of cloud application services, enabling them to more easily access new technologies from cloud vendors. The first deliverables will include interfaces for file storage, document database, and simple queue services from platforms like Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network and Rackspace Cloud Files. As a result, developers can deploy software applications to access services in these environments without making time consuming and expensive changes to their source code.
“Cloud computing offers irresistible value to enterprises of all sizes, but the lack of portability across cloud application services for even the most basic operations has been an impediment to broader adoption of cloud services,” - Andi Gutmans, CEO at Zend Technologies.
“The Simple Cloud API combines the benefits of open source community processes with the active participation of the cloud vendors themselves,” continued Gutmans. “With early participation and support from industry leaders and the Zend Framework community, we anticipate that this important project will continue to grow, serving a wide range of application developers and businesses building modern Web applications for the cloud.”
The Simple Cloud API project is designed to encourage widespread participation and contributions from the open source community, resulting in the availability of Simple Cloud API adapters for virtually all major cloud providers.
Although led by Zend, the largest corporate contributor to the PHP programming language, the Simple Cloud API can be translated to any object-oriented language for the Web. The PHP implementation will be available in the widely adopted open source Zend Framework project as a new component, called “Zend Cloud.” PHP developers can take advantage of this new component to utilize existing client libraries available in Zend Framework in a uniform way.
Zend Cloud adapters will be available for services such as:
- File storage services, including Windows Azure blobs, Rackspace Cloud Files, Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network and Amazon S3
- Document Storage services, including Windows Azure tables and Amazon SimpleDB
- Simple queue services, including Amazon SQS and Windows Azure queues
Zend Cloud will also provide adapters for local services to make offline coding and testing against cloud services as easy as connected development.
Other adapters, such as those for Rackspace Cloud Files API, will work with external libraries with no changes to application code. Microsoft is also contributing Simple Cloud API adapters, along with the official PHP client libraries for Windows Azure storage, to future versions of Zend Framework. These adapters will allow applications to take advantage of many Windows Azure features through the Simple Cloud API interface, while Microsoft’s client libraries will put Windows Azure innovations, such as transaction and partial upload support, at the fingertips of cloud application developers.
Dr. Kristof Kloeckner, CTO of IBM Cloud Computing, recognizes this effort as a significant step towards a more open and interoperable cloud. “The Simple Cloud API will enable developers to invoke cloud services in a common way across cloud providers. This can significantly reduce the costs for application development and provide customer choice. To that end, IBM will be contributing adapters for IBM’s cloud service interfaces, as well as adapters to IBM's data storage products, allowing developers to easily switch between public clouds, private clouds and traditional data center environments.“
“Microsoft is pleased to continue to work with Zend and join efforts with other contributors to this project,” said Doug Hauger, General Manager, Microsoft Windows Azure. “The Simple Cloud API is an example of Microsoft’s continued investment in the openness and interoperability of its platform. We’re excited to see how this project will foster adoption of cloud computing platforms by PHP developers and hope that many of these developers are encouraged to use Windows Azure.”
Lew Moorman, Chief Strategy Officer and President of the Rackspace Cloud, added, “We’re proud to be part of any initiative that delivers more value to developers in the cloud. Our contributions to the Simple Cloud API are part of our ongoing effort to bring the unique value of open source software to the cloud. Many of our customers use PHP as their Web application language of choice, and we believe that these developers should be able to choose which cloud services are the best fit for them through interfaces that they can help define.”
An initial Simple Cloud API proposal and reference implementation is available now for community review and participation at http://www.simplecloud.org. Developers can also evaluate the Simple API for Cloud Application Services by deploying their applications that use it on the Amazon cloud using the freely available Zend Server Community Edition Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for EC2. Zend Technologies also offers a Zend Server AMI that is commercially supported. A technology preview of the PHP client libraries for Windows Azure can be viewed and downloaded from: http://framework.zend.com/Zend_Service_WindowsAzure