Developing Software For The Cloud: How To Build A Cloud Application In The New IT Era

2019-06-12 by Bogdan Butoi

The delivery of on-demand computing services, ranging from applications to storage, is known as cloud computing. The cloud provides an interesting number of applications, which are totally free. As opposed to desktop applications, cloud-based applications rely on remote servers for processing logic, which is accessed through an Internet browser with a continual connection. The upcoming applications will undoubtedly zero in on the cloud environment as the preferred deployment option.

Companies around the globe are embracing cloud technology in their attempts to deliver innovation and better engage with the customers. It is believed that Platform as a Service (PaaS) will evolve at a high rate, outperforming Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The demand for cloud computing solutions is extremely high. The days of monolithic applications hosted within the organization are long gone.

Impact of the cloud on software development

Cloud computing offers great opportunities for software engineers when it comes down to software development. They no longer write their source code locally. Nowadays, professionals prefer working in the cloud. For them, it does not matter if the hosting server is located right down the hall, in another city, or at the other end of the world. As long as they have access to the services that they need, it does not matter.

Many say that cloud technology has revolutionized the way in which software developers do their jobs. What is certain is that cloud computing has made things a lot easier for them. Cloud independent software is easy to build, deploy, and, most importantly, optimize at a pace that was not possible a few years ago. Advanced mobile applications are being developed. Software developers, as well as companies are letting their interests change and focusing their attention on hybrid environments. This means that they go way beyond the traditional services offered by SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and so on and so forth. They wish to put applications where they run the best.

How developing for the cloud is different

In the cloud, software developers are able to leverage new environments to test and design applications fast and cost-effectively. However, attention needs to be paid to the fact that development in the cloud is completely different from what software engineers normally do. To be more precise, there are certain challenges in developing applications and managing them once they are there. When working with the cloud framework, it is necessary to write code that works with several cloud providers at the same time, in spite of the differences. What is more, software engineers are required to carefully analyze the cloud service provider’s infrastructure so as to make sure the application performance will not be affected in the long run. The good news is that IT experts from software development companies now how to handle any kind of difficulty and turn the situation around. Therefore, the project is not affected.

Making a cloud-based application

Developing an application for the cloud literally means building in the cloud. Needless to say, cloud programming tools are not the same as those used for traditional systems. To enjoy success, software development companies have to follow the best practices. From the very get-go, it is essential to determine what tools will be deployed in the process, what programming language is the best option, not to mention the database.

What software tools?

Software developers rely on the help of tools when it comes to building products for the cloud environment. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, for instance, provide the necessary tools to make the process go a lot faster and to make it more secure. It is important to determine which solution is the right fit.

Which programming language?

Applications that are destined for the cloud can make use of virtually any programming language. The choice of the programming language is largely determined by its possibilities and the business requirements. More often than not, IT experts resort to using Python. This programming language has the power to enhance code readability, but that is not the only thing it is capable of. Python supports various programming paradigms and enables complex software development, simplifying data analysis and visualization. Of course, software developers can always look for other alternatives in the case of a programming language.

What is the best cloud database?

One very important aspect is the installation of the database. The managed database should best serve the data and the application. Each cloud-based application uses database technology, which is the reason why a precise and well-ordered one is of the essence. The most commonly used technologies are:

  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server

It is recommendable to choose a document-oriented database because it allows for more flexibility as far as changes are concerned. A great number of companies use Microsoft SQL Server to create, maintain, and carry out various operations through a database.

How to test and secure software for the cloud

Data breaches are not out of the ordinary in enterprises, meaning that the need for security has never been greater. Testing is carried out in order to check application performance and ensure protection from cybercriminals. The testing of applications enables IT experts to determine if the system is vulnerable and if it is necessary to implement changes. Traditional and new age methods can be used for performing testing. Testing can be carried out within the cloud, across the cloud etc. This task is more complicated than it sounds. Everything is at the fingertips of the user, which is why safety is an issue. Security testing issues are the ones that receive the most attention.

As far as securing software for the cloud is concerned, it is possible to integrate identity management solutions, build security testing into the DevOps automation, and enhance performance. At present, software developers need to be experts in cloud application security as well. In other words, they need to make changes to secure everything. Encryption is the most practical thing to do, as it is impossible to read the data that sits in the cloud-based storage system. Designing software for the cloud does not mean designing for failure. On the contrary, it is all about designing for success.

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