One of the first areas that any company applies virtualization to is the IT infrastructure associated with application development. But once they start going down this path, it become apparent that the entire application development process can be shifted into the cloud, thereby reducing even more of the IT administration headaches associated with developing applications.
A good example of this process in action is Sauce Labs, which just announced that 1 million tests have now been run on its cloud computing service. According to Sauce Labs CEO John Dunham, the move to the cloud is not only being driven by virtualization, but also the increased complexity brought on by the number of browsers that now need to be supported as Microsoft Internet Explorer continues to lose market share.
But Dunham says the real challenge when it comes to moving application development into the cloud is finding a service that is flexible enough to fit easily into new iterative and agile approaches to application development. Right now, there are plenty of options available for facilitating application development in the cloud, but very few of them easily plug into a developer's toolset environment to enable those types of development methodologies. That is one of the main reasons Sauce Labs built its service on top of the open source Selenium development environment, he said.
As more application development moves in the cloud, the testing process naturally follows suit. But what will be interesting to see is how many IT organizations start to rely more on external IT testing that can now be done more collaboratively via a cloud computing service. Arguably, with so much riding on IT, it only makes sense to put additional third-party eyeballs on the IT testing process. The challenge is finding a way to do that without disrupting the actual application development process because, after all, there is no such thing as great code that is late.
Can we find new ways of collaborating on application development in the cloud that not only make the code better, but also allow us to deliver more custom applications faster?