Oracle is investing in Engine Yard, a smaller firm that specializes in Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for deploying and maintaining cloud environments.
Engine Yard’s development platform supports Ruby, PHP and Node.js. While Oracle is keeping relatively tight-lipped about its ultimate intentions for its minority stake, it certainly plans to use Engine Yard’s assets to offer more development and deployment options to cloud-application developers. “Developers building new web applications in Ruby, PHP and Node.js to meet growing demands associated with mobile and social computing need a robust web PaaS offering,” Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, wrote in a statement announcing the investment.
PaaS offers developers some clear advantages, namely the ability to build, prototype and deploy applications without needing to set up and maintain any back-end infrastructure.
After years of refusing to embrace the public cloud with the same zeal as its competitors, Oracle decided this summer to plunge into the market with Oracle Cloud, which offers dozens of enterprise-grade applications-as-services. Oracle’s reluctance was well placed, considering the company’s business model of selling integrated hardware, software, and services to business clients. But with every competitor from IBM and Microsoft to SAP and Salesforce all pushing hard into the cloud, Oracle perhaps felt it had no choice but to adapt its platforms to the new paradigm.
At Oracle Open World (OOW) in October, the company previewed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications including Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service, Oracle Financial Reporting Cloud Service, and Oracle Data and Insight Cloud Service. It also announced that two new cloud platform services, Analytics and Collaboration, would be “coming soon.”
Between that and an IaaS platform, Oracle had most of the cloud covered. Engine Yard—plus whatever the company’s working on internally—could help it fulfill the PaaS side of the equation.