Day two began with a comprehensive coverage of SaaS and some more hands-on work. We then moved onto investigating software plus services. A key feature of many cloud offerings is that they expose their functionality via Web services, either REST or SOAP style. Attendees spent some time analysing these service contracts. Examples included the Amazon EC2 WSDL contract.
Moving through the cloud architecture PaaS was next. The offerings from Microsoft with Azure, Google with the App engine and Force.com were examined in detail. Attendees undertook hands-on exercises working with the Azure and App engine toolsets and seeing how applications are developed and deployed to the cloud. A demonstration by myself of developing an application with the Force.com illustrated a different approach to application development in the cloud – one that requires no programming skills !
The clean application development cycle supported by PaaS offerings from building through to cloud deployment were appreciated by attendees. An interesting question that arose from attendees was what level of control does a user have over tuning operating system and server parameters when working with PaaS ? It is this type of question that attending the course helps to answer. The exposure to a wide range of cloud technologies in a focused expert lead environment, really equips attendees with the skill set to make informed decisions on the appropriate way of implementing cloud computing for their organisations.
Looking forward to day 3.