Bridging clouds used to be the domain of rainbows and magic carpets. Now with the proliferation of cloud applications, technology companies are taking on this lofty task. A group of 14 European partners have banded together with €8.4 million to launch a major research initiative called PaaSage.

The goal is to develop an open and integrated platform to support the lifecycle management of cloud applications. Cloud computing has changed the IT industry by making software development more efficient, but according to this consortium, the available platforms and APIs are insufficient.

Paasage’s approach will be to provide an Integrated Development Environment that gives developers a greater ability to build applications. The objectives are:

  • 1. To contribute to the design and standardisation of an open, powerful, and expressive modelling language for Cloud-independent modelling of enterprise systems with the desired preferences and constraints, focusing on architectural styles and characteristics of the Cloud computing paradigm.
  • 2. To provide an intelligent Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supporting the modelling language and supporting the developer in the task of optimising the application.
  • 3. To provide mappers and engines that allow a modelled Cloud application to be deployed and executed in a distributed environment across multiple heterogeneous Cloud providers. The execution will thereby observe the specified execution characteristics and adjust itself accordingly at run-time.
  • 4. To define metadata relevant for Cloud services, and provide mechanisms to acquire the metadata and performance indicators from running applications and to reuse the historical metadata available on the services in the application design and deployment.

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“PaaSage will provide the relevant means to significantly improve programmability, usability and performance of Clouds beyond current state of the art approaches,” said scientific coordinator Keith G Jeffery.

The intended impact is to support developer throughout the full application lifecycle by reducing cost, avoiding lock-ins with one provider, allowing transparent use of heterogeneous infrastructures, increasing the knowledge of best practices, simplifying management of services and infrastructures, and enabling integrations and deployment.

The project  is supported by the European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics. Of the €8.4m, €6.3 comes from the European Union. Flexiant, a company which provides cloud orchestration software, has joined the initiative along with these organizations. Read the press release.