Create and Deploy an App: Desktop vs Cloud

By Eugene Ivantsov
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Cloud technologies have penetrated virtually every industry, from IT, finance and marketing to education, government and even the public sector. No downloads, instant access to services, immediate exchange of information – this is just a short list of the benefits the cloud can offer.

When it comes to software, nearly every desktop app now has several web based counterparts. For some people who grew up during the cloud boom, the use of desktop apps is an atavism. The last bastion of desktop software is the IDE – the system that developers use to create apps, services, SDKs etc.

It seems odd that every type of application has already moved to the cloud, but IDEs still hold on to the past.

This article doesn’t aim to discuss the pros and cons of cloud based and desktop IDEs. There are more than enough of such discussions online. It’s a question of time and history. The rising cloud market will definitely pursue an offensive, and it’s really interesting to watch it.

Easy onboarding is among the top advantages of cloud based IDEs, which means that in order to get an account and start building your first application, you will need around 2-3 mins. That’s because you don’t have to set up an environment and look for plugins for your IDE: everything’s already set up. It’s true, trying out new technologies is easier than ever!

The question that has preoccupied me for some time is “Just how long would it take to create a simple Spring app (out of a template) and deploy is to a Cloud Foundry, provided you have a clean Linux machine?”

The only thing to do, then, is to actually try it. After all, how can one prove the benefits of cloud IDEs other than by visually demonstrating it?

Below is a recording of our little experiment with fairly precise records of the time required to complete the abovementioned task, using two approaches: desktop (with Eclipse) and entirely in the cloud (with Codenvy).

See what you think.

Desktop vs Codenvy on Vimeo.

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  • Bharat

    It looks great. Apart from the feature I really liked the ending of the video regarding developes. lol!!!

  • barney

    ‘Twould seem your comparison is a bit weighted. As a developer, I would already have an IDE installed, probably with necessary addins for the task at hand. Thus, the installation time should be amortized across all development done with that IDE.

    When I was in the corporate world, Web-based tools and apps made a lot of sense. Updates, corrections, bug fixes all were done in one (1) place. The developer could be certain everyone was using the same version. And, since everyone was on the LAN, connectivity was seldom an issue.

    However, connectivity – and the speed thereof – becomes an issue in a non-LAN environment. As do many others, this comparison assumes always on, [relatively] high speed connectivity, which is frequently not the case.

    Understandably, Codenvy is trying to tout their product, but a more realistic time comparison would have made for a better, more compelling presentation.

  • This is NOT a real world scenario. Yes, it was much faster to get started with the cloud app than the desktop, but the setup procedure for the desktop IDE only has to be done once. After that you can get straight to developing and deploying. There are pros and cons to desktop versus cloud, but the dramatic speed difference seen in the video will only occur the first time you set up the desktop IDE and is not a realistic indicator of how much faster developing in the cloud can be contrasted with developing on the desktop. Nice sales gimmick though!

  • Eugene

    Thanks for the comments. Well, the task was to make an app from a clean Linux machine. Yes, installing IDE and configuring environment is a one time operation, I am aware of that ) This is the advantage of onboarding, and I clearly stated it in the comments to the video.

    Anyway, you are welcome to register and try it. Ask questions if you have any, and I’ll be happy to answer them )