Banking on Java

Apprenda bolsters private PaaS with arrival of “first class” Java support

Chris Mayer

Despite their strong .NET heritage, the Albany startup have changed their single language approach, finding Java unavoidable in the enterprise

There’s generally two schools of thought to a cloud platform.
The bigger and already established fish, like VMware and Red Hat go
polyglot and offer support to a variety of languages. Smaller
companies looking to make headway in the fiercely competitive field
tend to opt for a single language approach, perfecting their
specialised platform before branching out further.

New York startup Apprenda have gone down the second route, with a
privately-hosted PaaS running exclusively .NET – until now. CEO
Sinclair Schuller has previously been a strong advocate of the
solitary language PaaS, stating that being a jack of all
doesn’t work
” when the languages are all
so different. But with this week’s adoption of Java, it appears
Schuller has changed his mind.

Not so, Schuller explains in
an interview
which appears on the company website: the
plan all along was to support Java, once they had honed in support
in the underserved .NET market. Schuller believes that 90% of their
customers’ apps “are written either in .NET or Java” so it seemed
natural to “offer best in class” for the language.

With so many platforms already offering support for Java,
Apprenda’s key selling point is its ability to turn a single tenant
application into a multi-tenant one.

“You build your app using standard web app principles, bundle it
up, push it to Apprenda, then specify what you want from the
platform,” Apprenda’s chief executive Sinclair Schuller told

The Register
. However, some companies might be
unwilling to hand so much work to Apprenda in fear of vendor

In keeping with the company’s focus on corporate customers, often
worried by perceived security risks in public clouds, the platform
is a private one.

Alongside the announcement, Apprenda
that banking juggernaut JPMorgan Chase were using the
platform in around 2000 custom applications written in both Java
and .NET, in what Schuller claims is the “largest private PaaS
deployment in the world.” Not a bad customer to have in your

Apprenda’s biggest competition in the Java space according is
arguably Cloud Foundry, whose future is still unknown after VMware
moved it to the Pivot Initiative. Apprenda’s decision to offer Java
support makes complete sense for the type of customer they want to
acquire, but will they be willing to follow JPMorgan Chase’s

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