No Special API Required - No Vendor Lock-In

During the course of 2010 to 2012, we saw an increase of reliance on Cloud Computing and the use of proprietary PaaS hosting platforms.

These platforms were especially popular with students and new developers. It was free of charge to get something up and running on the net, for fun, or to demonstrate online to potential customers or employers.

As these platforms were based on new technologies and non-standard systems, accessing resources such as disk or database storage required the code to be written in a particular way, using non-standard proprietary APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) issued by the vendor.

After developing an application using these proprietary APIs, the application could no longer be moved around between providers because those storage layers and facilities do not exist on other providers. The application or website was effectively locked in to the vendor's platform and requires a substantial redesign or rewrite to work somewhere else.

There is also a learning curve required to learn how to use the new APIs, and standard Java sometimes cannot be used to do standard things, such as reading a file from disk. Developing and testing the code is also difficult unless it is done online because the same storage layers and facilities do not exist locally.

For these reasons, developers large and small have started to realise that vendor lock-in is a very bad thing. The freedom to move your Java apps around and re-use your own libraries everywhere is one of the greatest things about Java.

At Metawerx there is no vendor lock-in. We have no special APIs which you are forced to use, and you get raw access to disk, network and your database.

We provide standard open-source databases and Java containers. Our underlying system is optimized to host these services at the highest performance and reliability and our control panels provide simple ways to monitor, manage and control them.

This has two main benefits:

  • Code written in your office or which has been running on another no-lock-in Java Hosting provider works without modification
  • Code developed to work at Metawerx will run on other no-lock-in providers (if you really feel the need for moving your application away from Metawerx!?)

Other platform-specific issues on some PaaS providers:

  • Some platforms refuse to start your app if it doesn't start in under 1 minute
  • Some platforms have no disk-access at all, only a NoSQL environment for persistent storage
  • Some platforms delete your entire operating system if the server crashes (unless you use external storage at an additional cost)
  • Some platforms do not allow a dedicated IP address or more than 1 listening Network Port
  • Some platforms only provide OpenJDK or a proprietary shared engine

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