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Codenvy Raises $9M For Developer Platform To Code, Build And Test Apps

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Codenvy (formerly Exo IDE), a cloud environment for coding, building, and testing apps, today announced it has closed $9 million in Series A funding led by Toba Capital with Auriga Partners and a number of angel investors participating.

Codenvy has developed an independent developer environment that it claims is faster than developing on the desktop. It takes the local desktop workspace, which consists of the editor, builder, and tester runtimes and separates it logically from its underlying physical environment, and moves it into the cloud.

CEO Tyler Jewell said in an email interview that the workspace is divided into separate nodes that scale independently. Project files are synchronized between the nodes.

By having the three components co-located and fully integrated, Jewell said they can keep the latency of communications between the components minimal. This makes for an always on workspace that is very fast. The IDE is also optimized by multi-branch checkouts, continuous & incremental compilation/deployment and parallel computing. All combined, Jewell said that in many cases the cloud workspace is better performing than development on a desktop.

The service is complementary to continuous integration and platform as a service (PaaS) offerings.

Codenvy has about 50,000 registered developers using its platform and the largest selection of integrated partners including GitHub, RedHat Openshift,Google App Engine, Amazon Web Services BeanStalk, VMWare CloudFoundry, Heroku, AppFog, CloudBees and ZeroTurnaround.

I asked Jewell what differentiates the service. He gave five reasons:

1) The architecture is optimized for compiled languages such as Java.
2) The company has an on-premise version, Codenvy Enterprise, for organizations that want to bring centralized shared development behind their firewall.
3) Every facet of the system can be tailored, creating business development opportunities with software companies that require on-demand developer workspaces.
4) Engineers have backed the entire system with a Hadoop analytics system that mines insights to make developers more productive.
5) The company’s research and development office has 30 people, most of whom have worked together for nearly a decade. The team has been working on this project since 2009.

Jewell said Codenvy competes with any vendor that emphasizes building applications on a desktop. The focus is on the enterprise, which means that the company needs to specialize in compiled languages such as Java. Eclipse has the largest market share of Java development. Codenvy’s focus is in focusing most of its energies in finding ways to make developers be more productive in the cloud.

He said that Koding and Cloud9IDE are also cloud-based development environments, but both of them have a strong emphasis on interpreted languages like JavaScript, Ruby, and PHP. Jewell said nearly $30 million has been invested in the past year on companies that are trying to move development off of the desktop, validating that the time has arrived for cloud-based development.

Look at the desktop over the past 10 years and almost every app has already moved to the cloud, Jewell said. Developer workspaces are the last remaining holdout. The big issue is the data involved. Globally, data is doubling every 15 months. The number of applications to service this data must match pace.

While the developer population is growing globally, it’s not going to double every 15 months. The only answer is for developers to become more productive, and have larger portions of the app construction cycle be automated.

Codenvy’s greatest challenge is in fighting off the challengers in this fast evolving space. The difference for Codenvy is its speed and synchronization, which makes for a smooth development process.