eXo Platform kicks off "the year of PaaS" and extends enterprise portals to the cloud

Yesterday, Gartner declared that 2011 will be the year of Platform as a Service (PaaS). Not only does this mean we’ll be seeing a wave of innovation but also a consolidation of various offers over the next few years.

Well, we’ve perhaps already witnessed a bit of consolidation. Like with VMware’s acquisition of WaveMaker just last week. This acquisition – which took place only a few months after Cloudbees bought Stax – should naturally strengthen VMware’s PaaS range.

As for innovation, new offers are also starting to pop up – especially with Amazon Web Service’s launch of Elastic Beanstalk in January. More traditionally an Infrastrure as a service (IaaS) provider, AWS seems to be clearly making its way towards PaaS as well. The product (still in beta) is designed to let developers upload their application and then keep their hands off while the system automatically handles deployment.

And coincidentally, eXo Platform is also launching a new cloud-based service for java developers, called eXo Cloud IDE. The Franco-American company is the publisher of a user experience platform for java, aiming to make java applications and websites faster to build and easier to deploy. Cloud IDE, which will be in private beta through the 2nd trimester of 2011, is the first of a series of free services to be provided in the eXo cloud services package. This hosted environment facilitates social coding and the collaborative development of gadgets and mashups that can be deployed directly to popular java PaaS. In the future, the team says it would like to extend support beyond java to cover additional programming languages like Rails, .NET, Node.js, and Play.

The company – which recently nominated the former Director of Red Hat France, Yann Aubry, to lead the company’s sales efforts in the EMEA region – has also announced the launch of eXo Platform 3.5, a multi-tenant user experience platform for java systems. In addition to multi-latency and cloud management capabilities, the new platform apparently features a number of improvements making it easier to write, test and deploy gadgets, mashups, HTML5 and content applications.

The company founded in 2003 closed a €4 million Series A round with Auriga Ventures and XAnge last year. eXo – which been called one of the “three musketeers” of French open source (alongside Bonitasoft and Talend) by French Newspaper La Tribune – says that it seeks to provide the shortest and most efficient path to the cloud for java enterprises with its new offers. Developers, feel free to chime in.