What is Cloud Development?

What is Cloud Development?

Estimated read time: 7 minutes

Interested in knowing what is cloud development? You are at the right place to find the answers.

In this article, we will discuss in detail what cloud development is, its benefits, challenges, etc. Let’s start.

What is Cloud Development?

Cloud development refers to building, testing, deploying, and running software services in the cloud. These applications built in a cloud environment are called cloud software. Cloud development is also known as cloud-based development or in-cloud development.

Cloud is getting very popular today. According to the PR Newswire report, the global cloud computing market is expected to reach 519 billion US dollars by 2027.

Prominent cloud service providers include Amazon web services AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, etc. These cloud providers are helping businesses take public, private, hybrid, and community cloud computing initiatives.

The vast adoption of cloud services by the business has led to various versions of cloud development according to their business feasibility.

The main idea is to use cloud resources instead of physical on-premises hardware, servers, etc.

Businesses are able to integrate the latest cloud technologies in their web apps and other cloud-based solutions by using cloud services like multiple remote data centers, development tools, operating systems, etc. through a cloud platform as a service, software as a service, or infrastructure as a service.

The three terms related to cloud software development that you hear often and that too interchangeably are as follows:

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Cloud-native Development

Cloud-native applications are optimized to run on the cloud smoothly. Developers develop the architecture of cloud-native apps from scratch or refactor existing code extensively to work on a cloud using cloud-based technologies.

Developers are able to deliver new software services continuously and efficiently. Cloud-native application development comprises continuous integration/continuous development, containers, microservices, etc.

Cloud-native development is based on dividing software applications into smaller services that can be used wherever needed. This ensures accessibility, scalability, and flexibility in cloud-native applications.

Cloud-enabled Development

Cloud-enabled development is the migration of traditional software onto the cloud platform. The cloud-enabled applications are built on on-premises hardware and resources in a monolithic fashion.

The cloud-enabled apps are unable to reach the maximum scalability and resource-sharing that is possible with cloud applications. This is because their legacy code is changed or refactored to work with the virtual cloud resources but the underlying architecture remains the same.

Cloud-based Development

Cloud-based software development finds a balance between cloud-native and cloud-enabled applications. They offer the availability and scalability of cloud services while not requiring the complete redesign of applications.

This cloud development method allows businesses to leverage cloud benefits in some of their services while not changing the whole software application code.

For example, if we move our web app to an Amazon web server, we have a cloud-based application as it now runs on a cloud server.

Cloud-based applications free developers and IT people from the maintenance of the resources such as servers, software development programs, etc., including their backup, disaster recovery schedules, etc.

Cloud service providers are responsible for hosting and managing your applications, hardware, data, and everything that you are using the cloud platform for.

Businesses just have to pay for the resources they use. Moreover, there is flexibility. If there is a surge in your demand for cloud resources, you can easily scale up and vice versa. This ensures better availability of your applications to users and that too with cost-effectiveness.

Read more on cloud development in this article here.

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How is it Different from Traditional App Development?

Traditionally, software developers used to develop software applications on local machines and then deploy them to the production environment. With the traditional development approach, there are many chances of software programs not running as planned in addition to other compatibility issues. The whole process of coding and deploying again is time-consuming and expensive.

Today, developers use agile and DevOps software development methodologies that enable increased cooperation between development team members, allowing them to build products efficiently and according to the user market expectations.

Cloud-based services software development IDEs like Google app engine, code repositories like GitHub, etc., allow software engineers to test, refactor, improve codebase in a collaborative environment, and then deploy to the production environment directly.

This approach is also known as continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD), where the software development team releases a minimum viable product to the user market and continually improves the product by incorporating user feedback.

This approach can bring many benefits to your business processes like reducing time to market, quick identification and fixation of security threats and errors, an instant release of user-required features, etc.

It is quite different and efficient from the traditional software development approach of developing software in silos for a long time, only to discover that user requirements have now changed.

How does Cloud Development work?

Cloud development architecture is based on the use of a number of interconnected APIs. These APIs communicate with each other and other elements of cloud architecture.

Data arrangement is another important point to consider in a cloud app design. You may place different parts of cloud computing solutions on different cloud servers (public and private clouds). Cloud app architecture should define this segregation and placement of data on the cloud computing resources.

As the speed and availability of your cloud-based apps are affected by their closeness to the cloud servers, the arrangement of data should be planned accordingly to improve business performance, etc.

Communication logic is also created between data and services in your app. Most cloud web-based apps communicate in real-time, else they result in poor user experience through slow loading, etc. There are various communication strategies like single-channel streaming, system message grouping, etc.

The scalability plan of a cloud app is important in case of increased user demand. Designing an operational model to help back-end components, including data storage, computing power, etc., to help with a surge in demand is crucial.

App and data security is of paramount importance, especially in industries like healthcare, banking, etc. Implementation of strong encryption protocols, cloud identity, access management, etc., keep cloud solutions secure and cost-effective.

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Benefits of Cloud Development

Some of the major advantages of cloud development include the following:

  1. Cloud developers are able to automate multiple developments and testing routines.
  2. A cloud developer can easily refactor and improve the code without causing disruption in the production environment. It adds more agility to the development process.
  3. Technologies like containers and microservices allow cloud engineers to develop more scalable software solutions.
  4. Development approaches like DevOps allow cloud app developers, IT personnel, and customers to continuously improve the software product.
  5. The whole process is more cost-effective, efficient, and secure as compared to the on-premises software development.

Challenges of Cloud Development

Some of the challenges that you may face with cloud applications are:

  1. Cloud-based technologies are comparatively new and emerging. You will require a skilled team of cloud developers to integrate cloud services into your software product or to build cloud-based products from scratch.
  2. Migration of legacy software to the cloud platforms can pose serious compatibility issues. You will require a team with experience in moving already-built software architecture to the cloud model.
  3. Businesses that should follow stringent laws and regulations may face difficulties in following compliance procedures in cloud solutions.
  4. A cloud environment can pose serious security threats and vulnerabilities if not built right.

Final Thoughts

The cloud computing market is huge and expected to grow many folds in the next years. The reason is the cost-effectiveness, scalability, and flexibility it adds to business processes and products even for small to medium-sized businesses.

Read more on why your business should migrate to cloud infrastructure in our blog here.

As discussed above, the challenges of cloud adoption are also there. To move past these obstacles smoothly, whether you are opting for a cloud-native, cloud-based, or cloud-enabled development, is to have a competent team of software developers by your side who is able to follow the right practices of cloud migration and integration.

Read more on the best cloud integration practices in our blog here.

If you, as business CTO, feel that your current software development team lacks the skill set required for successful cloud software development, we would advise you to partner with a reputed software development company.

DevTeam.Space can help you here. Write to us your initial cloud software development specification via this form and one of our technical managers will get back to you to help you partner with our field-expert software development community.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are cloud-based technologies?

Cloud technology or virtualization technology refers to services, resources, or applications available to users on the Internet according to their demands.

2. How do cloud-based applications work?

A cloud-based application runs on remote servers and is accessed through a web browser interface using a continuous internet connection.

3. What is cloud application development?

It is a process by which cloud-based applications are built. It involves different stages of cloud app development; at the end of each stage, cloud apps are ready to be deployed in the user market.


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Alexey Semeney

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