Xojo Cloud

During last weeks XDC keynote Xojo Inc shared the status of the one-click web hosting that they talked about during last years Real World conference.  It will be released June 4 in Xojo 2013 Release 1.  It is now called Xojo Cloud.

One of the things that people have discovered while using Web Edition is that some shared hosting sites will tolerate web apps.  For a while.  And then terminate them when they use too many resources.  For example, I’ve been able to use a lightly trafficked Web Edition app on BlueHost with no issues but I certainly wouldn’t want to do that for our training app that runs all day long.

So this forces people into using a dedicated server or perhaps a Virtual Private Server (VPS).  Either solution requires some knowledge of Apache (assuming you’re using Apache), permissions, backups, and security settings to keep the bad guys out.

Xojo Cloud offers a zero configuration, one-click app installation with industrial strength security, along with automatic backups.  Perhaps the strength of Xojo Cloud is its predictable pricing model that starts at $49/month.  Different servers and different configurations may be more.

Each Xojo Cloud user gets their own Virtual Private Server running Security-Enhanced Linux.  It’s also running a custom-built Firewall that manages Smart Ports that let the IDE talk to the server by negotiating the opening and closing of ports when needed.  Another feature is Intrusion Detection that notified all the other servers in the Xojo Cloud that a breach has happened and minimized the damage.  Along with the Intrusion Detection Xojo Cloud offers Compromised File Detection so you’ll know what files have changed.  If an attacker does get through all those security features they still have to deal with a binary files.

Xojo Cloud is running on Rackspace starting in the data center in Chicago but eventually it will run in the Dallas, Virgian, London, Syndey, and Hong Kong data centers.  This lets you run your apps where your customers are.

One-click hosting in Xojo Cloud offers to take one of the pain points out deploying your web apps.  What we don’t know yet is how it will work with debugging and being able to test multiple versions of your web app.  Also one unknown is the availability of database servers.  It looks like that will NOT be a standard part of the configuration which is a real drag and in talking with other conference attendees this made ti a non-starter for them.

Only time will tell how well Xojo Cloud works for the average user.