You hear loads of talk about the cloud these days, and the apps and services that run within it. But for all the move toward distributed, hosted platforms, most coding is still done on local machines. However, Cloud9 IDE would like to change that. The San Francisco company has been working with developers to provide them with a cloud-based platform for development, and today it’s releasing a host of new feaures to make the work better and easier.
With the newest version of Cloud9 IDE, developers will have access to the following:
- Real-time collaboration
- Offline support
- Customizable UI
- Cloud-based workspace
- Auto-completion of integrated docs
What really stands out to me is the integration of a real-time platform for developers who are working remotely. We’ve seen services such as CodeMeet that let two developers do a face-to-face coding session over the Internet, but writing the code is sort of the end of the line. With Cloud9 IDE that code can actually be tested and executed.
The other interesting thing that I’m seeing here is that customizable UI. Cloud9 runs open source, so developers are free to tweak and change the UI to fit their needs. Combine that with offline synchronization and developers should have a powerful tool that lets them stay up to date on their projects no matter where they are.
Here’s a quick walk-through video for you, produced by the company, so you can get a better idea of what they’ve got going on:
The company is far from the only one in the space. We’ve recently written about a competitor called Action.IO that is also focusing on a cloud-based development platform. The advantage for Cloud9 IDE is that it’s enabling some features that Action.IO has yet to wrangle, such as Node.js deployment for premium customers.
You’ll note that I said premium, which does mean that there’s a price involved with the platform. The company has taken on a $5.5 million round of funding, but it’s making money by a freemium model. Developers can sign up and start coding for free, but advanced features such as private projects and the Node.js deployment are part of the $15 per month premium package.
As the cloud space heats up, smart money would say that we’ll be seeing more services such as Cloud9 IDE in the future. With a host of new features, the company appears poised to make a strong run so we’re definitely looking forward to keeping up with its progress.
Image: Akakumo via Flickr
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.
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