Cloud computing is revolutionizing the software development industry, no more so than in the Java application space.
The first generation of cloud computing has been focused on virtualizing and managing infrastructure resources such as machines, networks, operating systems and servers.
The emerging 2nd generation of cloud computing brings an abstraction layer over that 1st generation where we see a movement away from low level system resources and instead focus on the application layer. The Platform-as-a-Service model allows developers to concentrate more on application development and then deploy that application to a managed application execution environment in the cloud without needing to deal with provisioning and configuring machines, operating systems and application servers.
The Platform-as-a-Service market for Java applications has exploded in 2011 with a flurry of vendors announcing offerings and a lot of merger and acquisition activity.
Let take a look at where Java Platform-as-a-Service stands today.