Looking to become a first-class citizen in the Node.js world, Progress is touting its acquisition earlier this week of PaaS provider Modulus as the only offering for the framework that lets developers deploy their applications in a public or private cloud.

Progress already has a Platform-as-a-Service offering, called Pacific, which runs on Amazon Web Services for its public cloud. Modulus runs on both AWS and Joyent, according to Progress CTO Karen Tegan Padir. “We have the ability to have Node.js applications that work well with our existing apps. It’s complementary to our platform,” she explained.

Underpinning the Pacific platform is Rollbase, a rapid application development tool that Progress acquired in June 2013. Padir described Rollbase as a data model-driven, high-productivity platform that is “great if you’re creating new applications or expanding old apps.” With Rollbase, she said, “you start with a template and objects. The platform does the mapping, and you don’t have to worry about schema or even SQL. There is a JavaScript editor for customization, but the notion of bringing existing JavaScript apps to Rollbase is not the most productive use case.”

Modulus allows Progress to appeal to a larger audience of JavaScript developers who already have applications that they need to manage, scale, deploy, maintain and secure. Padir estimated that there are millions of JavaScript developers working around the world, and Rollbase, which generates JavaScript code, offers a nice synergy with Modulus. Further, Modulus includes MongoDB in its core technologies, a NoSQL database designed for scale and performance.

But organizations don’t want their hands tied when it comes to cloud deployments, and a huge benefit of Modulus is that it uses Linux containers to manage scale, Padir said. “People want to leverage the cloud but retain control,” she said. “The way Modulus is architected, it supports Node.js now but could easily add Java or Ruby.”

Padir said Progress is keeping Modulus as a standalone business for now, as she sees “a huge opportunity” in simply providing a Node.js platform. “Node.js is growing so quickly, we want to be agile and grow with it. Wal-Mart rewrote its entire e-commerce application in node and deployed it before Thanksgiving, and saw huge performance increases.”