Data-as-a-service is an emerging trend in application development, and WSO2 has built that capability into its new StratosLive cloud platform-as-a-service, set for release on Monday, along with an update to its Stratos open-source cloud middleware platform (now at version 1.5).

Stratos is meant for private clouds being implemented behind firewalls, while StratosLive is a public PaaS hosted service built on Stratos, which in the new version offers integration to back-end app servers, ESBs, databases, registries, and process management tools right through to the portal server, according to Paul Fremantle, cofounder and CTO of WSO2.

“You could deploy business process portals within Stratos, but you had to manage the data in a single-tenant way outside Stratos,” he said of the previous version. “In 1.5, you go into the control panel and set up the database. It can offer an RDS slice to you, such as a tenant within Oracle or MySQL, or you can bootstrap the database within Apache Cassandra.” The support for NoSQL databases such as Cassandra offers elasticity and multi-tenant capability, he added.

The cloud platforms build upon and extend the company’s Carbon enterprise middleware platform by adding self-service provisioning, multi-tenancy, metering and elastic scalability, according to the company. “We’ve embedded multi-tenancy into the core of Carbon, so when you download, you get a multi-tenant ESB that’s running in a single-tenant mode,” Fremantle said.

The multi-tenancy allows users to run multiple applications within one JVM and middleware stack, eliminating the need to fire up a new virtual machine with its own middleware every time someone want to add a new application, he explained.  

Besides the data-as-a-service product, three other cloud middleware products are being rolled out with the new releases, including software for Complex Event Processing as a Service, Message Broker as a Service, and a Cloud Services Gateway, according to the company. These join 10 other products launched with Stratos 1.0 that cover such things as identity, governance, mashups, business rules and processes, and enterprise service bus, all as services.

And, because Carbon is built on core OSGi, developers can use the Eclipse-based Carbon Studio IDE along with the above products to offer a comprehensive development platform for software-as-a-service applications that can be shared across multiple tenants, Fremantle said.

“Gartner says there won’t be an integrated, complete PaaS until 2015,” he said, adding that IBM and Oracle are trying to build out complete platforms-as-services through acquisitions and integration. “But we’re way ahead of that curve.”

Stratos 1.5 comes at a base fee of US$24,000 per year for each installation, plus quarterly payments based on metered usage at $1 per hour per JVM, according to the company’s documentation. StratosLive comes in a free single-user demo version, as well as in three different editions: a SMB version that costs $100 per month for unlimited users, with 50MB of storage; a Professional version at $500 per month for unlimited users, with 500MB of storage; and an Enterprise edition for unlimited users at 5GB of storage for $2,000 per month.

Fremantle made special note of the Cloud Services Gateway, which had been offered as a machine image for Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute platform, but is now integrated into Stratos. This, he said, lets users “put their ESB inside the firewall and use the AMQP protocol via SSL to bridge out to public servers. The connection is completely controlled from within the firewall.” This, he explained, helps organizations keep their data access private through secure verification.

With the new release, Stratos now is integrated with Google Apps so users can sign into Stratos right from their Google domain; they don’t have to be provisioned separately. This fits WSO2 into Google’s Marketplace as well, Fremantle pointed out.