IBM and Microsoft have added their backing to a plan by developer tools specialist Zend Technologies to create an open-source application-programming interface that would make it easier for organisations to switch cloud providers.
Zend says the Simple Cloud API project, launched on Tuesday, will allow developers to create applications in the commonly used PHP web-scripting language that can work with different cloud services.
The company said in a statement that cloud computing offers a number of advantages,"but the lack of portability across cloud applications services for even the most basic operations has been an impediment to broader adoption of cloud services".
In addition to IBM and Microsoft, other co-founders of the Simple Cloud API project are Rackspace, Nirvanix and GoGrid.
The initial goals for the project are to create interfaces for file storage, document database and simple queue services from Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, Nirvanix Storage Delivery and Rackspace Cloud Files.
The interfaces would then allow developers to create applications to access services from these different providers without rewriting source code.