Cloud Elements speeds development with pre-integrated components

The cloud services and consulting company has built an extensive catalog of pre-built "Elements" that can be used to speed application assembly and integration.

Cloud Elements, a cloud consulting and integration company aligned with Cloud Foundry, has an appealing value proposition for businesses or application developers building cloud applications or planning service integrations: it can help save time.

The company's focus is creating what it calls "Elements," which are extensions and application programming interfaces (APIs) that extend the Cloud Foundry platform as a service (PaaS) with pre-built integrations to leading cloud services.

So far, the Cloud Elements team has created more than 20 of these components, supporting all sorts of capabilities, such as customer relationship management (CRM), email, billing and payment, help desk and single sign-on capabilities, said Mark Geene, founder and CEO of the company, based in Centennial, Colorado. "Cloud applications can be built far faster by preassembling these integrations," he said.

Specific integrations include support for Box, Google+, Amazon Web Services, PayPal,, SendGrid and Dropbox.

For example, one of Cloud Elements' customers expected to spend 500 hours of development time creating an application using a half-dozen cloud services, including CRM, email, messaging and single sign-on. By using its Elements, the consulting company was able to create the application in a matter of hours, Geene said.

Not only can these pre-integrations help speed assembly, but they also simplify the process of future updates as cloud services evolve and take on more capabilities — something that might happen once per quarter, depending on the provider. It also can be invaluable in cases where companies might decide to switch out one cloud service provider for another, Geene said.

The various Elements used by a business or developer can be managed through a console, where applications can be provisioned, monitored and maintained.

Cloud Elements charges an ongoing subscription fee per integration, usually ranging from $100 to $500, according to Geene. Generally, Cloud Elements' consulting engagements center on using Elements to create an application for a client or on creating the code for new Elements that can be reused in the future, he said. 

Aside from the momentum it is building with Cloud Foundry, Cloud Elements is announcing a major strategic alliance this week in the form of an alliance with Tier 3, the cloud management platform company.

The relationship will center on projects involving Web Fabric. Long story short, the new partnership will expand the companies' combined services and offerings supporting Microsoft .NET, accelerating and simplifying application development.