VMware grabs WaveMaker web development platform

The virtualisation specialist has acquired WaveMaker, which provides an in-browser integrated graphical development environment that complements VMware's SpringSource
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

VMware has bought WaveMaker, which provides a rapid development platform that aims to make it easier for non-technical people to build and maintain Java applications.

The acquisition, announced on Tuesday, should ensure that the application development environment, which is also called WaveMaker, is integrated and developed in line with the virtualisation company's Spring Java framework.

WaveMaker interface

VMware has bought WaveMaker, which provides a rapid development platform that aims to make it easier for non-technical people to build and maintain Java applications. Photo credit: WaveMaker

"While WaveMaker is already part of the Spring ecosystem, it will now become an integral part of the Spring family and VMware's cloud strategy. All of WaveMaker's staff will be joining VMware," Rod Johnson, senior vice president of VMware's application platform division, wrote in a blog post.

VMware did not disclose the terms of the acquisition or the sum paid for San Francisco-based WaveMaker.

The WaveMaker technology is a Java integrated developer environment (IDE) based on the Spring framework that aims to lower the barriers of entry for non-expert developers who want to create Java applications.

It allows developed applications to be directly deployed to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace, OpSource or Eucalyptus clouds. In addition, it provides visual application development with drag-and-drop functionality for non-technical developers.


The purchase should also strengthen Palo Alto-based VMware's platform-as-a-service range.

"I've always believed that we should eventually provide Spring-based technology to enable less technical users to build such applications," Johnson wrote on his blog. "In practice, this means introducing visual tooling to take the place of coding, in areas (such as UI design) where automation is possible."

The move complements VMware's purchase of Java application infrastructure and management developer SpringSource in August 2009, as WaveMaker is built on top of it.

VMware will have WaveMaker applications "keep up-to-date with Spring best practices and innovations", Johnson said. He suggested that in the future, WaveMaker will integrate further with other Spring features, such as Spring Integration and Spring Social.

"As WaveMaker went from 3,000 downloads a month in January, 2010 to 135,000 downloads a month in December 2010, we realised that we had created the perfect 'on ramp' for cloud computing. WaveMaker can play quite a big role in bringing large numbers of developers to the cloud, but only if we team with the right cloud partner," WaveMaker's chief executive Christopher Keene wrote in a blog post, alongside the announcement.

WaveMaker supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. It also allows for Oracle Forms, Microsoft Access, Microsoft .NET and Lotus Notes applications to be migrated into WaveMaker.

"You don't hear about rapid application development (RAD) anymore, but the need for tools that allow more junior (or just cheaper) programmers to create applications hasn't ever gone away," RedMonk analyst Michael Coté wrote in a blog post analysing the move. "WaveMaker is a good fit for a [platform-as-a-service], having a sort of wiki approach to applications running in the cloud."

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