Chapter 8. The Platform

At this point, we roughly know how to build a web application using client- and server-side technologies, but our application is not going to see much use if it’s only running on our computer. The next piece of the puzzle is sharing our application by getting it up and running on the Web.

In the past, making this happen required a tremendous amount of work—we’d have to purchase server space with a fixed IP address, install and configure the required software, purchase a domain name, and then point the domain name to our application. Fortunately, times have changed and these days there is a category of hosting services called Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) that takes care of the hard work for us.

You may have heard the term cloud computing; this related concept is based around the idea that low-level details of software maintenance and computation can and should be moved off of local computers and onto the Web. With a PaaS, we don’t need to know any of the details of web-server management and configuration, and can focus more on just getting our applications to work correctly. In other words, a PaaS is the type of technology that the cloud computing model enables.

In this chapter, we’ll learn how to deploy our web applications on an open source PaaS called Cloud Foundry. Although we’ll focus on Cloud Foundry, most of the concepts that we’ll learn can be generalized to other PaaS services like Heroku or Nodejitsu.

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is an open source PaaS ...

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