StackMob aims mobile cloud platform at Heroku customers

StackMob is offering its service as an add-on for Heroku users

StackMob hopes to make it easier for Heroku's customers to extend their applications to mobile phones, by adding its service as a Heroku add-on.

StackMob offers developers back-end services to make it quicker and easier for them to deliver mobile applications. Developers using StackMob can deploy and secure custom APIs (application programming interfaces) and add functions to their applications like push notifications, social integration and analytics.

Teaming up with Heroku, the platform-as-a-service offering that is now owned by Salesforce.com, means existing StackMob customers can develop using Ruby on Rails and Node.js, languages that Heroku supports. Developers can also continue to use Java and Scala via StackMob's Java Virtual Machine.

"Our goal for this integration is to provide a solution for developers that provides as much implementation and heavy lifting as possible up front so they can focus on creating killer apps, while still giving developers the most flexibility to bring any app idea to life," StackMob wrote in a blog post.

The company hopes that the deal will extend StackMob's services to a new group of developers, StackMob's CEO said in the blog post.

Best Buy, ESPN and FlightCaster are among Heroku's customers.

Last year, Heroku launched its program to enable other companies to offer add-on products and services to Heroku customers. Add-ons include tools for accessing Twitter's API and services for accessing NoSQL databases. Heroku has tens of thousands of customers.

There has been growing interest in using the cloud to make mobile application development easier. Late last year Juniper Research predicted that the market for cloud-based mobile apps would grow 88 percent between 2009 and 2017. Three-quarters of that market will be enterprise users, Juniper said.

In addition to platforms like StackMob, enterprises can turn to companies like Model Metrics, which helps companies build mobile apps on cloud services.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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