Just think about this for a minute.
Imagine you're writing a Spring based application, and to test it, you installed Tomcat on your laptop, and when you wrote some code, you could run and test your code on your local Tomcat instance. Your Tomcat instance would be the same as the Test and UAT and PROD Tomcat servers your company has on the network, but instead of having to be connected to the network to do development and testing, you could do it all locally, right there on your local machine. Imagine just how amazing that would be.
Okay, maybe it wouldn't be amazing. Maybe it wouldn't even be different from what you've been doing for the last ten or twenty years. In fact, it'd be pretty surprising if there was anyone out there using Tomcat that wasn't already doing that. But if you're a developer who lives primarily in the cloud, you probably don't have that same luxury. After all, if you're deploying to the cloud, to really test your application, you need to connect to and deploy to the cloud. And in order to connect to the cloud, well, you need a connection.
But not anymore. VMWare with Micro Cloud Foundry has now made it possible to actually run your external cloud environment on your desktop. Micro Cloud Foundry is essentially "a full version of the CloudFoundry software, providing a symmetry with other instances of CloudFoundry wherever they may be running. It's downloadable from CloudFoundry.com and runs on the developer's laptop."
The big surprise is that this is the first environment of its kind allowing developers to run and test their cloud based applications in the same manner as they would test WebSphere JBoss or Tomcat applications.
"For the Java developer, it's something completely new. I can have the cloud on my laptop. I can take a Java or Spring or Rails application, drop it into this micro-cloud foundry, have that running locally without ever having to configure databases or middleware software that I might require for that app, and then push that app whenever I'm ready to scale out."
It's a tip of the hat to VMWare and Cloud Foundry as far as their efforts go to help push the adoption of cloud technologies forward, but it's also a reminder of how many of the things we take for granted as Java EE developers, namely the ability to develop and test locally, are still glaringly nascent when it comes to leveraging a cloud based environment.
You can find out more about the offering through the VMWare press release:
Or even better, you can download and check out Cloud Foundry yourself: