In an effort to make it easier for developers to deploy their online apps, Facebook has partnered with cloud service provider Heroku.
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Cloud application platform Heroku has teamed up with Facebook to provide Facebook developers with a way to host their online games.
Developers have been able to host their Facebook apps on Heroku on their own, but now they can set their apps up and connect them to Heroku's cloud from within Facebook's developer interface.
The process is simple: Create a new app in a Facebook developer account and then select "Cloud Services." Heroku is the only listed option at the moment, but presumably there will be other cloud service providers in the future.
"Facebook wanted to make [its] new app creation process smooth and easy, and knew that [it] needed to embrace the cloud to do so," said Heroku CTO Adam Wiggins in a blog post. "As the world's most mature and powerful cloud application platform, Heroku was the obvious choice."
Heroku supports Facebook apps in one of four languages/frameworks at the moment: Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby. Apps running on Heroku can be managed using the Heroku command-line tool and deployed using Git revision control.
Heroku is not alone in its bid to attract the business of game developers. As the mobile and social game market has become saturated with titles, game developers have been integrating backend services to support social and multiplayer features in an effort to stand out.
And entrepreneurs, recognizing the gold rush business model of selling tools to prospectors rather than taking on the risk of hunting for gold themselves, are eager to provide cloud services. They aim to provide a higher level of service--a platform rather than the bare infrastructure of Amazon Web Services--for those not schooled in, or disinterested in, the intricacies of server programming and management.
Thus, we have startups like Kinvey, Moai, Parse, StackMob, and Roar Engine rushing to offer backend services for all the game developers hoping to become the next Zynga or Electronic Arts.
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