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LiveCycle on EC2 – Adobe in the Clouds, an Update

Adobe HQ, San Jose

Earlier this week, Adobe announced an addition to their developer program (Adobe Enterprise Developer Program) than enables developers to deploy LiveCycle ES instances to Amazon EC2. The LiveCycle instances use JBoss’ application server and Adobe is paying for 10 hours of time a month on EC2. Enrollment in the developer program, like Microsoft’s MSDN isn’t free: it’s list priced at $1,500 a year.

Adobe’s Enterprise Roof

LiveCycle ES is document management, workflow back-end, with plenty of general SOA stuff dusted through-out. As a brand, it’s also the home of middleware and enterprise software in Adobe, recently having sucked in project Genesis and, longer ago, open sourced BlazeDS. But, that’s aside from the point.

Trying to make dev lives easier

When I spoke with Adobe last week about this announcement, they had a nicely pragmatic take on it: while they, clearly were proud of LiveCycle ES, the 6 gig download didn’t make for a fun install and setup experience. Setting up any piece of middleware is typically annoying, stackless stack or no. Part of the tool-chain Adobe is providing is built around addressing the setup-deply-run-teardown-repeat cycle: the idea is to make it as easy, and quick, as possible to get a fresh instance of ES.

The goal here was to work with developers, not operations folks deploying LiveCycle ES. That said, it turns out that Adobe does offer hosting LiveCycle instances for those who’d rather do that than host it on-premise.

Developers as leading indicators

As with virtualization, you can look at this developer focus as a leading indicator of wider cloud-use. Many years before virtualization became the bell of the ball, developers were using it to build out virtual labs to get their day-to-day job done without all those under-the-desk server farms. Folks like Austin-based Surgient have been having a go at tooling around these needs for awhile now.


Running stuff in EC2 is no huge deal now, but it’s great to see larger ISVs – Oracle, RedHat, now Adobe – formalizing what should be a common development practice. While $1,500 may not be that low of a barrier, for the organization that use LiveCycle ES already, I’m sure it’ll be welcome.

Adobe SaaS Cloud Offerings, Updated

I’ve been keeping an eye on what Adobe has been doing in, as we call it now the cloud for sometime. They actually have had several hosted services for sometime, long enough to EoL some of them. Adobe acquired Buzzword, a hosted, Flex based word processor; finally launching not too long ago.

Their cloud offerings, as it were, have been largely end-user centric rather than catering to developers. Hopefully, both fronts will expand there, esp. the developer world where Adobe is in the long process of building up a firm developer ecosystem around the Flash Platform.

Disclosure: Adobe and RedHat are clients.

Categories: Cloud, Development Tools, Enterprise Software, Marketing.

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Comment Feed

8 Responses

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  2. James: well, that's mighty sweet of you 😉

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] LiveCycle ES in Amazon EC2 announcement. […]

  2. […] (running in EC2), and running (in the cloud) as a managed service through an Adobe partnership. See my note from back in January for some more […]

  3. […] damaging at times. They’ve had a bevy of SaaS offerings for sometime now and more recently, the LiveCycle group has gotten their cloud buzz on. But when it comes to catering to web developers for production concerns, there hasn’t […]