After months of development in its lab, Engine Yard announced today it is ready to go live with Node.js, the third programming language to be supported by the Platform as a Service following Ruby on Rails and PHP.
The decision to support the young, Web-based language came from careful watching of its GitHub social coding repository, which is now the second most-watched repository in the social coding network.
"There's a lot of momentum in many respects because people are building these high-performance, highly scalable Web applications and Node.js is a great complement to that," said Mark Gaydos, Engine Yard's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
The expansion is Engine Yard's second in two years. Last year, the company bought Orchestra to integrate PHP into its platform. Vice President of Operations Bill Platt said he is excited for Engine Yard to work closely with the burgeoning Node.js community in much the same way they did with the Ruby on Rails community when Engine Yard launched in 2006.
"When we started out, part of our success was that we were able to build and develop alongside the Ruby community. Node.js feels very similar to us," Platt said.
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The addition of Node.js fits in with the typical Engine Yard user, according to Platt's description.
"In general, [our] developers are working on Web-based applications and that development is being done either through a development shop, meaning a third-party company other companies employ to build their Web services, or a developer in a larger company that has a specific project."
He added the third example of a startup, Web 2.0-type company whose business is its application. Engine Yard has 2,000 customers in production, a fair portion fitting that mold.
Platt sees the addition of Node.js as being a boon for both Engine Yard and the language. He sees Node.js gaining uptake through users of Engine Yard and vice versa.
"Although it was in [Engine Yard Labs] and people could use it, when you reach general availability I think there is more awareness, more confidence in the stack," he said. "Once people know the leading Platform as a Service (PaaS) is supporting Node.js, it will do nothing but bolster Node.js."
Users can expect more language additions from Engine Yard in the future. Platt said the company keeps a close eye on GitHub and on enterprise developer job listings to see which languages are hot. Python is on the company's radar.
"It's right along the family we are dealing with. It's very common amongst those same developers," Platt said.
Java is also in Engine Yard's plans, but is something they see as a long-term goal.