JRuby Now Supported on Engine Yard Cloud

Engine Yard, a provider of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for Ruby on Rails, now supports JRuby applications on its cloud platform, the company announced today. The Engine Yard Cloud also added support for Trinidad, the application server used with the JRuby environment.

JRuby is a Java implementation of the Ruby programming language that runs on the JVM and combines the advantages of Ruby (essentially, speed) with Java interoperability and access to the full range of Java platform functionality. The combination of the Ruby language and the Rails framework (RoR) offers fast development because Rails can provide basic models and views an application needs for Web site operations. It can also use JavaScript and some Java libraries and invoke lightweight Web services.

"JRuby provides unique productivity benefits to Java teams, including the ability to deploy Ruby code on the same servers, use the same libraries, and integrate with existing Java software that they are familiar with," Charles Nutter, co-lead of the JRuby team at Engine Yard, said in a statement. "Complementing the Engine Yard JRuby support offering, JRuby on Engine Yard Cloud enables businesses and developers to realize a greater ROI on their Java investments."

Engine Yard began supporting JRuby in 2009, when it hired three of the JRuby open source project's four core contributors: Nutter, Thomas Enebo and Nick Sieger. The company also sponsors the development of Trinidad and employs its primary developer, David Calavera. The Trinidad app server is designed to run Rack applications within the Apache Tomcat lightweight Java Web server.

Nutter announced the "full, non-beta, general availability" of Engine Yard Cloud's JRuby support today in a post on the JRuby blog.

"The release of JRuby on our Cloud comes after years of work on JRuby and months of work by David Calvera, Hiro Asari, and the awesome stack team at Engine Yard," Nutter wrote. "It is, in many ways, the 'big goal' we had when Tom Enebo, Nick Sieger, and I came to Engine Yard in 2009 to continue working on JRuby. We're very excited to have accomplished our big goal for JRuby at Engine Yard, and will now look forward to new goals and milestones..."

The Engine Yard Cloud is the first to officially support JRuby, he goes on to say, the first with a concurrency-capable Ruby, and the first to support an alternative Ruby implementation -- all of which represents "a milestone for the wider Ruby world..."

Ruby is fast becoming the leading development language for social and mobile applications. The current list of marquee Ruby-based apps includes Hulu, Twitter, Groupon and 37 Signals. There are an estimated one million Ruby programmers currently coding, and industry watchers expect that number to climb to four million over the next few years.

JRuby is available under three open-source licenses: the CPL (Common Public License), the GPL (GNU General Public License) version 2, and the LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License) version 2.1. And it's tightly integrated with Java; you can embed the interpreter into any Java app with full two-way access between the Java and the Ruby code. Gartner estimates that there are half a million Ruby developers working today.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].