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Developers Instantly See Code in Context With New Cloud-Based Codenvy Factory

by Richard Seroter on Sep 26, 2013 |

Cloud-based IDE provider Codenvy has introduced the idea of “instant projects” where developers can jump into a configured environment and immediately begin coding. These temporary environments require no authentication and open up interesting new possibilities for developers seeking community assistance or evaluating technology.

Codenvy –  a popular cloud-based IDE for Java/Ruby/JavaScript/PHP/Python developers – released Codenvy Factory which lets developers generate and share URLs for a particular project. Codenvy CEO Tyler Jewell explains what happens when a developer clicks a Factory URL.

Clicking a Factory creates a new, temporary workspace, pre-configured with the project encoded into the URL.  The temporary workspace is fully functional and can be used to code, build, test, deploy, and collaborate.  Work is saved within the temporary workspace, but if a user is idle or closes the browser, their work will be lost.

Factories work for both authenticated and unauthenticated users. Authenticated users that access a Factory have the option of sliding the project into a permanent workspace. Unauthenticated users can create and access Factories, and have the option of creating a new account if they wish to persist the workspace. Codenvy makes collaboration fairly easy as developers can generate a link to invite others to the (temporary) workspace for pair programming. Factory workspaces have an idle timeout of 10 minutes, so they are truly meant for temporary work.

Codenvy Factory addresses a few existing pain points. First, this solution makes it easier to solicit support on Q&A sites like StackOverflow. Today, many developers share code snippets and hope that a helpful colleague will load up an IDE, create a project, and test out the offending code to identify the problem. With a solution like Codenvy Factory, a developer shares a Factory URL and makes it simple for anyone to instantly see the code in the context of a project and experiment with ways to fix it. A Factory also appears to be a good way for software vendors to simplify experimentation by partners. Vendors who ship new APIs can create workspaces for consuming the API and demonstrate best practices. Codenvy highlighted additional use cases including throwaway workspaces, letting teams share integration code, and rapid onboarding of new developers.

Simultaneously, Codenvy announced an Affiliate program designed to rewards those who share Factories with others. When tagged with Affiliate codes, Codenvy Factories generate revenue whenever the user upgrades their account. This program is free to join, and Jewell explained to InfoQ who this program is targeting.

Bloggers, trainers, git providers, and framework publishers would all use an affiliate code.  The people who would publish their own Factories for any code they have would continue to do so.  The Affiliate program is just an extra incentive for people who are already posting a Factory on their Web site to register, add the code to their Factories, and earn some extra money from any resulting Codenvy sales.

Jewell outlined the Affiliate tools available for ISVs and others who want to track user engagement.

Codenvy provides a robust set of linking tools and resources to help Affiliates get started.  Affiliates can make use of a variety of tracking hooks, encoded URLs, elegant graphical design layouts for links, and multiple styles to fit the appearance of any site.

What’s next? Codenvy plans on expanding Factories with features like usage policies, parameterized Factories, and analytics. The also recently shipped an alpha of their SDK so that the community can add additional languages and frameworks to the Codenvy IDE.

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