Today, Google announced Google App Engine for Business, and integration with VMware’s SpringSource offerings. On Monday, we got a preview of the news from David Glazer, Engineering Director at Google, and Jerry Chen, Senior Director Cloud Services at VMware.

For tech industry strategists, this is another step in the development of cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Java Spring developers now have a full platform-as-a-service host offering in Google App Engine for Business, the previously announced VMforce offering from, plus the options of running their own platform and OS stacks on premise or in virtual machines at service providers supporting vCloud Express, such as Terremark.

What’s next? IBM and Oracle have yet to put up full Java PaaS offerings, so I expect that to show up sometime soon – feels late already for them to put up some kind of early developer version. And SAP is also likely to create their own PaaS offering. But it’s not clear if any of them will put the same emphasis on portability and flexible, rich Web-facing apps that Google and VMware are.

So Google aims to expand into enterprise support – but will need more than the planned SQL support, SSL, and SLAs they are adding this year. They'll also need to figure out how to fully integrate into corporate networks, the way that CloudSwitch aims to do.

And VMware takes another step in its long-term ambition to become a full-fledged software platform vendor. Will they continue to rely on others for a database, or try to get their own? Will they build their own distributed database? Those are the questions we are thinking about.

What do you think?

Here’s a wild idea.
Would Microsoft ever enable Java Spring on Windows Azure? Sounds wacky…. but Microsoft wants Azure to be an appealing platform for all developers. They support PHP already, in addition to .NET. And they’ve shown themselves to be serious about interoperability over the last several years.