Red Hat ventures into mobile app dev with FeedHenry buy

FeedHenry's Node.js- and MongoDB-powered MBaaS and mobile dev platform will augment Red Hat's open hybrid cloud strategy

Red Hat

FeedHenry must be doing something right. The Node.js-based, enterprise-centric MBaaS (mobile back end as a service) and mobile app development platform, which launched in 2010, now has a buyer: Red Hat.

In a press release issued this morning, Red Hat noted FeedHenry's app development system is "aligned with Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy." Specifically, Red Hat bills FeedHenry as an addition to its JBoss xPaaS for OpenShift strategy, designed to create a broad platform for mobile work. But Red Hat has lacked a product of its own to support mobile application development, an area FeedHenry addresses without a lot of overlap with other Red Hat products or services.

"Mobile application services are a key part of that [xPaaS] vision," states Red Hat's release, "and FeedHenry provides the security, policy management, synchronization, and integration features to support mobile applications."

FeedHenry CTO Mícheál Ó Foghlú described the two companies as "perfectly aligned" in terms of product fit, with equally strong praise for Red Hat's nurturing of key open source products. In his eyes, FeedHenry was designed to satisfy the need for fast development in modern IT without sacrificing "security, stability, and scalability," qualities he described as "the key centralized IT philosophy that has stood enterprises well since the Web itself caused similar disruptions from the early 1990s onward."

InfoWorld's Martin Heller looked at FeedHenry earlier this month and saw a lot to like. It's built on top of Node.js, which allows both the rapid development of an efficient, scalable model for network applications. The service sports an online development environment that integrates directly with cloud-hosted build service GitHub and with a MongoDB-backed data store. Many common mobile toolkits can be used, from native platform SDKs to cross-platform kits like Apache Cordova, and it supports security frameworks like AirWatch and MobileIron. The service can also connect to platforms like Salesforce or SAP.

MBaaS is shaping up fast to be one of the key mobile technologies of 2014, and consequently MBaaS services have been popping up across the map, whether developed in-house by major names or launched independently by scrappy startups. Back in July, Amazon created the Cognito and Mobile Analytics services to help mobile developers tease further insights out of their users' behaviors. Kinvey, another recently launched MBaaS for enterprises, sports features in the same vein as FeedHenry, and MBaaS provider Parse got snapped up by Facebook, ostensibly to help that Web giant build better apps of its own, but also to provide its developers with analytics tools.

FeedHenry has always aimed squarely at enterprise development, so much so that the service has only sported enterprise-level pricing. Pairing it with Red Hat gives the company a chance to reach FeedHenry's target customers, many of whom may have already bought into Red Hat on some level.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.