By: Gigaom
Wercker aims to “fix” the app dev universe
Wercker says its continuous delivery SaaS will fill a huge gap in today's software landscape where developers rely on cloud services like Github to store and version their code and PaaSes to deploy it. What's lacking is a SaaS to keep updates flowing.

Talk about taking on big problems. Startup Wercker, says it will provide a continuous deployment Software as a Service that can keep up with the hyperactive deployment world characterized by Amazon, Netflix and other companies that deploy what can be thousands of software updates per day. No pressure there!

Amsterdam-based Wercker, a finalist in GigaOM’s Structure Europe Launchpad Competition, targets companies where developers focus on web applications. “There are other vendors that try to do this, but they’re either open-source solutions that you have to install on-premise and [for which you have to] buy hardware or rent a VM. Our differentiation is that we’re SaaS and we support multiple languages,” co-founder and CEO Micha Hernandez van Leuffen told me.

Cloudbees, for example, offers the Jenkins continuous-integration tool on a virtual machine, but it’s a Java-only solution, he added.

Another design point is that the service will weave in a social network element to the process– providing a sort of Facebook-like wall so team members know what each other are doing or have done. That is especially important as development teams — which already rely on Github and other tools to keep work updated and track versions — are more geographically dispersed than ever.

“The social element adds value– it shows who broke what. This whole continuous development movement is about enabling trust and for that you have to be very transparent,” he said.

While the company, a finalist in GigaOM’s Structure Europe Launchpad Competition, is based in Amsterdam, it’s target market is a few thousand miles west — in Silicon Valley because, he said “That’s where most of the developers are.”

You have to love a company that has big plans and a flair for characterizing them. Here’s how Wercker describes the current software situation on its website:

Your source control is now hosted in the cloud with Github. You run your application on platform cloud like Heroku so you do not have to deal with infrastructure. The step that is missing in the middle is testing and deploying your code. The Universe is broken.

Come hear Hernandez van Leuffen will talk Wercker’s Service at Structure: Europe next week.

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