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Lightweight Development in the Cloud

One of the advantages of placing developer's workstation in the cloud would be the speed with which it could be procured and decommissioned, not to mention the cost savings.

 Yet developing through RDP (or similar protocol) console, even with a fast enough internet connection might be less than ideal. One way to alleviate the pain would be developing locally, and saving the work to the cloud via WebDAV.

The fact that the communications occur over HTTP make it the least common denominator for most corporate environments (though being verbose effectively limits it to relatively small data volumes).

 In my particular case, a developer was set up to save edited “classic” ASP, JavaScript and HTML files to a machine in the cloud while using Dreamweaver MX environment; once saved, the application immediately becomes available to the testers (and other developers) spread all over the country. The process is extremely lightweight (and also could be error-prone); it does not yield itself (easily) to versioning, and requires rather high degree of team coordination and trust. Yet it could be a useful technique for streamlining bureaucracy (server procurement, firewall requests etc.); with modifications (version control, issue tracking, continuous build integration etc.) it could even be made robust enough for enterprise level development.

 Here are some information on setting up WebDAV with IIS (comes with Amazan EC2 Windows AMI); also WebDAV with PHP  and  WebDAV with Tomcat