Appcelerator, the makers of the mobile development framework Titanium, announced a partnership with Ruby on Rails platform-as-a-service provider Engine Yard today. Engine Yard developers will be able to create cross-platform applications using Titanium while leaving their Rails backend environments virtually unchanged. Titanium developers will be able to take advantage of Engine Yard's scalable services for building backends.
According to the announcement, the two companies will "integrate and certify each other's technologies, jointly develop best practices, and create common architectural patterns to help developers build mobile applications using Appcelerator Titanium with Ruby on Rails backends developed and deployed on the Engine Yard platform."
Making data available across applications is important for developers, so an integrated mobile frontend and cloud backend makes a lot of sense. We've been looking at the ways that companies are preparing to bridge the worlds of mobile and cloud. See, for example, our coverage of Yahoo's use of Azure for building mobile apps.
This solution seems particularly valuable for developers building Web services with Rails and wanting to create mobile apps based on those services.
Engine Yard competes with other PaaS providers like Heroku (which was recently acquired by Salesforce.com). The company is currently working with Amazon.com to bring Ruby to the new Elastic Beanstalk service from Amazon Web Services.