Suppose you have a store of data that you want to expose to developers, either inside or outside your company. These days you may call it a cloud. How do you make it available? Well usually you would put together a set of web services that provide an HTTP-accessible API and publish that. Amazon AWS is maybe the canonical example, but there are many others. Then your developers can use browser based applications to access those web services, or develop with whatever other tools they have. They don’t need anything special on their machines (and don’t need to deploy an application-specific runtime to their application users). The app gets its data by requesting it from the cloud and makes changes by sending requests to the cloud as well. The API is exposed at the edge of the cloud and provides a clean, well-defined surface. Which real clouds don’t have, of course. But that’s by the way.
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Architecture for the mobile cloud