Jump-start your startup with DigitalOcean App Platform

Posted 2021-01-12  in Developer Relations
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Starting a business is hard, we get it. It wasn’t so long ago that DigitalOcean was there too. There’s a lot to tackle and decisions big and small often need to be made quickly. What cloud platform should I use to build the app? Will I be able to release features quickly? Will I be able to find product/ market fit? On top of that, entrepreneurs also have to worry about raising funds, recruiting the right talent, and business and legal processes. Though DigitalOcean can’t help with everything, we can definitely help you with one of your critical needs: building, deploying, and scaling your apps.

‘Simplicity in all we do’ is one of the core values at DigitalOcean and we strive to simplify cloud computing. We want you to spend more time building software that changes the world. That’s why we recently launched DigitalOcean App Platform, our modern, reimagined PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering that makes it easy to build, deploy, and scale apps. App Platform is a fully managed solution, meaning we handle provisioning and managing infrastructure, operating systems, databases, application runtimes, and other dependencies so that you can focus on your apps.

Let’s explore how App Platform can help you with your startup.

Marketing websites and landing pages

No matter where you are in your startup journey, it’s very likely that you will need a marketing website. Such websites are often static sites, and are typically used to showcase your app and get users excited, among other purposes. You can deploy these sites using App Platform with just a few clicks. The site will be up and running in a few minutes and will be backed by CDN, HTTPS enabled, and protected from DDoS attacks, making it super-fast and secure. You can also add your custom domain to infuse your brand into the site and make it discoverable. The first 3 static sites are free, and every additional site will be charged just $3/month.

Main app

The power of App Platform isn’t limited to just static sites. In fact, you can build, deploy, and scale your entire app with App Platform. It supports many programming languages and frameworks out of the box, like Node.js, Python, Django, Go, PHP, Laravel, React, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Gatsby, and Hugo. If your apps are built using other languages, simply provide the pre-built container image and App Platform will do the rest.

App Platform integrates with GitHub and you can deploy code directly from your repositories. It also makes it easy to rapidly iterate on the app. Just enable ‘Autodeploy on Push’ and your app will be re-deployed automatically each time you push to the branch containing the source code. 

App Platform utilizes a component-based design, making it easy to build apps with modular and loosely coupled components. For example, the image below shows the typical elements that make up any dynamic app. When you run your app, App Platform builds and deploys containers for each of your app’s components on Kubernetes clusters.

The advantage of component-based design is that you can evolve the app based on your startup’s needs. This allows you to move at your own pace and there’s no need to go all in with App Platform right away. For example, check out the below video which shows how you can build a dynamic app with App Platform. The app has three components: a front end in React, a backend that consists of Laravel API, and a PostgreSQL database. You can deploy these components independent of each other and then attach them together to get the app working.

Another benefit of component-based design is that you can scale the components independent of each other. You get a lot of flexibility and can scale the components vertically and horizontally. This allows you to have precise control on your costs. The pricing for dynamic apps starts at $5/month and since we run App Platform on our own infrastructure, the costs are low not only when you are starting out, but also when you scale your apps.

Blog

It’s very likely that you will also need a blog so that you can promote new product features, write thought leadership articles, and boost your SEO ratings. You can build and deploy your blog via App Platform. Just point us to the GitHub repo and let App Platform do all the heavy lifting. Deploy this sample app for a blog that uses Strapi as the backend and Next.js as the front end to see the App Platform in action.

Internal apps

In addition to customer facing apps and sites, App Platform can also help you with internal apps. For example, you can use App Platform to build and deploy an app that monitors your customer facing app’s uptime and performance. Other examples of internal apps include dashboards for web analytics and apps to perform operations like data deduplication.

We hope you will try App Platform and build your startup on DigitalOcean. Check out the docs, deploy this sample app for an RSS feed aggregator (here are the repos for frontend and API), and let us know what you think!  

If you’d like to have a conversation about using DigitalOcean and App Platform in your business, please feel free to contact our sales team.

Happy coding!

Shantanu Kedar

Senior Manager, Product Marketing