Bungee Labs has launched a service designed to allow web developers to quickly build rich Internet applications and then use Bungee's grid to host them.

Bungee Connect, unveiled at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Expo, can provide easy access to web services APIs from companies like Amazon.com, eBay, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, RealNetworks, Salesforce.com and Yahoo to build new applications, Bungee said.

The service, which Bungee describes as an "on-demand development environment," allows developers to build and test applications for free and to access application components that other developers have made publicly available, said Lyle Ball, vice president of marketing at Bungee. Available in beta next month, the tool supports web services integration to build rich Internet applications, he added.

"We're taking development to an on-demand model or development as a service," Ball said. "We're completely eliminating the need for AJAX programming. We've automated each of the [AJAX] controls, and we have a very broad set of controls that meet the needs of developers."

Connect allows developers to write an application once for use in either Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari and have the application work across all of the browsers, Ball added. "You can grab a copy of your currently deployed application, change some small element… and then test live and deploy live instantaneously, and you can roll versioning forward or backwards," he said.

Developers are only charged for using the service when an application built with the tool is made commercially available.

"Bungee Labs' decision to make their development environment integrate seamlessly with Amazon web services is great news for our developer community," said Jeff Barr, senior evangelist for Amazon web services. "Amazon web services developers can now use Bungee Connect to directly access our services, which means they can build Web scale applications in an easy-to-use, browser-based development environment."

Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, said that because of the disjointed state of development tools and of testing and deployment methods, most developers find creating rich Internet applications to be complex, time-consuming and expensive. By combining development, testing and deployment into a service approach, Bungee Connect broadens the number of developers that can build web applications, Gardner added.

Developers can register to participate in an early-access beta program.