Free Zope and Plone hosting on

Pilot Systems and Blue Dynamics are happy to introduce their new Zope and Plone hosting service available in English and French at the moment on web site.

Why this service ?

Pilot Systems (France) and Blue Dynamics (Austria) are happy to provide this service to the community, showing at the same time that they know what they talk about ;) .

Today, it is hard to show to someone what is Plone, or to play with a live Plone site. Now we can do that, in a matter of seconds. And these accounts can be used for sandboxing, testing features or even long-term community sites. Full commercial use is not accepted on Objectis, just because we do not provide any guarantees on this service.

Easy to use

  • Give basic personal details (name and email), as everything related to hosting is linked to liability issues;
  • Choose a Zope or a Plone account : A Zope account is more or less what you find on , a folder in a Zope instance where you have Manager role. A Plone account is different : it is your own Plone site, where you have Member / Owner / Reviewer and Manager roles;
  • Choose a name for your Zope or Plone site account : this will be used to generate realtime DNS entry under host :;

That's it ! After saying that you accept the terms and conditions of the service, you need to reply to the email that is sent to you (you need of course a valid email address) and you receive in seconds URL and login information.

The architecture

The system is distributed, meaning that it is highly scalable. At the creation of an account, 2 things happen :

  • The site sends account information, using XML-RPC, to the account balancer. This system writes the Apache records dynamically as well as the Zope or Plone account itself on a specific machine and Zope instance, depending on various technical criteria (language of account, type of account, etc.);
  • Then an A record is dynamically created on the DNS server (under construction).

So the basic idea is that the first 48 hours, the Zope or Plone sites are served by the main Apache server of the account balancer. After DNS update (after first 48 hours), your DNS server resolves directly requests without any latency due to the account balancer routing.

This architecture is pretty cool, because :

  • The account owner has direct access to the sub-domain of objectis ( at the creation of the account, welcome to real time world ;)
  • We can scale with the number of physical machines and Zope instances we want, it's just a matter of availibility of the ressource (sponsors, please write to!)


We thank of course Jérôme Sandarnaud, the project leader of the Objectis service. Also to Gilles Lenfant and Damien Baty, all three from Pilot Systems, for the implementation of the service, and to Philipp Auersperg and Robert Boulanger from Blue Dynamics.

We also had a first sprint on Objectis (ok, a very relaxed one, let's call it the comfy-chair sprint!), with Laura Trippi, Jim Roepcke and Aldo Bergamini during the Plone Conference in New Orleans, allowing us to design the final architecture of the project.

So have fun on !

David Sapiro