March 24, 2006

Software as a Service (SaaS) ... haven't we done this before?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the lead article in InfoWorld this week (there is even a downloadable PDF of the report for subscribers/members) with continuing commentary on ZDNet:

   

It's official: SaaS is the Next Big Thing by ZDNet's Phil Wainewright -- The cover story on the latest issue of InfoWorld has it writ large: Software as a service: The next big thing.

Not to be a curmudgeon, but I don't get the sudden hype around SaaS.  I like my hosted web services as much as anyone, but I find this smells a bit like over-hype.  As good as a SaaS service might be, and with AJAX and better bandwidth making the apps extremely rich, these applications are still vulnerable to outages, crashes, and when you're offline ... so is access to your data.

But ... what do you think?

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Posted by Tris Hussey on March 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

Feed your readers with .Net syndication libraries

Syndication is hot.  Personally I subscribe to over 700 of them.  Now ... one thing that bugs me when there isn't a feed for a great site (thanks for the sites Doug!).  Looks like there are some .Net libs so you can do it...

Hat tip.

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Posted by Tris Hussey on January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2005

Ruby on Rails hits 1.0

The scripting language Ruby has reached the vaunted 1.0 status ... and sounds like 1.1 might not be far off.  Having used a few applications with a Ruby core, I've been impressed with it.  Like many of the Web 2.0 apps, Ruby is an evolving platform.  Ready for primetime?  You tell me.
Ruby on Rails is a set of tools, or a "framework," for building Web applications with the scripting language Ruby. Started by David Heinemeier Hansson, Ruby on Rails has received accolades for the productivity it brings to developers. Heinemeier Hansson said that the project is already working on version 1.1. In a previous interview, Hansson said that the open-source project will focus on making it easier to deploy and administer Web applications.
Source: News.com
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Posted by Tris Hussey on December 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 12, 2005

Ground control to Adobe ... Apollo is a go for launch ... or is it?

Ah, powerful, cross-platform development.  The Holy Grail of development.  With Adobe sealing the deal for Macromedia recently the buzz about synergies is ringing in my ears.  But is it a good thing?  Is a marriage of Flash and PDF even needed?  Will it work?  While I like both Flash and PDF, I'm not sure a marriage and yet another runtime engine for users to load is the answer.  I think I have more than enough running on my machine right now.  I'm not the only one who has questions about this ...
Now, maybe I’m just being negative or perhaps I can’t see the forest for the trees… but WHY ON EARTH ARE THEY DOING THIS? Sure, the PDF, SWF and HTML formats are all open - but the SWF player isn’t. You cannot use the File Format Specification to create a SWF interpreter or player . PDF is definitely more open , but many Adobe specific features will not work in alternative viewers (this isn’t necessarily Adobe’s problem). So, the only reason I can see for Adobe creating a ‘universal player’ is to basically lock everyone into their player/runtime ( platform) - under the guise of providing an exceptional user experience . Didn’t Microsoft pull this crap before? Source: Bryan Rieger
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Posted by Tris Hussey on December 12, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

The move to web-based software ... end of software or a bigger problem?

From ITWorld Canada comes an article that raises some interesting questions... On-demand spells 'end of software' .

He said the success of Web-based on-demand services would not be restricted to the customer relationship management (CRM) space, but would extend to other business process apps as well. That's because such services are relatively low-cost, less risky and uncomplicated.

"We believe this is the end of software," he said, predicting a move away from client-server as a dominant model for delivery of computing technology. "In a short (period) of time, all technology will be delivered (via) the on-demand service approach." Salesforce.com is counting on its newest on-demand platform – dubbed AppExchange – to move this trend forward.

AppExchange is a Web-based application-sharing service that offers customers a host of pre-built business applications including sales, marketing, productivity tools, customer service, finance, administration and human resources.

Using the service, companies can browse through some 70 applications and test drive the ones they want. Once satisfied, they can install the applications through the on-demand AppExchange system.

At a lot of levels it makes sense.  Why buy a whole large software package, and the hardware infrastructure to support it, when you can pay as you go?  Host it.  Use as you need to.  Moving, flexible licensing.  Sounds great.  Web-based CRM, web-based office apps, web-based accounting ... Wait.  What if it goes down?  What if it gets hacked?  What if there is a large-scale Internet outage (remember Sober?)
Here's a bit that I quoted in a post by Mack D. Male ...
So what happens in a few years when the vast majority of our data is stored online? Creating some sort of malicious software to target those data silos will become increasingly irresistible for those who write viruses, worms and the like. And that introduces a pretty big problem for users, and for those running the hosted services.
This is exactly the question that needs to be asked when investigating a web-based, on-demand solution.  What about back ups?  Local copies?  Security and monitoring?
Given these concerns, this probably means that in most cases, some tasks might be moved to web-based solutions, while core, mission critical functions will for the most part remain local.

Posted by Tris Hussey on December 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack