The Network is the Computer

January 18, 2008

An eWeek article by Renee Boucher Ferguson here, led me to investigate Salesforce.com‘s new “platform as a service” offering. Salesforce.com is the business that proved to organizations of all sizes that the rented “software as a service” (Saas) concept was a valid option for software. No more buying expensive software licenses, maintaining application servers, database servers or operating systems, just pay a subscription and access the application “on demand” from anywhere.

SaaS vs. PaaS

This offering takes the next step, whereas the SaaS model has been a model of You renting Their software in Their environment, the platform as a service model is of You writing Your own software, all within their multi-tenant environment. The force.com environment extends the SaaS model to any application you wish to build – all on their infrastructure stack. No servers, databases or other infrastructure to maintain.

Using their API’s and Metadata API’s according to the company, when developers create Meta Data elements, their work is captured as a Meta Data “blueprint” which force.com automatically translates into the full applications.

Much has been written, on this site as well as the business and technology press regarding the future if IT both as an industry, and as a business. This cloud computing offering is an active demonstration of the changes that will take place in our organizations.

On the one hand, the ability to have a software application built and managed over the Internet affects business as the there is no infrastructure to maintain which can reduce costs – for people in the IT field that maintain these infrastructures, well, that means having to move up the food chain to higher level services.

On the other hand – this also becomes an opportunity, I want a software program to do a particular task, Can I pay you to build it for me?

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