SAAS, just a buzzword or a meaningful word?

Nov 09, 2011
Diego Vergara

Hi everyone, long time without a word, I know I offer a series based on RDF and I'll do that as promise but for now I'd like to share some opinions I have about SAAS, because it's causing a lot of talking lately.

The first time I heard the term SAAS was about a year ago when I faced Cloud Computing, before that the idea of Software as a Service, SAAS, was very logical but without a name, at least for me. If we take in count that the web is an alter-environment where we can recreate parts of our lifes or even play with someone else's life, then why not to put into the cloud the applications we tend to use.

It's not so easy to accomplish something like that, but also it's not impossible, we just need to develop a good software which follows web guidelines and respect connectivity standards, based on that what we get it's software in the cloud that is delivered on-demand just like a service, that's all the magic behind the term SAAS.

But the word is not everything, sometimes it just help to get attention, what's important in SAAS is the software and the business repercussions, because if something is going to exist it's because it's necessary for something.

Build a functionality, package it as software and deployed it to the cloud essentialy is like build a software for any OS, but the OS is in the cloud and we can choose from many options like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) but here's a difference between a site with functionality and a functionality within a site.

There's a lot of sites with functionalities, today's web 2.0 era all sites have functionalities: calculators, ratings module, comment module, even games; but the goal behind those functionalities is to show the brand, the logo through the site, catching the user attention with some apps that could help him to feel more confortable in the site.

But when the goal is to supply a real tool to do business, or to do homework, or play a game through automation, or using an spreadsheet (like google docs) the site and its design are just the eye-candy for the application. You don't pay for knowing about the company, you pay for using its software.

There are some detractors about the SAAS idea, like Harry Debes, Lawson's CEO, who doesn't believe in SAAS. I believe that in a near future we'll be talking about the World Wide Web as an Operative System itself with applications for almost everything, so why not to start to build applications that reside in the cloud and can be executed from our personal computer using those resources only when it's needed.