I was recently on a panel at the MassTLC Software Development Summit in Cambridge, MA. The title of the panel was: Leveraging the Cloud in the Development Environment. It was a fun experience. You can watch a replay of the panel here. You may also be interested in reading my blog post on the summit that I posted over at the Future of Cloud Computing blog.
Since writing that post, I had some additional thoughts on the topic. Cloud computing is traditionally broken into infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service. The problem with that division is the middle layer — it is just too hard to define. It is akin to “Middleware” which is anything in between the database and the actual application. That is such a catch-all that it is hard to make any clear statements about it. It is more about what it isn’t than what it is — i.e. it isn’t the bottom layer and it isn’t the top layer, so it must be Middleware, or PAAS.
With Cloud Extend, we have a system that allows people to create custom applications that guide users through their work. The key thing in this description is that we allow other people to create applications. That would seem to imply it is a PAAS offering. But there are also PAAS offerings that present a programming environment that use Java as a the programming language and large APIs such as J2EE or Spring. It is hard to see the similarity between the simplicity of creating guidance trees and the complexity of writing a J2EE or Spring application. Perhaps we need a new class of software. I’ll have to think about that. Any ideas?
Tags: Active Endpoints, Cloud, cloud computing, Cloud Extend, Guidance Trees, j2ee, mass tlc, masstlc, michael rowley, middleware, paas, platform-as-a-service, SaaS, Salesforce, software as a service, software development, spring