Monday, August 9, 2010

Cloud Computing Platforms Set To Explode in the Market

Cloud Computing. As a frequent speaker, consultant and commentator on cloud computing, SaaS and RIA, I could not help but feel a little twinge of delight with the announcement in a recent IDC press release regarding the market for cloud applications and SaaS in particular “the Software as a Service (SaaS) market had worldwide revenues of $13.1 billion in 2009. IDC forecasts the market to reach $40.5 billion by 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of 25.3%. By 2012, IDC expects that less than 15% of net-new software firms coming to market will ship a packaged product (on CD). By 2014, about 34% of all new business software purchases will be consumed via SaaS, and SaaS delivery will constitute about 14.5% of worldwide software spending across all primary markets.”

Cloud Computing Platforms uniPaaS is brought to market by Magic Software Enterprises (NASDAQ:MGIC) with a vision of being a unitary platform-as-a-service solution. As a SaaS-enabled application platform, Magic’s goal is to deliver PaaS capabilities in a way that greatly reduces the complexity of creating cloud applications.

RIA Client Support. The first step toward cloud computing is the transformation to a Rich Internet Application (RIA). uniPaaS fully supports development and deployment of RIA applications. As discussed here previously, there are many reasons to deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIA) with uniPaaS.

Multitenancy Support. uniPaaS allows for leveraging any internet or client-server‐based application into a SaaS‐enabled application by providing multitenancy support at the platform level, relieving the developer from resorting to complex tenant‐aware application design and development.

uniPaaS makes sure that for a single implementation of a SaaS‐type application, each tenant will be fully encapsulated and that every tenant specific characteristic is maintained and governed by uniPaaS Management and Monitoring facilities.

The platform level support for multi‐tenancy enables the application vendor to design an application without taking special heed of multi‐tenant design and can remain focused on the application’s basic design. The uniPaaS platform will seamlessly turn the application into a multi‐tenant application by transparently directing the application to the tenants’ data space and by having each tenant served by an independent process. Nevertheless, the uniPaaS platform enables the application vendor to fine‐tune the tenant encapsulated environment in a way that utilizes a Data Space that is shared and common between multiple tenants.

The environment‐driven and component‐based architecture of the uniPaaS platform enables easy customization of every part of the application, thereby achieving a singular application deployment that serves multiple tenants where each tenant gets to experience a tailored application.

The uniPaaS platform as a whole can be deployed on a cloud, using the facilities of a uniPaaS hosting service provider, independently by the application vendor, or even by the end‐customer.

The flexibility of the platform to be deployed as a whole in any location offers the application vendor the flexibility to choose the most appropriate deployment models and commercial models.

Scalability. Application tenants are not bound to specific machines to support extreme usage surges. A redundant array of servers set for the disposal of the application are dynamically utilized for any tenant, according to the capacity required to serve the tenant at any given moment.

Unitary Approach uniPaaS is envisoned as a unitary development and deployment platform. With a single, consistent IDE, there is no need for multiple languages, scripting tools and the like. uniPaaS provides one consistent solution for developing the client or user interface layer, the business logic or core application layer, and the multi-tenant architecture or database layer. For smaller teams and solo developers, a unitary approach has tremendous value.

Metadata driven development. For generations, programmers have been dreaming of a metadata driven approach to application development that allowed them to create programs without rewriting basic functionality and building out the same software architectures repeatedly.I am not just talking about reusability of code, with metadata driven development one can actually avoid certain irrelevancies of programming altogether. It is not a new concept. All languages that take a step up from machine level instructions do this to some extent. With uniPaaS, you leverage the functional capabilities of an application platform rather than writing the building blocks using a text-based language. Low-level functionality is embedded in the application platform and managed through metadata by the developer. Functional abstraction greatly reduces programming effort because metadata platforms give you the ability to modernize underlying technology while preserving and enhancing core-business logic.

With an increasing emphasis on cloud-based applications and the SaaS delivery model, uniPaaS is becoming an increasingly popular application platform for organizations seeking to optimize what Regev Yativ has aptly termed TTC (time-to-cloud). Perhaps the real question is: when will be your time-to-cloud?

Glenn Johnson is a frequent speaker, consultant and commentator on cloud computing, SaaS, RIA, mobile applications and business integration. He is a senior vice president at Magic Software Enterprises Americas.

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