We had a great turnout last week for the webinar, and a number of people have asked if they could get access to the recording, so here it is. I’ve also compiled a list of some of the question from the Q&A session here, along with the answers.
Q: We have our app completed, but are working on the provisioning/billing parts (hard for us). Can SaaSGrid provide a sandbox for our app such that we can deploy one copy of the app per customer? – our app is .net based and is a web application already. For us, our value is in our s/w, not in building special purpose billing systems
A: Absolutely, you can register for access to the SDK and a Sandbox account here.
Q: What are the on-going cost advantages of using a PaaS like SaaSGrid?
A: Applications built “from the ground up” without a PaaS incur massive ongoing R&D and maintenance expense. Your R&D team will have to manage the code base, fix bugs, and maintain the layer. This is expense will generally become disproportionate to the R&D of the actual app on an ongoing basis. Second, a home grown SaaS stack will normally reach a “freeze” point where no new added functionality is added. A PaaS is constantly looking to evolve and inject new value into the applications and business it hosts. A PaaS provider can help drive revenues up and costs down without the participation of the ISVs it works with. Last is flexibility. A PaaS environment is built to be horizontal and support any application. Good PaaS offerings like SaaSGrid also offer commercialization tools, lifecycle management tools, and support tools that become part of an ISVs day to day.
Q: What approximate effort is needed to make existing hosted applications into SAAS. Is the architecture to be re-designed or can be used as it is?
A: It depends on the application, but utilizing SaaSGrid, some existing application can be deployed as a pure multitenant SaaS offering with out any effort. Others may require modifications before they can be deployed. SaaSGrid does not require any proprietary work to be done to your application, it simply requires that you’ve adhered to current best practices for architecting your .NET application.
Q: What about ISVs that already have a J2EE application?
A: Currently, SaaSGrid is specifically focused on .NET based applications
Q: What happens if the PaaS provider goes out of business?
A: Depends on the type of PaaS provider. If it’s a “custom stack PaaS” that has its own programming languages, the scenario is dire because the code can’t work anywhere else. Existing language/runtime PaaS offerings like SaaSGrid allow you to run your code on-premise, which at least lets you recover your application even though it won’t be a SaaS offering. At Apprenda, we’ve focused on a disaster recovery plan where our cloud partners that run SaaSGrid will continue to run the platform for a significant period of time, thereby mitigating any disaster scenarios and giving the ISV the ability to continue business as usual.
Q: What is the typical cost and timeframe for developing a SaaS application?
A: Depending on the complexity of the application, the SaaS aspect of an application can take up anywhere from 30%-70% of upfront development time and account for roughly 30% of ongoing costs and development effort.
Q: What if my application is running on a different environment – can I still use SaaSGrid to manage my business (subscriptions, etc.)?
A: Currently, no. SaaSGrid exploits the fact that it manages the environment the applications run in to provide much of the business management aspects like metering and subscription based authorization magically, without writing a line of code. A huge amount of value exists in running within SaaSGrid that normally provides rapid ROI on time and money invested to moving to the SaaSGrid environment.
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