SaaS: Design Considerations

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Speaker: Ramesh Loganathan

SaaS, Software as a Service, has been gathering momentum through 2007, fueled by off-the-web server-virtualization platforms such as Amazon’s EC2. In SaaS, typically, a specific application or solution is offered in a hosted/managed model with the client just signing up for the solution and accessing it over the web- all operational aspects taken care by the SaaS provider. In 2007, some of the SaaS momentum shifted gears and extended their offerings to include more generic platforms as a service on the web, that allow “building” your own applications on such platforms. Ranging from’s Apex platform to the due-soon Titan from Microsoft. The former is a generic business process platform, while the latter is a platform to build CRM apps (will possibly include a basic CRM functionality shell which can be used to build your own CRM solution).
More recently, SaaS extended the product model a bit further. By additionally taking care of even hosting and managing the operations. Software is now available as a service. Either completely hosted or parts of the functionality hosted (Software as a Service). The enterprise will just need to sign up and the solution is available- in a traditional utility model, ‘off the tap’. This lets the small enterprise focus on its core business and not have to deal with any aspect of the IT solution operations.
As solution architects consider a services model for delivering their software to their clients, different set of challenges come into the solution design and architecture. Ranging from mult-tenancy considerations, to easy configurability, on-demand customization, leveraging platforms for SaaS and more. This session presents an overview of the SaaS model, benefits, approaches, architectures and technology options available.


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