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12/27/2006
09:03 AM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
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Three Areas Where SaaS Fell Short in 2006

There is always room for improvement. I am finding a few areas where many SaaS vendors fell short in 2006. 1. SaaS guys did not value nonvisual interfaces. 2. SaaS guys typically didn't consider integration to other SaaS players. 3. Many SaaS players were slow in supporting rich internet application technology, such as Ajax. Here's how SaaS vendors can improve -- and what you should look for from leaders -- in 2007.

There is always room for improvement. While I'm out there working with the SaaS guys I am finding a few areas where many can improve. Or, where they fell short in 2006. 1. SaaS guys did not value the nonvisual interfaces, as much as the visual application engine. SaaS guys need to learn how to make all of the functionality that's available through the visual interfaces available through the nonvisual interfaces as well...typically Web services. Today, most do not, and as we look to extend the reach of our SOAs to incorporate our SaaS partners, this requirement is on the critical path.It's easy to fix this. Okay, it's easy to understand how to fix it, costly to implement, but this is critical to the success of SaaS. Indeed, nonvisual interfaces (Web services) could be the way we leverage SaaS going forward the majority of the time. 2. SaaS guys typically did not consider integration to other SaaS players. While the focus as been on integration between the enterprise and the SaaS, as more enterprises move their applications to SaaS, there is a growing need for SaaS-to-SaaS integration. Unfortunately, as customers are requesting this, many of the SaaS providers are stumped for an answer; beyond hire a bunch of developers and hoping for the best. That is what everyone thinks is the answer, and thus end up spending way to much money for a cumbersome architectures that lack agility. Don't get me started on that. 3. Many SaaS players were slow in supporting true rich internet application technology, such as Ajax. Thus, the SaaS-delivered applications are still the old-school HTTP push and pull, and thus don't have the look and feel of native applications. Flex and Ajax are here to stay and they work well. The SaaS players that support true rich internet application (RIA) delivered applications will rule the world, and make the user experience just that much more fulfilling and productive. Application integration and service oriented architecture expert David Linthicum heads the product development, implementation and strategy consulting firm The Linthicum Group. Write him at david@linthicumgroup.com.There is always room for improvement. I am finding a few areas where many SaaS vendors fell short in 2006. 1. SaaS guys did not value nonvisual interfaces. 2. SaaS guys typically didn't consider integration to other SaaS players. 3. Many SaaS players were slow in supporting rich internet application technology, such as Ajax. Here's how SaaS vendors can improve -- and what you should look for from leaders -- in 2007.

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