In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the beginnings of a revolution in the way that software is distributed by its creators, and accessed by its users.
Conventional software, installed on the customer’s own computer, has always suffered from a number of drawbacks.
• Compatibility (or the lack of it) is usually the first to raise its head. The software may have been written for Microsoft Vista for example, but everyone’s system is configured differently and there is simply no guarantee that your new application will just work ‘out of the box’. The developer has to write and maintain several versions of the software.
• Obsolescence – many applications rely upon data which is subject to frequent changes, e.g. in the banking sector. Any changes mean software and database updates, costing time and money.
• A ‘one-size-fits-all’ licensing model. Whether the customer uses the software 10,000 times a day or just 10, conventional software costs the same. This often puts the price out of the reach of SMEs.
Faced with these problems, the attractiveness of web based applications quickly becomes clear. The software developer only has to maintain one version of the application, on a platform where it works perfectly. For the customer, the compatibility problem almost disappears, as does the requirement to apply updates.
Possibly most attractive of all, web based applications can operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, opening up sophisticated software to an entirely new market.
So, whether we are talking about web service components , or the most complex integrated business systems, the future direction of software development looks clear. Deploying Software as a Service (SaaS) is a win-win result for developers and customers alike.
Unified Software Ltd is the UK's leading financial web services provider. Our pioneering BankVal family of services have been helping business run smoothly since 2003