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The Connected Web

Phil Wainewright

The PaaS Shortcut to Application Development

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One of the ways the cloud changes how applications are developed (which I'll be discussing in a Cloud QCamp webinar next month) is that it quite simply cuts the time and the cost in half.

The latest example of this is Rootstock, which has just released an all-new ERP application developed on NetSuite's NS-BOS platform in a mere eighteen months. Rootstock combines NetSuite's financials with a set of manufacturing modules that it developed with NetSuite's platform-as-a-service tools. Patrick Garrehy, CEO of Rootstock Software, says the partnership meant "we were able to complete our application and bring it to market twice as fast and at half the cost than would otherwise have been possible."

This is a valuable proof point for PaaS, as most of the well-known commercial applications built by ISVs on PaaS to date have been on Salesforce.com's Force.com platform [disclosure: both NetSuite and Salesforce.com are current or recent clients]. Best known of these (through multiple appearances during DreamForce keynotes) is the CODA2Go financials application which, CODA's CEO Jeremy Roche told me last year, was developed at a saving of two years and somewhere between $2.5 million and $5 million.

Another enterprise application on the Force.com platform is from start-up Maxplore, the on-demand field service automation vendor that last year won funding from Emergence Capital after entering the Force.com $1 Million Challenge. Emergence's general partner Jason Green told me last year that, by using the Force.com platform, Maxplore and others can yield a far better return on capital than those developing from scratch. "With $2 or $3 million, we can take them to a point that would have needed $10 to $15 million if they'd had to build it all themselves," he explained.

These are spectacular metrics coming out of these ISV stories, but of course the same applies for enterprise application development. Next week I'll be publishing a podcast with Ian Smith, CEO of Xceliant, about some of the enterprise application projects his company has worked on using the Force.com platform. All in all, it adds up to a growing catalog of validation for the PaaS approach as a proven means of cutting development timescales and costs for many forms of enterprise application.

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We believe the PaaS approach is the way of today and the future. Nice post. www.workxpress.com

Phil Wainewright blogs about how businesses are using the Web to get better plugged into today's fast-moving, digital economy.

Phil Wainewright

Phil Wainewright specializes in on-demand services View more

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