During the last trip I’ve found some signs of SaaS evangelism around Seattle area:
Has any of you found any "SaaS hints" anywhere else? ūüôā
Last week I’ve been participating on the design of the upcoming TS (Technology Specialist) certification exams for WF 3.5. (formerly known as "70-504: TS: .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Workflow Foundation")
He explained the refactoring of the exam stack and how having TS exams which are specific to a single technology and then PRO exams which are more scenario oriented can help software companies on measuring their applicants skills.
From left to right, the Subject Matter Experts that worked on that design sessions are: Ariel Schapiro, Serge Luca, Alfred Myers, Brian Myers (author of "Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation" book) and Mark Dunn.
It was really interesting to see how many points of view around the same subject help enormously in the design of an exam; good work guys!
I’m sure this is not all of the material around, but here is¬†a brief list of¬†Software as a Service¬†links that I¬†find useful. Feel free to propose more links. Enjoy ūüôā
Attending Microsoft employees¬†and ISVs used a¬†SaaS reference application based on LitwareHR¬†to get inside of the architectural challenges solutions for data model configuration, tenant provisioning, workflow configuration and security.
Check Matias’s post¬†for more details.
These days I’ve been investigating on what Microsoft Hosting Solutions and Microsoft Provisioning System can do, how they work and how they would be applied to SaaS hosting environments, such as LitwareHR reference application’s.
MPS is an extensible Windows-based platform that provides an XML-based framework that allows to create customized provisioning solutions for Web, data, and application hosting. This solution includes tasks such as adding new users, updating directory entries, and provisioning applications and services.
MPSâ€™s providers make possible to automate the tasks required to provision and manage services within a data center. They accept XML requests from the Provisioning Engine and execute provisioning tasks against their respective applications.
MPSâ€™s Provisioning Engine acts as a provisioning process coordinator and performs data monitoring and logging services. The Provisioning Engine interprets high-level XML requests and expands them into tasks.
Using the Web-based interface, submit an XML-based provisioning request.
The provisioning Engine parses the XML request and expands the request into multiple low-level actions. The provisioning Engine processes the request based on the MPF Configuration database.
The Provisioning Engine then routes the XML requests to the appropriate Providers.
The Provider implements the low-level provisioning tasks by making API calls to the appropriate applications. The provisioning request is complete.
The following are the main things I installed to get a deeper notion of MPS. You can get them here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=D6EF5386-0F76-4F58-A6C6-1FE7B5BE56CA&displaylang=en
Once this is completed, tenants will be able to start trying the application. First of all, they will have to create a tenant account at LitwareHR so they can use the application.
The process that takes care of allocating the resources that tenant will use is called "Tenant Provisioning". The screencast shows the "behind the scenes" actions of this service:
Last Friday Roberto Schatz, Ramiro Iturregui, Matias Woloski and I introduced SaaS at Buenos Aires Microsoft HQ.
Audience was mainly ISV’s, some of them already implementing SaaS ideas and looking for more guidance.
After making an introduction of the main ideas (the long tail, architecture challenges, etc.), we role played LitwareHR demo (one guy from the audience played "Contoso’s" CEO role and another one "Fabrikam’s") and we showed some "behind the scene" code details and diagrams.
After finishing, architects and developers from the audience came close to make more questions so the discussion went on.
Some feedback received by the end:
Looking for blogs related to SaaS I found one of those funny post that compares software development with something else. In this case James Green‘s “cow milking” includes Scrum and SaaS. Although SaaS is not a software development methodolgy or process, is still funny:
WATERFALL:¬† 18 months ago, one cow went into the milking shead.¬† The method was sound, but you don’t need milk any more.
AGILE:¬† Only milk when necessary.¬
EXTREME PROGRAMMING:¬† You have two cows.¬† They milk each other.
TEST-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT:¬† Know the bucket before milking any cows.
OPEN SOURCE:¬† I have a cow, you and some other guy from Norway milk it on weekends or whenever you have some free time.¬
CONTINUOUS INTEGRATION:¬† Your team of two cows checks-in to the milking sheds every day.¬† Everyone has access to the milk.¬† Everyone feels good.
SERVICE-ORIENTED ARCHITECTURE:¬† We agree a schema for a cow.¬† No one feels dependant on any breed of cow, but no one has actually seen a complete cow.
SCRUM:¬† There is a backlog of milk orders.¬† Cows decide how they are to be milked.¬† Every 30 days the cows, pigs and chickens agree on an amount of potentially shippable milk.¬† The pigs and chickens get to decide when no more milk is needed.
SaaS:¬† You don’t own the cows.¬† You rent access to them and pay for it out of OpEx.¬† Owning cows is outside of core business – you just need some milk.
2. Some sports: Being a kid, I used to play chess like a mad (I even played in some tournaments). Then I kicked the chess board and started playing tennis (also like mad). After some years of competitions I changed my tennis racquet for a couple of rowing oars: at around 15 years old I joined a rowing team and this time we rowed like mad! (training from 6 to 9 times a week). During the week we used to row at night, after school. It was one of the greatest experiences in life: a healthy mix of sport, team work, hard work and travel around the country. Now I’m not as much as a sports man but I started playing squash on a weekly basis.
3. I love traveling: if possible, every time to a different place. This planet has a lot of very diverse places, cultures, people… Followed by that motivation I visited places like Spain, Portugal, France, England, Scotland, Nederland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, United States, Mexico, Chile. Since my girlfriend loves traveling as much as I do, she also joined me (or I joined her ?) traveling through Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil…and Argentina. Still there is a lot to visit…
4. I love sushi: my girlfriend shares this passion too, so some months ago we bought a rice maker and when we have some spare time we make (and eat!) our own niguiris, and makis.
5. Some sports, part II: I jumped out of an airplane once (hopefully with a parachute) and landed on a Mexican beach. Another once in a lifetime thing I did was jumping from a crane with a rope tied to my legs (some call that "bungee jumping"). A more lasting practice I enjoy a lot is snorkeling (another common thing with my girlfriend :)): when I get the chance I can be in the sea for hours…maybe because is difficult to jump from the water?