Discussion of,,,, and Heroku.

November 29, 2013

SaaS appliances, SaaS data centers, and customer-premises SaaS


I think that most sufficiently large enterprise SaaS vendors should offer an appliance option, as an alternative to the core multi-tenant service. In particular:

How I reached them

Core reasons for selling or using SaaS (Software as a Service) as opposed to licensed software start:

Conceptually, then, customer-premises SaaS is not impossible, even though one of the standard Big Three SaaS benefits is lost. Indeed:

But from an enterprise standpoint, that’s all (relatively) simple stuff. So we’re left with a more challenging question — does customer-premises SaaS make sense in the case of enterprise applications or other server software?

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November 24, 2013

Thoughts on SaaS

Generalizing about SaaS (Software as a Service) is hard. To prune some of the confusion, let’s start by noting:

For smaller enterprises, the core outsourcing argument is compelling. How small? Well:

So except for special cases, an enterprise with less than $100 million or so in revenue may have trouble affording on-site data processing, at least at a mission-critical level of robustness. It may well be better to use NetSuite or something like that, assuming needed features are available in SaaS form.*

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February 13, 2013

It’s hard to make data easy to analyze

It’s hard to make data easy to analyze. While everybody seems to realize this — a few marketeers perhaps aside — some remarks might be useful even so.

Many different technologies purport to make data easy, or easier, to an analyze; so many, in fact, that cataloguing them all is forbiddingly hard. Major claims, and some technologies that make them, include:

*Complex event/stream processing terminology is always problematic.

My thoughts on all this start:  Read more

June 26, 2012

Is going to stick with Oracle?

Surprisingly often, I’m asked “Is going to stick with Oracle?” So let me refer to and expand upon my previous post about’s database architecture by saying:

Some day, Marc Benioff will probably say “We turned off Oracle across most of our applications a while ago, and nobody outside the company even noticed.”

*in that

Note: This blog post is less readable than it would be if I’d found a better workaround to WordPress’ bugs in the area of nested bullet points. I’m sorry.

February 17, 2012

The future of enterprise application software

Sarah Lacy argues that enterprise application software is due for a change. Her reasons seemingly boil down to:

I’m inclined to agree, although I’d add some further, more technological-oriented drivers to the mix.

Changes I envision to enterprise applications include (and these overlap):

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November 23, 2011

Hope for a new PostgreSQL era?

In a comedy of briefing errors, I’m not too clear on the details of my client’s new PostgreSQL-as-a-service offering, nor exactly on what my clients at VMware are bringing to the PostgreSQL virtualization/cloud party. That said:

So I think it would be cool if one or the other big company put significant wood behind the PostgreSQL arrow.

*While Vertica was originally released using little or no PostgreSQL code — reports varied — it featured high degrees of PostgreSQL compatibility.

September 15, 2011

The database architecture of,, and,, and use exactly the same database infrastructure and architecture. That’s the good news. The bad news is that is somewhat obscure about technical details, for reasons such as:

Actually, has moved some kinds of data out of Oracle that previously used to be stored there. Besides Oracle, salesforce uses at least a file system and a RAM-based data store about which I have no details. Even so, much of’s data is stored in Oracle — a single instance of Oracle, which it believes may be the largest instance of Oracle in the world.

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September 15, 2011,,,, — notes and context

As previously noted, I attended Dreamforce, the user conference for my clients at When I work with them, I focus primarily on and related businesses. I’ve had to struggle a bit, however, to sort out the various pieces, and specifically the differences among:

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