As part of an effort to make it simpler for developers to test the viability of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application, Alpha Software has made available a framework that provides all the standard pages and mechanisms associated with building such applications.
Rather than building everything from scratch, the SaaS Framework from Alpha Software provides functions such as user authentication, free trial status and client portal capabilities. Niket Anjaria, director of business development for Alpha Software, says the SaaS Framework is primarily intended to provide a multitenant platform for prototyping applications. But it could also be used to run applications in production.
Built using the Alpha Anywhere HTML5 development environment, the SaaS Framework can be used to create desktop or mobile applications that have online and offline capabilities. In addition, the SaaS Framework provides access to the same security model that Alpha Software incorporated in to Alpha Anywhere.
The applications built using SaaS Framework can invoke any SQL database capable of running in a multitenant environment and can run on any cloud. Alpha Software, however, is recommending that developers run SaaS Framework on cloud hosting services provided by ZebraHost.
Anjaria says that developers often have an idea for an application, but setting up the infrastructure required to test that concept is either too time consuming or too expensive. Once the application is created, developers can decide if they want to leave it running as it is or optimize it to run on specific platforms as they see fit. That way developers don’t necessarily have to engage in a religious debate over how much they need to support a particular platform until they have at least had a chance to see how end users react to the prototype.
Most IT organizations today are struggling with an application development backlog that continues to get worse as the popularity of mobile computing devices continues to rise. The issue that many of them now face is that it’s hard to prioritize the development of applications when no one is sure how internal employees or external customers might make use of them. The SaaS Framework, says Anjaria, is intended to lower the risk of creating those applications by reducing the cost of building them in the first place.
Anjaria even goes so far as to suggest that with something like SaaS Framework in place, more than a few developers might be tempted to test a few of their own applications before ultimately deciding to go into business for themselves.