Platform providers has unique opportunity to adopt SOA as business model by opening up their platform as web service and allowing developers and partners to build applications. Platform owners can leverage new avenue to monetize the API usage, share revenue for each transaction and sell advertisement as well.
It is win-win situation for all, it is hay days not just for platform builders but also for stakeholders like entrepreneurs, developers, aggregator, end users and marketplace. Their way of cutting gold is by affiliations and partnerships, revenue sharing, advertisements and subscription.
Platform owner needs to formulates their SOA strategy to open-up platform using Web API analogous to Web Services. Also needs to create environment for platform adaptation and creation of ecosystem around platform for easy entry. In all this most challenging aspect of this offering is to address heterogeneous users and developers.
Marketing strategy is highly important to give you edge in this PAAS game.
- Expand footprint of platform
- Drive traffic
- Innovation (Feature development)
- Support new business model
- Content acquisition (user-generated)
Designing the Web API(Web service) is an art and critical to success. These API needs to support heterogeneous technologies and best way to adopt is is going for open standards like XML/SOAP. Platform API should be architected with homogeneous and conceptual coherence like WS/REST. Also these must follow underlying domain semantics and should be easy to learn.
API need to have right granularity to offer comprehensive tools for app building. Mesh-up apps wants to control noun object and composite apps want access for verb actions. Fine grained API address coverage for noun object (Domain Objects) like Order/Customer etc as well as verb objects through coarse grained APIs.
After hammering API next come technology choices.
- Transport Protocol – SOAP vs REST
- Service Standards – WS *
- Data Structure Exchange – XML/JSON
- Standard – OASIS/W3C
How to solve evolving standard problems? Answer lies in Model Driven Development approach.
Sachin V. Rathi talked about Microsoft’s offering toward cloud computing. Personally, I don’t use any MS offerings except my 6 year old XP and a XP marked key chain from Microsoft 2001 seminar. Anyways, I must admit that Microsoft has transformed all its products towards cloud computing in applaud-able manner.
MS Azure Services are very comprehensive stack for cloud transformation. Some of the notes from presentation about it.
Sachin also presented few case studies of their recent work in cloud computing services. What was interesting for me their approach toward case studies. All of them presented in following fashion.
Build > Run > Consume > Monetize
Few of Cloud services build on Azure are:
- PhotoSynth: A cloud based 3D image processing application to recognize and synthesize picture of same object/location.
- Eve Online: A cloud based multilayered networking platform where server maintains the state of game for each player and notify intelligent client about state change of other players.
- eBooks – British Library: A cloud based eBook library which allows user to view and read British library book with windows 7 gesture technology.
Liked two of his suggestions for enterprise and architects:
- Enterprise needs to have clear emphasis on Web 2.0 to retain knowledge bank of their employee and let the intellectual juice flow through out organization.
- Devices are becoming powerful and enterprise needs to find innovative usage to use these in enterprise. Just like radio frequency emitter tag called RFID has found place in shipment and others services.
In another session, Ramkumar Kothandraman, from Microsoft, has talked about MS emphasis on interoperability since they received mail from Mr. Gate four years back. But their claim of interoperability has always seen with skepticism. Surely, Interop must be true for their own products but how well they operate with others has raised question marks in past. Mr Ramkumar claimed that they has a Vendor Partner Alliance to work on integration with many partners, open source and even competitor products but past experience has proved that their integration approach is to hamper the integrated product capability to the extend that the real essence of that product is lost and you land up replacing it with offerings. Their JVM version is a great example of it.