Apprenda Express: Expressway to get there

By Subraya Mallya - June 2010 | Topics - Cloud Computing

Apprenda, the leading hybrid cloud Platform-as-a-Service for building .NET based  applications, announced the release of their free community edition Apprenda Express yesterday. I think this is the first of its kind where a company is releasing a complete SaaS platform that ISVs can download and start building their SaaS application.

In my discussion with Sinclair Schuller, the CEO of Apprenda, a couple of weeks ago, it became clear that they were going to do everything at their end to move the needle in terms of getting increased SaaS adoption. He strongly felt that this would encourage the ISV community looking to build SaaS applications to take the plunge. I think it is a great strategy accelerate the adoption of this platform and validate their offering.

SaaSGrid - .NET SaaS Platform
Apprenda over the last year has continuously demonstrated their agility in making the necessary course corrections to their strategy inline with the evolution of the nascent Cloud Computing world.They started out as a pure-play SaaS Platform-as-a-Service for .NET applications. They then went on to add robust multi-tenancy capability, usage tracking and billing to the core platform. ISVs could then just focus on their core competency – i.e., building their product and serving their customers. To accommodate the varying needs across ISVs they expanded the delivery to model to include a platform-to-go. In doing so they have essentially made their platform agnostic to the underlying Infrastructure provider and affording their clients the ability to switch infrastructure providers (Amazon EC2, Rackspace or even Azure) without having to change their code. And for those that are not yet ready or have constraints using Public Cloud, they could take the same platform and build a SaaS application run it in their Private Cloud until such time.

The goal behind releasing Apprenda Express, as Schuller tells me, is to allow small companies start building their product, do private betas and start generating revenue with no overhead of platform licensing costs. And then when they think they are ready to support a large customer base they can transition to the flagship Apprenda platform.

One of the big challenges with Platform-as-a-Service offerings has been the lack of easy migration path for the existing applications to Cloud without rewriting a significant chunk of it. Vendors like Apprenda seem to have recognized the issue, and the consequential resistance to adoption, and are fast bridging that gap with capabilities around multi-tenancy conversion, in-built usage tracking, infrastructure vendor neutrality and providing them with ability to deploy existing on-premise in cloud.

What next?

While Apprenda has been primarily focused on ISVs in their messaging and focus, I think the whole legacy applications owned by IT organizations presents a large opportunity in the non-COTS applications world. Application Platform on the .NET side has been the sole domain of Microsoft until now. But as Microsoft continues to struggle to get meaningful traction on its Azure strategy, Apprenda would do well to take a leaf out of the books of the open source vendors like SpringSource and JBoss and build an engaging community around the platform. Starting with this community edition product announcement foster an ecosystem that will accelerate, evangelize and add to the footprint of the platform.

Download Apprenda Express on the Apprenda site.

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: