Cloud-first basically is a business strategy for assessing IT investments. It simply means that for every new feature to be added to an existing or new application, it is first evaluated if it is possible to develop the feature as a web or mobile solution. Only if this is impossible, the feature is added to the desktop application.
Existing desktop applications in turn are evaluated regarding if and how they can be moved to the cloud for avoiding the increasingly complex IT infrastructure setup and maintenance.
Since Alaska Software is all about protecting investments into existing source code, we want to make it clear that cloud-first does not mean that we are abandoning the desktop or server. Instead, we are working on technologies for supplementing your existing desktop applications with cloud technologies, and for being able to deliver your UI experience over the internet.
Our vision from a development tool perspective is that any Xbase++, Clipper or Visual FoxPro developer should be able to publish an Xbase++ application to the cloud simply with a push of a button, and that customers can use this new application either via the web browser, a mobile device or via a public API. Additional application features, such as error and performance monitoring or log analysis, should be accessible at a central location. In fact, any Xbase++, Clipper or Visual FoxPro developer should be able to adapt the SaaS or BaaS business model with a minimum effort and this way create new streams of revenue based on existing knowledge and source code.
The benefits of a cloud-first strategy from a business perspective are:
From a developer's perspective as well as a deployment-oriented view, the benefits are the following:
*) Typically achieved via a hybrid cloud approach, meaning all your sensitive data/application logic still is/runs in-house/on-site while other parts run in the cloud.
Of course, this is no perfect world. Consequently, cloud-first also implies some of risks. Risks which fortunately can be resolved or avoided. The risks are:
To give you an idea about the different types and areas of application scenarios in the context of a cloud-first strategy, we have listet a couple of existing or fictitious applications. All of them have in common that either some or all components of the application are deployed in the cloud (public/private/hybrid) and perform some type of real-time data exchange via the internet. The latter topic is important, because where in the past batch-oriented data exchange was sufficient, today's applications require real-time data correctness.
For example, in the past it was acceptable that stock information was exchanged with the online shop via batch jobs running each hour. Today, however, users expect correct availability information which they can rely on. Therefore, an online shop needs to have access to the stock situation in real-time without any delay. The same is true for the accounting information and cash register data of the different stores in a chain.
Why wait? Try out Xbase++ internet technologies today. You have full technical support during this period.Free Xbase++ trial