Cloud Computing Will Change the Direction of Software Development

The thing about customized business software solution is that you can charge for things like documentation and generic modules such as login, import export functions, synchronizers, reporting and etc at premium price; for the service.

On the contrary, off-the-shelve software or solutions usually will have to settle by providing such for free or complementary. You haven't seen Microsoft charging for user guides right ?

And the hard fact is that generic modules are being developed all over and over again, literally for every customized software projects; I mean literally.

The main issue is money and survivability.

If you had an idea on some kind of software product, you may want to get yourself ready to face the reality that nobody want to use your product. As the matter of fact, big companies actually scrapped many software projects, same goes to musicians who have to accept the reality that certain songs are never recorded and sold.

Well, this is the hard reality of life and the intellectual property industry.

Thus, there are market for customized software solutions because there is still a lot demand for it out there all over the places, which ranges from multi-million to multi-hundreds. And let's not forget that in-house systems are all part of customized software solutions.

People especially CIOs and IT managers are always waiting for the drag-and-drop software tools where you can do away programmers and just architect your solutions using your imagination, as the matter of fact, such tools are actually available in the market, the only problem is that the vendor will not sell it for RM 1,000.

So end users must still rely on independent software vendors (ISV) to cater for their customized needs.

The concept of cloud computing is about virtualization.

Virtualization will give rise to scalability.

Scalability will give rise to plug and play.

Plug and play gives rise to on-demand.

What this implies is that some people will create some software platforms or frameworks which will be hosted on cloud computing platform where software developers can actually plug and play software modules for their projects; especially generic software modules.

When such is available, customize software projects will have to move into a different dimension.

A time will come when the cloud computing community will be the sole competitor to big business software solution such as SAP.

One good example of this is Windows Azure 'AppFabric' service bus component, which is essentially a middle-ware platform.

Check out one presentation on usage of 'AppFabric' service for building a distributed architecture.

'AppFabric' service bus component is responsible to provide communication and authentication services. In other words, service bus is a cloud version of Remoting and WCF (Windows Communication Foundation), except that now it is optimized for the cloud.

So now you can make use of 'AppFabric' service bus to build higher level functionality as middle-ware platform to serve generic software modules and then you can sell is as software-as-a-service.

The big issue is money, chicken and egg. Who is going to invest money first ?

Perhaps something which Malaysia can look into ? Building a cloud computing hub for APAC ?