What is SaaS?
Software as a service (Saas) is an application delivery model where vendors develop applications and hosts and operates the application for use by its customers over the internet. SaaS vendors typically utilize a "multi-tenant architecture", meaning that multiple customers are running the same software, but with a virtually separate data. SaaS was originally considered a potential security and operational risk. Many businesses wish to keep their information technology operations under internal control. However, there is a counter-argument that the professionals operating SaaS applications may have much better security and redundancy tools available to them, and therefore the level of service may be superior in many cases.
Example: Google Apps, a classic example, where they made their gmail services as a hosted service for companies to utilize, without the burden of setting up their own environment.
There is clear hint from BizTalk Server Team message, the service won't be free:
"Also, given the early stage, these services are available for free which may change down the road".
Initial release of BizTalk Internet Services include (as of 24th April 2007):
- Message routing – firewall friendly B2B messaging (Available now)
- Simple publish/subscribe event brokering – Pub/Sub at Internet scale (Coming soon)
- Simple federated identity and access control (Available now)
- Workflow processes – Simple templates for cross-organization integration and the orchestration of business processes interacting with multiple services (Coming soon)
When I tried to access http://labs.biztalk.net/, it asked for User Name and Password. As of now I don't know how you can participate in the program, even though the message from BizTalk Server team clearly states
"We are inviting developers from all over the world to use the services and provide feedback. Our vision for services, much like our vision for software, is to radically improve the productivity of developers as they build next generation applications."
I'll update this post, once I get the answer.
UPDATE #1 (23rd Arpil 2007):
1. There is an article in eWeek (April 23, 2007) explaining more about this.
2. Developers who want to get hold of this service now, there is an excellent post by Dennis, explaining step by step, procedure you can follow to kick start.
3. You can download the SDK for Relay and Identity service.
Thanks Bernabe for pointing the link.
UPDATE #2 (25th April 2007):
1. More about BizTalk Services in eWeek (not the same article mentioned earlier)
Thanks Richard for pointing the links.
Update #3 (27th April 2007):
Steve Forte explain how BizTalk services will help his company Corzen outsource its spidering needs