Kin Lane

Interroperability at the Software as a Service (SaaS) Layer

I encounter this problem all the time, but I am doing a fresh round of thinking trying to help my mom and brother with their Internet Operations for their small businesses.

When my brother and I were talking about his web site needs, I said...

What do you want your web site to do?

He said company info, blog, calendar, and kept going from there.

To me that is more than just a web site. It morphs into business operations, office tools, web site, marketing, and on....

Then I started thinking, how could I get him some tools to get his job done?

There are so many cool tools out there, why build from scratch. Wordpress, Google Calendar, etc. So if I launch wordpress as the platform I have to customize it to add the other parts.

Why can't all these web applications or software as a service offer standardized interfaces and tool sets for integration with other applications. This is just one example, but I would like to setup a Google Apps for your Domain. Point his domain to it.

Bam...he has Email, Calendaring and Document Sharing.....and we can setup a Wiki using Google Sites to document our strategy. Off to good start. Now next I want to setup Wordpress and give it a pretty look and feel so he can blog and have a site. Done....

Now he has to log on to his Google Account to manage some...then over to a WordPress admin for the blog and site.

Then I setup a LinkedIn and Facebook profile for his business, now he has two other locations to go to...and maintain.

I would like to easily just add WordPress admin to the IGoogle interface, same with Facebook and LinkedIn. Same with any other SaaS I sign them up for...and aggregate all the administrative tools through a single IGoogle interface.

Now this is just one example. If all SaaS providers had a standardized OpenSocial interface for their application that offered widget and full application view of their service, this would be a good start on SaaS Interoperability.

So could OpenSocial be the standard to follow for Software as a Service (SaaS) interroperability in the cloud?