New job, new tools

After six years as a corporate product developer and architect, I have gone back to my roots as a consultant. During my year at Handmark and my five years at Radiant Systems, I've met some great people and grown quite a bit. However, I missed the opportunity to serve different clients and use a variety of tools.

I have joined SSG, the company for which I have been working part time for the past three months. While that side project is nearly complete, they need some architectural help on a much larger software-as-a-service project. So I am researching SaaS and the Microsoft server stack designed for this kind of project.

On the SaaS front, I found this excelent overview: Architecture Strategies for Catching the Long Tail. This article actually has little to do with the long tail, other than that long-tail services depend upon outsourcing to be viable. The article describes a maturity model for SaaS, and guides the reader to the best architectures for each of the four target levels. I can immediately see that Radiant's SaaS (Aloha Enterprise) was at level 2, and that it probably needs to migrate to a level 4. The article outlines at a high level how to get there, and what barriers you will have to overcome.

I still have to do some anaysis to determine what maturity level this new project should target. At first glance, it appears that level 3 will be appropriate. I'll have to learn more about their operations and expected growth to make a proper assessment.

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