Part 3: Cloud, PaaS and the Rise of the Visual Developers


This is part 3 of my post in the PaaS Series. My earlier posts in this series are :

Cloud Computing, more specifically Platform as a Service (PaaS) is changing the business app developer demographic forever. Or should I say that, PaaS is reviving or giving a new lease of life for productivity focused business developers. The kind that existed during the Client-Server paradigm empowered by Power Builder, Developer 2000, Visual Basic and the likes. Pardon me for using a poor - Jurasic metaphor! A great meteor in the name of "web development" hit software industry and nearly wiped out those folks. That changed the cost of developing software within the enterprises multi-fold.

Rewind, 15 years ago. Visual Developers were a boon for CIOs, VP and IT Managers in large enterprises. They understood the business and produced software quickly meeting the needs of the enterprise. Loosing them was a big handicap for the IT department. My hunch says that is one of the large contributors for the IT department gradually loosing its innovation and eventually gave into outsourcing.The good news is PaaS back and reviving the hope of Visual Developers. When I say PaaS, I am not referring to the Azure, Heroku, EngineYard, App Engine types. I am referring to the Visual PaaS platforms like OrangeScape , and the likes (Check out this post on PaaS Competitive LandScape). Not only Visual Developers are being revived, they are back with a bang, with booster shot from cloud >paas >visual paas.

So what are the components of the booster shot for "Rise of the Visual Developers"?

Changing Workforce Dynamics: We have 10 times more tech savvy workforce in enterprises when compared to what we had 15 years ago in the client - server paradigm. The new age workflow has a natural tendency to use and apply technology to automate personal tasks. This is extended for automate tasks at work too by building quick apps and workflows.

Simplified Development Tools: Browser based developed tools for building business applications greatly improve the availability and the as-a-service model improves the affordability.

Abstraction through Cloud Delivery Models: Cloud hides complexity to unprecedented levels through abstraction resulting in tremendous simplicity. Provisioning applications has become child's play with tools offering 'Single Click Deployment'. Not just that applications cost are on variable model and doesn't require approval of capital budgets.


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