DECISION MATRIX FOR SELECTING AN
APPLICATION PLATFORM AS A SERVICE
(APAAS) - NOVEMBER 2013
This deck provides an overview of our experience in
terms of short listing an Application Platform as a
Service (aPaaS) Vendor.
- An overview of the aPaaS market
- Our key criteria when evaluating aPaaS
- Scoring of representative vendors (Mendix,
Outsystems, Progress Pacific, Force.com,
- Key differences of the vendor offerings
This is a guideline only, a full requirements analysis should be
undertaken to assess a fit for your organisation.
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Rather than just viewing product marketing material and brochures, we have
either attended training or implemented solutions of the vendors contained in
Our key clients are:
- Consulting firms where we implement solutions on their behalf
(Deloitte and Barnstone)
- Large Corporates with SAP ERP Backend*
- High growth medium enterprises that are looking for smart alternatives to
traditional software application development
- Software vendors looking to develop or extend SaaS solutions
*We have worked specifically integrating to SAP ECC 6.0 systems (which
is the largest ERP solution provider in our geography)
Gartner suggests that 80% of corporate IT budgets aren’t directly contributing
to business growth or enhancing your competitive advantage1. The locus of IT
control has shifted to Line of Business (LoB) where applications -where
solving a business need are easily “rented”. The perception of corporate IT
departments are brittle and overly governed.
aPaaS solutions have emerged to:
- Reduce Operating Expenseson infrastructure through automating DevOps
- Speed time to value –through shipping IT solutions faster across more
device and organisational barriers
- Ensure robust change and allowing for iterative and easy application
changes–including deployment and rollback capabilities
- Providing simpler integration and API managementfor core
- Empower business engineersto design and deploy application solutions
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BLURRED PAAS LINES
Software as a
App Services Paas Paas
aPaaS speeds up time to value through:
- Abstracting lower level infrastructure from development team
- Providing “codeless” development environments were applications are
modelled rather than hand coded.
- “Baking in” the project management tooling and feedback –typically
following agile methodologies
- Automagically deploying, scaling and healing applications –key feature is
allow changes to easily be applied to existing applications.
- Creating responsive applications based on same application design e.g.
creating mobile apps
- Simplifying integration to 3rd party systems
- Providing a library of pre-built componentsand providing a commercial
marketplace for apps.
Key feature of aPaaS
Standard Processes Unique Processes
KEY ARCHITECTURAL COMPONENTS
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APAAS SWEET SPOT
Developer IDE Requirements
App Stores Deployment Integration
Runtime Security API
Virtualisation Private / Public
3rd Party App
TECHNOLOGY COMPONENTS ECO-SYSTEM
KEY CRITERIA USED
Pricing models vary between
vendors. Does vendor provide
substantive ROI or support a
managed application delivery (ISV
context) is the critical when
selecting an aPaaS.
Considerations include UX
flexibility, deployment options,
developer engagement, Integration,
Monitoring and Developer
Understanding vendor vision and
ensuring that their focus aligns
with your specific business
application needs. Enterprise and
ISVs would typically select different
aPaaS by definition allows quick
delivery of enterprise applications
-it is important to consider the
required devskills to run the
platforms that are available.
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Outsystems’ application delivery platform produces “change-ready”
applications, solving the biggest problem facing IT today -the inability to
innovate caused by the overwhelming change request and
- Solid platform, with presence in Europe, Americas, APAC and Africa.
- Integrated requirements tooling and methodology across SDLC.
- Detailed partner offering and significant presence in Portuguese speaking
countries (Brasil, Portugal etc).
- Code generation for both .NET and J2EE -allows detachment.
- Strong developer training and quick start program, free online training and
- Offers integration tooling for integrating with ERP, CRM and ECM.
- Pricing requires upfront commitment and considers two vectors: number of
users (in bands) and software units (also called function points). Requires
developers to be cognisant of app size.
- Solution is geared as a core enterprise IT play and while multi-tenancy is
possible, would not be first choice for ISVs.
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The App platform for the enterprise –provides a flexible framework for delivery
applications to enterprise customers in days. Provides ability to extend and
integrate with existing enterprise applications.
- Solid platform, with good presence in Europe & US -and growing fast esp. in
- Fully integrated social collaboration tools for stakeholders.
- Integrated agile methodology baked into solution.
- Strong partner offering, with a number of partners and conferences -
CapGemini is a strong supporter.
- Active application marketplace for 3rd party tools.
- Offers ERP integration toolset for integrating with ERP solutions.
- Pricing - opaque with listing pricing not available.
- Proprietary code that is licensed (locked in) i.e. proprietary platform.
- Does not support the ISV context fully. Although does provide ability to
market solutions via App marketplace.
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Recently acquired by Progress software. Rollbases’ cloud Platform for
Business provides ability to build custom business applications fast with a
minimal amount of coding. Based on an open source stack, which can be run
on premise or hosted.
- Open source stack that can be run in private cloud context.
- Core applications available, with Force.com app migration possible.
- Pricing starts from $19/user per month with ISV cost scaling available.
- Sophisticated functionality with full “white labelling” possible –see
- Integration with aligned Progress components like DataDirectCloud.
- Limited partner choice.
- Limited brand awareness to date –but with Progress acquisition
- Browser based IDE, requires additional integration product for
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SalesForces’ application platform that was initially used to extend CRM
platform, but has transitioned to a utility platform. It is a leading cloud
platform for social and mobile enterprise apps. The release of latest version
Salesforce1 includes foundational services such as identity management.
- Most advance cloud Architecture, with sophisticated tooling.
- Provides a embedded social networking (chatter) for improving
communication between users working on the installed applications.
- Core CRM solution provides foundation for customer facing applications.
- Excellent partner structure -commodity resourcing to assist with
- Offers integration toolset for integrating with ERP solutions(certified with
- Pricing – customers will quickly outgrow the OneApppricing
- Proprietary code – APEX, VisualForcepages. Lock-in.
- Does not allow ISV other than providing of 3rd party apps via the
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SAP’s ByDesign development tooling allows organisations to extend objects
based on SAP proprietary framework. SAP are planning to release a HANA
based PaaS during 2014.
- Robust, Cloud based solution with significant tooling to extend SAP
- Underlying technology allows integration with other on premise SAP
instances – well suited for subsidiaries.
- Offers integration toolset for integrating with ERP solutions (certified with
- SAP recently announced that it would be migrating technology to
- Complex technology to implement requiring skilled developers to make
changes – not likely that business users would attempt.
- Silverlight technology used in solution – HTML5 / SAP UI5 planned.
- Only relevant for extending existing SAP installation – standalone
development not feasible.
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ISV Cordys (Open Text)
We provide innovative IT solutions to
business challenges. The new
economy demands faster, more agile
capabilities, whilst ensuring that
every rand spent has a return on its
For more information about what we
do please contact us via any of the
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