Our Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors recession-proof?

Recessions give us the heebie-jeebies for all kinds of reasons. After all, the economy is shrinking. You get that unsettled feeling just reading this, right? It's normal and -- during a clinical way -- good to feel that way. If you didn't, we'd all be worried about you. Companies undergo expansions and contractions alongside the economy. Big companies could also be ready to weather the storm, while smaller companies may feel more pressure. However, there are not any good rules of thumb here. Just check out General Motors. This recession isn't your garden-variety downturn, either. it's revealed structural economic problems which will make even the most important companies look unstable. The instability we worry about affects SaaS companies even as very much like conventional operations. you would possibly think that SaaS vendors are going to be fine because they need a cool business model that keeps a gentle stream of money coming in. Well, many of them are going to be fine, but that does not mean we will assume that each one SaaS software company is going to be .

SaaS vendor research is crucial You need to try your homework if you're during a purchase cycle. Not only does one got to ask about company health, you furthermore may get to do a touch digging. a salesman might tell you about all of the company's customers, implying that with numerous revenue sources, the SaaS vendor is financially safe. But not so fast. It's true; SaaS companies have income from all their customers coming in monthly -- a minimum of in theory. And it's true that SaaS companies can run extra-lean. But these companies still have overhead -- payroll and every one of the opposite typical company expenses. They adjust their spending in order that it doesn't exceed their income. In a downturn, SaaS software's lower cost of ownership needs to make SaaS companies' services highly desirable. But a bit like the other company,

 a SaaS company has customers which will spend less during a downturn and maybe even lay off employees. one among the beauties of SaaS, for patrons, has always been the power to feature and drop users almost at will. Right now, customers could also be dropping more seats than they're adding. The companies' attrition rates speak volumes Many SaaS companies find that they fight a monthly battle against attrition even in good times. If you would like a measurement that tells you about the health of a SaaS company, it's hard to try to better than the rate of attrition. Other measures, like "months of committed cash on hand" (cash that customers have paid beforehand for future months) and "contract-user months in backlog" (total seats under contract for months into the future), are useful too. The rate of attrition and therefore the win rate tell you ways volatile the company's customer base is. A high win rate, including a high rate of attrition, suggests that the corporate is swimming stroke -- or it's a revolving door. A high win rate and a coffee rate of attrition tell you the corporate is growing. Growing companies tend to possess the cash to serve customers, make enhancements and usually wait out the downturn.

How does one find these numbers? you'll invite them. Public companies frequently share this information with investors, and it's available online. a fast search on the web or the EDGAR site published by the SEC can offer you official documents like quarterly 10-K forms that return years. Quarterly reports often discuss wins and total seat count. Some quick arithmetic will offer you the rate of attrition. If the corporate is private, you'll negotiate for information during the sales process. But don't stop there. A prosperous company issues momentum press releases that announce important new customers, seat count increases and therefore the like. Search for patterns in either case. a corporation with an equivalent seat count or customer count quarter after quarter isn't telling you something. an equivalent goes for a corporation that doesn't issue such information.

Finally, ask an analyst. No analyst follows all companies, but analysts are good third-party sources of data about the businesses and industries they cover. Often, their work is out there online freed from a charge or for modest fees, and it'll show up in a web search of the corporate . Just as an outgoing tide lowers all boats, a recession affects everyone, SaaS vendors included. All vendors need revenue streams, and while the SaaS model offers some protection against financial downturns, it's still knowing to do your homework to seek out the maximum amount as you'll a few vendor's viabilities before making a sale.
There are several ways to avoid overwhelming database. First, plan your data approach to attenuate trips to the database. So get the maximum amount of data as is required for the whole session, which may prevent subsequent calls to the database. Second, found out a caching mechanism between the database itself and therefore the middle tier

. The open-source product Memcached is usually wont to store frequently retrieved data; it's filled on the primary involve a given piece of knowledge, but subsequent calls pull the info from memcached's storage instead of calling all the way right down to the database. Third, consider more sophisticated database uses. you'll use replication technology to run multiple copies of a database and keep databases consistent. Finally, you'll minimize the use of electronic database technology and make a file-based data storage mechanism. This method is more complex in terms of knowledge schema planning and requires application-level concurrency control, but it can provide better data performance characteristics. But how does one do all this monitoring and management of instances? While every cloud provider offers how to look at individual system components and determine whether they're operational, providers' tools don't typically monitor load or provide the power to dynamically (i.e., without manual intervention) spawn new server instances to manage Web interaction or middle-tier functionality.

Asynchronous cloud applications The term asynchronous may additionally be thought of as batch, to conjure a term from the first days of computing. In other words, these applications don't support end-user interaction, but rather work on a group of data: an extract from a database, a group of files, and so on. execution doesn't necessarily experience fluctuations in demand, but it can experience transitory loads (such as once-a-month reporting or a onetime processing request). Software quality vendors roll out ALM, testing and quality productsSpring has ushered during a spate of latest product announcements targeted at quality assurance (QA) professionals and software testers. So while a system designer needn't plan for the end-user deluge, he may have to style a system which will sustain occasional large loads. Cloud computing offers a beautiful system design feature: scalability of resources. A batch job that may have taken days or weeks when assigned to one system within a knowledge center is often processed during a much shorter time-frame during a cloud environment, where multiple machines are often mentioned to share the processing load. Agile ALM products

Rally Software Development Corp. announced release 2009.1 of its Agile ALM (application lifecycle management) solution for project and program management. The remake both adds and updates customizable reporting options and increases the number of free integrations with development tools from Microsoft and Atlassian. The general rule is to separate functionality into processing components which will be linked by asynchronous communication mechanisms. the foremost common sort of communication mechanism is that the message queue; fortunately, all major cloud providers offer a secure, persistent queue mechanism for inter-component communication. Queues enable the output of 1 component to be made available to a subsequent component. If a subsequent component within the chain isn't able to combat the work thanks to load, the work item sits within the queue safely, expecting subsequent component to read the work item and perform its task. New reporting features include customizable release charts and iteration charts;

enhanced velocity chart for more insight into past iteration velocity; enhanced burndown chart to right away see the impact of project changes, and an AgileEVM Mashup that displays Agile Earned Value Management metrics. In addition, Rally is offering connectors to Microsoft Visual Studio and Jira.cloud technology companies Other enhancements include recycle bin functionality that permits users to revive data like tasks and test cases after they need to be been deleted, and a screen capture tool for annotation. According to a survey on agile development conducted by SearchSoftwareQuality.com last spring, 45% of respondents cited project management and tracking tools as essential to successful agile development. In addition, Evans Data's North American Development Survey, released in December, found that while debugging tools are still ranked as most vital, source control management tools and ALM products are almost as highly valued. According to Ryan Martens, Rally's founder and chief technology officer (CTO), Rally's project and program management tools provide "support for the whole lifecycle through the rich defect, test and test planning artifacts that mash-up and integrate with other existing tools."

Rally Community Edition is free for up to 10 users, and Rally Enterprise Edition starts at $35 per user per month. Testing and validation products For testing and validation of applications that leverage service-oriented architecture (SOA) or business process management (BPM), integration suites and enterprise service buses (ESBs), iTKO Inc. unrolled version 4.6 of its LISA product suite. Enhancements include faster and more accurate creation of virtual test environments and therefore the ability to virtualize a broader array of IT resources; enhanced UI testing support for brand spanking new rich Internet application (RIA) and Web 2.0 application delivery models; and increased governance and policy validation support for distributed composite applications, including SOA, BPM, cloud computing et al. . According to the Evans Data survey, two-thirds of North American developers are exploring SOA options for projects, and 37% have a minimum of some SOA components deployed. And consistent with IDC, worldwide IT spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $42 billion, by 2012.

"As we see cloud computing increasingly leveraged as a delivery option for more enterprise-class services, the necessity for ready validation and governance of those environments also increases," said iTKO founder and chief scientist John Michelsen. "By virtualizing services with LISA 4.6 in cloud-based test environments, companies can have unconstrained access to the systems they have throughout the event lifecycle, avoiding costs and dependency.information technology colleges
 Having a virtual service environment available within the cloud enables the agility and quality expected by the enterprise while taking advantage of the pliability and low cost-of-entry and cost-of-exit of cloud computing." More than one-third of North American developers have currently involved virtualization projects, and 51% expect to be within the subsequent twelve months, consistent with Evans Data.

 IT research firm the Butler Group recently conducted a technology audit of LISA. LISA's strengths, consistent with that audit, include the power to check across multiple technology layers throughout the appliance infrastructure, continuous policy validation capabilities when deployed in conjunction with SOA governance solutions, and repair virtualization capabilities for simulation and testing during a virtual environment. If you are taking SOA seriously you would like to believe a testing strategy," said Rob Hailstone, software infrastructure practice director at Butler and co-author of the audit report. information technology consulting
 LISA is "obviously a reasonably high-end product, and could be overkill for somebody within the early stages, except for a more serious SOA effort more likely it's appropriate." Quality and security products Targeting software code quality and security are vendors Klocwork Inc. and Fortify Software Inc. Klocwork, a provider of ASCII text file analysis (SCA) solutions based in Burlington, Mass., introduced Klocwork Solo. Designed for individual Java developers, Klocwork Solo provides static SCA to spot bugs and security vulnerabilities. It includes the power to know code being developed for the Android mobile platform