Category Archives: Web Development Philosophy

Understanding the Cloud – Saas, Paas and IaaS

“The Cloud” is encouraging a whole slew of new acronyms, including ones with such obscure names as SaaS, PaaS and even “IaaS”. As a small to medium business owner (yes, you’re an acronym too: “SMB”), you and your staff will most likely only have direct experience with SaaS – the applications that deliver software like Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Here’s an example of the three layers and how they work together.

SaaS (Software as a Service) – You and your employees use it as off-the-shelf application software. You may decide to use SalesForce to manage your customer database. The SalesForce software is hosted on the cloud, rather than individual hard drives on your office computers, or on the network server in your office. In order to use SalesForce, you download apps that connect with the cloud version, so you’re using SaaS.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) – You hire a software developer who uses this to create custom software. (As a small business owner, you won’t have to know the technical details about PaaS or IaaS, but we’ll give you an overview just for fun.)

Now, let’s say you decide that the off-the-shelf version of SalesForce still requires too many hours of manual data manipulation.

For example, you’re paying overtime in the accounting and sales departments because they need to use different spreadsheets every month to sort and extract data that’s specific to your company.

SalesForce also sells access to bare-bones software platform versions ( and others) — PaaS — on which you can develop, build and host your own version of SalesForce, customized to your individual business needs.

That’s the point where you hire a custom software developer. The custom software development team codes the custom software on the PaaS — uses it as a testing and developing platform — and saves the time it would have taken to set up the development environment on a separate server.

There are many other PaaS providers besides And there’s fierce competition among providers to give developers more choices of languages, frameworks and platforms as PaaS evolves, especially in the Open Source community, according to Wazi, the most current news source for Open Source development.

Honestly, the further you go into learning about PaaS and IaaS, the geekier it gets. We touch lightly upon IaaS in another blog post. But trust me — your time and energy will be better spent running your business than trying to figure out the differences between PaaS and IaaS. Their functions often overlap and  they’re moving targets — evolving even as you read this.  The developers who use them don’t even agree on their definitions.

You’re better off finding a software development team that writes brilliant code, will handle the PaaS and IaaS for you, and can communicate with you so you get the software you want — really!

Software Project Budgets

Let’s talk about your software project’s budget. Boomcycle has built software for clients for as low as $10K and as much as half a million dollars. What does that say? Not much, since each mobile, database or web application project is somewhat unique. Some potential clients with whom we speak want us to tell them…Continue Reading

Software Project Management – Techniques and Benefits

Sometimes a complex software project requires the rapid addition of team members. A company might need to build new software to attack a business opportunity or rescue a department from dangerous information overload. Other times a discontinued technology may force a mandatory upgrade (or cross-grade) that will strangle revenue during some unavoidable migration. Whether it’s…Continue Reading

Getting Web Apps Right The First Time

Communications is everything when you’re building custom web applications for a client. The client has a vision for their application that they must communicate to the development team. Through conversations, Q&A and research, the developers form a vision they believe came from the client. Unfortunately sometimes, two different visions can result from this process. So…Continue Reading

Boomcycle is a San Ramon, California technology consulting and custom software solutions provider. We enjoy stable, long-term relationships with dozens of highly-skilled and experienced technology business experts, software engineers, project managers, web designers and software architects throughout the United States.

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