Condos and Clouds: Patterns in SaaS Applications with Pat Helland

Over the last 100+ years, the way people design, build, and use buildings has evolved. It is now normal to construct a building without knowing in advance who will occupy it. In addition, we increasingly have shared occupancy of our homes (apartments and condos), retail, and office space. To accomplish this change, the way we use the buildings has evolved. There is a new trust relationship, customs, and laws that establish the relationship between the occupants and the building managers.

Recently, our industry has been moving to implement Cloud Computing and, in particular, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This has been very successful in some applications and very challenging in others. This talk posits that many of the challenges we've seen in cloud computing can be understood by looking at what has happened in buildings and their occupancy. Standardization, usage patterns, legal establishment of rights and responsibilities are all nascent in the area of cloud computing. We examine a very common pattern in the implementation of "software as a service" and propose ways in which this pattern may be better supported in a multi-tenant fashion.

 

BonusExtended, post-event Q&A with Pat Helland (questions answered offline).

Pat Helland

Pat Helland has been working in distributed systems, transaction processing, databases, and similar areas since 1978. For most of the 1980s, he was the chief architect of Tandem Computers' TMF (Transaction Monitoring Facility), which provided distributed transactions for the NonStop System. With the exception of a two-year stint at Amazon, Helland has worked at Microsoft Corporation since 1994 where he was the architect for Microsoft Transaction Server and SQL Service Broker. Until September, 2011, he was working on Cosmos, a distributed computation and storage system that provides back-end support for Bing. Pat recently relocated to San Francisco and joined Salesforce.com* to work on multi-tenanted data and lots of cloud stuff. (*This talk was written before Pat joined Salesforce.com and the architecture described is not identical to Salesforce's architecture.)