I encounter this problem all the time, but I am doing a fresh round of thinking trying to help my mom and brother with their Internet Operations for their small businesses.
When my brother and I were talking about his web site needs, I said…
What do you want your web site to do?
He said company info, blog, calendar, and kept going from there.
To me that is more than just a web site. It morphs into business operations, office tools, web site, marketing, and on….
Then I started thinking, how could I get him some tools to get his job done?
There are so many cool tools out there, why build from scratch. WordPress, Google Calendar, etc. So if I launch wordpress as the platform I have to customize it to add the other parts.
Why can’t all these web applications or software as a service offer standardized interfaces and tool sets for integration with other applications. This is just one example, but I would like to setup a Google Apps for your Domain. Point his domain to it.
Bam…he has Email, Calendaring and Document Sharing…..and we can setup a Wiki using Google Sites to document our strategy. Off to good start. Now next I want to setup WordPress and give it a pretty look and feel so he can blog and have a site. Done….
Now he has to log on to his Google Account to manage some…then over to a WordPress admin for the blog and site.
Then I setup a LinkedIn and Facebook profile for his business, now he has two other locations to go to…and maintain.
I would like to easily just add WordPress admin to the IGoogle interface, same with Facebook and LinkedIn. Same with any other SaaS I sign them up for…and aggregate all the administrative tools through a single IGoogle interface.
Now this is just one example. If all SaaS providers had a standardized OpenSocial interface for their application that offered widget and full application view of their service, this would be a good start on SaaS Interoperability.
So could OpenSocial be the standard to follow for Software as a Service (SaaS) interroperability in the cloud?