It’s really important that we move beyond the back-end and out to the user experience and realize that the broader vision of “software as service” requires a reset in how we create and deliver desktop software over the Internet.
The original idea of “software as service” emerged before the current hype around web services. It was the notion that applications would run in the network. That the user interface could be downloaded and used on the fly on any Internet-connected device (most likely a PC), and that substantial portions of the application — in particular those that were focused on logic and data — could be exposed and used by other applications easily.
I love the idea of being able to use a high-quality, desktop-like, media-rich software application over the Internet — to have a means to have that application cached on my local computer; to work offline; to synchronize new versions when needed, and the ability to easily consume and integrate logic and data in other applications on the network.