The age-old dilemma of form versus function is often settled by budget. When it comes to building Web applications, most enterprises will fret about making sure its software is functional and up to spec quite a bit more than it will about the user experience. In the .NET world, Silverlight can add a very rich experience to an application’s front end.
But reconciling a Silverlight front end with a multi-tenant, on-demand back end can add a good deal of work into building a SaaS offering. Users most commonly experience Silverlight as a single-tenant, client-side instance. A good amount of configuration goes into having apps built on this framework play well with scalable cloud environments.
Looking to remove some of that complexity, Apprenda Inc. of Albany, NY has just released a Silverlight API for its SaaS-enabling application server, SaaSGrid.
The company’s application server offers .NET shops and ISVs a way to host on-demand applications in an way that takes much of the hand coding out of scaling and configuring applications in a multi-tenant environment. The new API will let developers use Silverlight as a front end for hosted SaaS applications.
“Typically speaking, if its a SaaS offering, its going to be storing and working with a big back end,” said Sinclair Schuller, CEO, Apprenda. “The difficulty becomes, how do you link that front end tenant to the back end cloud system?”
Schuller, said frameworks like Silverlight and Flash are now helping bring the quality user experience of desktop applications to those hosted on the Web.
Moving forward, Schuller said Apprenda would continue to focus research and development on interoperability with different stacks. He said he would like to one day support Java and is not worried about HTML5 stealing Silverlight’s thunder.