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“Software as a service” is dangerous folly
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Old 4th June 2019, 08:18   #1
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Default “Software as a service” is dangerous folly

Open Source expert warns

Open Sorcerer Eric Raymond has warned that SalesForce’s ban on its customers selling “military-style rifles” is an example of the flaws of Software as a Service.

Writing in his blog, Raymond argues that the only reason that the ban has teeth is that Salesforce the company provides “software as a service”.

“If the provider decides it doesn’t want your business, you probably have no real recourse. OK, you could sue for tortious interference in business relationships, but that’s chancy and anyway you didn’t want to be in a lawsuit, you wanted to conduct your business”, he wrote.

Raymond said that “software as a service” is dangerous folly and worse than proprietary software at saddling you with strategic business risk.

As a true open sourcer, he claimed that if you want to keep control of your business the software you rely on needs to be open source. Users can’t afford it to be tethered to a service provider even if the software itself is nominally open source.

Even if you think it is a bad thing to equip white racist terrorists and disaffected school kids with the weapons of mass execution, it is also possible that a political (or religious) fanatic is going to decide your product is unclean and chop you off at the knees.

Raymond said that business leaders should learn to fear every piece of proprietary software and “service” as the dangerous addictions they are. If Salesforce arrogant diktat teaches that lesson, it will have been a service indeed.

There is one slight problem, which was pointed out by a reader of Raymond’s blog – there is no effective open sauce equivalent for Salesforce software. It is a similar issue to that of Adobe software where open sourcers believe that GIMP is an effective replacement for Photoshop.
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