Software as a Service: What You Need to Know

Ibrahim El Far, Microsoft Corporation

Many familiar products, including email, instant messaging, search, and e-commerce sites, are actually implemented as services rather than PC-installed software. The shift to services now extends to everything from office productivity tools to utilities like storage, authentication, manageability, and application hosting. Engineers who want to build highly available services with a positive user experience face unique design, testing, and operational challenges. Ibrahim El Far and Venkat Narayanan discuss aspects of configurability, including the ability to turn off features quickly or redirect traffic that minimizes the impact of defects on the user experience. They discuss the importance of fault testing and explain why testing a service must happen everywhere from the workstation to the live site. Learn best practices in operations, including automated deployment, monitoring services, and service repairs. Discover how managers must rethink design and testing, how the reliability of scale changes defect prioritization, and what to watch for during capacity planning.

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