In my recent post, MYOB Heads for the Clouds, I talk about remote hosting versus remote platforms.
A tedious distinction perhaps, but one that is of consequence.
In the context of MYOB’s cloud solution, a remote platform means a network of computers in some anonymous location accompanied by an extra layer of software that enables other people or other computers to interact. (And you thought that interaction was all about using deodorant and lots of eye contact.)
With MYOB’s cloud solution, the idea is you’re going to run this little app from your desktop to access the remote platform. Your data is going to live up in the cloud (on that platform) and when you work with your data, most of the processing grunt is going to take place up in the cloud, but some of the processing (caching of lists, screen redraws and so on) is going to happen on your local computer.
This remote platform is designed so that other people or computers can access your data too. How that person or computer views your data depends on what they’re up to: A bank may access your data to upload bank feeds; a mobile phone app may access your data so you can record sales while on the move; your accountant could access your data, using their own software as the interface, to do their end-of-year shenanigans.
In contrast to this remote platform concept, a simple remote hosting arrangement typically uses Terminal Server. Your data lives in the cloud ready for you or others to access, and everybody views this data in the same way. For example, with QuickBooks Hosted (which uses a remote hosting arrangement) whether you log onto your QuickBooks file or your accountant does, you both see the same thing.
With remote hosting, there typically isn’t that flexibility for devices such as iPhones or tablets to access and manipulate the data, or for banks to upload daily automated bank feeds. In short, there isn’t that same touchy-feely connectedness with the outside world.
Clear as mud? Have sympathy for me trying to convert this unholy technobabble into something that remotely sounds like English. If you think you can clarify anything that I’ve written here, please go right ahead (or is it write ahead?) and add your comments.