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Cloud Computing by James F. Ransome, John W. Rittinghouse

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213
Chapter 8
End-User Access to
Cloud Computing
8.1 Chapter Overview
Rishi Chandra, a product manager for Google Enterprise, outlined in an
interview
1
what he believes are key trends that will drive movement toward
cloud-based enterprise applications. Chandra cited consumer-driven inno-
vation, the rise of power collaborators (those who embrace and take collabo-
ration to very high levels), changing economics, and a lowering of barriers
to entry as the chief reasons why the cloud model is being so widely
adopted. Innovation behind the success of cloud services ultimately depends
on the acceptance of the offering by the user community. Acceptance of an
offering by users changes the economics considerably. As more users
embrace such innovation, economies of scale for a product allow imple-
menters to lower the costs, removing a barrier to entry and enabling even
more widespread adoption of the innovation.
In this chapter, we will present some of the applications that are prov-
ing beneficial to end users, enabling them to be “power collaborators.” We
will take a look at some of the most popular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
offerings for consumers and provide an overview of their benefits and
why, in our opinion, they are helping to evolve our common understand-
ing of what collaboration and mobility will ultimately mean in our daily
lives. We will be examining four particularly successful SaaS offerings,
looking at them from both the user perspective and the developer/imple-
menter perspective. Looking at both sides of these applications will give
you a much better understanding of how they are truly transforming our
concept of computing and making much of the traditional desktop-type
software available to end users at little to no cost from within the cloud.
1. Paul McDougall, “The Four Trends Driving Enterprise Cloud Computing,” http://www.infor-
mationweek.com/cloud-computing/blog/archives/2008/06/the_four_trends.html, 10 June
2008, retrieved 26 Feb 2009.
Chap8.fm Page 213 Friday, May 22, 2009 11:28 AM
214 Cloud Computing
In the following sections, we will look at YouTube, Zimbra, Facebook,
Zoho, and DimDim.
8.2 YouTube
YouTube is the leader in online video, and a premier destination to watch
and share original videos worldwide across the Internet through web sites,
mobile devices, blogs, and email. YouTube allows people to easily upload
and share video clips on the YouTube web site.
2
Figure 8.1 shows YouTubes
home page.
On YouTube, people can view first-hand accounts of current events,
find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and
unusual—all from videos shared by other subscribers. Founded in February
2005, YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital and was officially
launched in December 2005. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were the first
members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as chief
executive officer and chief technology officer, respectively. Within a year of
its launch, in November 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google in one of
the most talked-about acquisitions to date. Since then, YouTube has struck
partnership deals with content providers such as CBS, the BBC, Universal
Figure 8.1 YouTube’s home page. (
Source:
http://www.youtube.com.)
2. http://www.youtube.com.
Chap8.fm Page 214 Friday, May 22, 2009 11:28 AM
YouTube API Overview 215
Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, the NBA, and
many more.
YouTube has become so popular that it now provides a set of develop-
ment application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable developers to
integrate YouTube functionality into their web sites. The YouTube APIs and
tools allow programmers to bring the YouTube experience to their web
pages, applications, and devices. This open-minded approach has paid huge
dividends and helped to further propagate the enormous popularity of the
site. In the next section, we will provide a short overview of the APIs. Figure
8.2 shows the starting point for using YouTube APIs.
8.3 YouTube API Overview
The YouTube APIs and tools enable site developers to integrate YouTube’s
video content and functionality into their web site, software applications, or
devices.
3
First, developers need to decide which APIs and tools best meet
their needs. For those familiar with HTML but not so familiar with JavaS-
cript, consider looking at the Widgets and custom player. If the develop-
ment team is comfortable with JavaScript and/or FlashPlayer, they should
Figure 8.2 The starting point for YouTube APIs. (Source: http://code.google.com/
apis/youtube/overview.html.)
3. http://code.google.com/apis/youtube/overview.html.
Chap8.fm Page 215 Friday, May 22, 2009 11:28 AM

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