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RE: ASP - Application Service Providers - how will engineers rece ive them????

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Sounds like a return to the old days.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2000 1:45 PM
To: SEAINT Listservice
Subject: ASP - Application Service Providers - how will engineers
receive them????


I receive InfoWorld weekly and the reporting, along with fast Internet
connectivity, has been in the strong support for Application Service
Providers or ASP's.  I see some of this coming to the engineering community
and would like to know how other professionals feel about type of service.

Instead of purchasing a license for software why is installed on your
machine, you purchase a license to use the software which remains on the
developers server. You run your design, CAD, accounting, and office software
directly from the developer via the Internet. Of course this requires a fast
Internet Connection, but DSL and Cable service is growing at a phenomenal
rate and monthly rates are making it very attractive. I recently installed
DSL service and can't understand why I waited so long. It is impressive.

However, I have a concern about paying for time on a developers server to
use software than I can't take with me on a laptop or use if I decide to
disconnect myself from the Internet. The articles I read demand that
security and redundancy services (in case the server fails) be in place
before it is being used, but the trend is such that ASP's are moving ahead
regardless of the public opinion. The driving force is reduced cost of the
physical media distribution, reduction of piracy (copying or stealing
software).

The recent passage of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act
(UCITA). For those of you unfamiliar with this act, it gives the software
developer almost complete control over the use of their software. If they
feel that the user is abusing the software, they can literally disable your
software. So far several states have supported UCITA including Maryland, and
I believe, Arkansas. For those interested in the topic I would refer you to
Ed Fosters column in Infoworld at wwww.infoworld.com. He does an excellent
job of presenting the problems with this law and how it can be used to
protect the vendor but does nothing to improve the quality of the software
that is licensed to the public.

With that said, UCITA will give the developer greater control over the end
user - especially if the application needs to be run off the developers
server. If the output is proprietary and you decide not to continue with one
developer of software over another, you may not be able to make changes to a
design that you designed last year.

There are many issues here which should be discussed and I am interested in
any comments as how this might be received in your firms.

Regards,
Dennis S. Wish, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
structures(--nospam--at)engineer.com
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax