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by Tom Erickson
Drupal Gardens passed a significant milestone yesterday, 40,000 sites created! This is an especially exciting moment for me as Acquia gets ready to exit the Drupal Gardens beta program tomorrow. Reaching 40,000 blew away my expectations for the number of beta sites, a testament to the market’s excitement of having the most powerful social publishing system available in a SaaS environment.
Acquia never felt it was enough to simply offer SaaS Drupal, though. We wanted to overcome the key limitation of SaaS – ownership of the application and the data. Traditional SaaS offerings lock in their customers, creating several potential business issues from lack of flexibility to soaring costs. Drupal Gardens introduces a concept we call OpenSaaS, which Dan Woods in Forbes describes as “the better way to software”. In an OpenSaaS world, the end user always owns both the application and the data, and has the freedom to exit the SaaS world at any time and move to an environment with more control exerted by the end user.
Site builders should “have it their way”. The fastest way to get started is SaaS, but the best “way” may evolve over time to be something else. Yesterday we introduced an optimized Drupal cloud hosting service designed for developers called Dev Cloud. Now, Drupal Gardens users who want to add their own modules can export their Gardens site with one click and be developing on the Dev Cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service). There is also the option of taking it to any other environment as well, a true OpenSaaS solution where the user not only owns the data, but the application as well. I believe this new, more flexible, open site building methodology is truly the “better way”.
I’ll be at Drupalcon next week, and I look forward to hearing what you think.