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The Evolution of Software Distribution (1995–2025)

The Evolution of Software Distribution (1995–2025)

Full Talk on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrnYKgTl184

Blog post on Medium:
"Software Through the Ages"
https://medium.com/cardstack/software-through-the-ages-7ae7b3debfd7

Chris Tse, Founding Director of the Cardstack Project, talks about the history of software distribution, walking through the five phases that were defined by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Google, and Salesforce.com—which eventually led to open source.

In detail, Chris explains how software evolved from Software-as-a-Product (SaaP) into Software-as-a-Quote (SaaQ) and Software-as-a-Resource (SaaR)—oscillating between off-the-shelf and customized software—until Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) became the most popular distribution method. Finally, he answers the question, “What comes after SaaS?”, introducing the new idea of Software-as-a-Tool (SaaT)—which will define the future of software by combining powerful off-the-shelf tools with individual customization.

Chris Tse

June 29, 2020
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Transcript

  1. CARDSTACK
    V30
    CHRIS TSE
    Founding Director
    Cardstack Project
    [email protected]
    @christse
    The Evolution of
    Software Distribution
    (1995–2025)
    JUNE 2020 – TECH TALK

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  2. Software
    Code
    Software
    User

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  3. Software
    Code
    Software
    User
    DISTRIBUTION

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  4. P
    Q
    R
    S
    T
    Software
    Code
    Software
    User

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  5. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    1995
    2000
    2005
    2010
    2020

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  6. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    1995
    Market Leader
    Microsoft
    Key Concepts
    Gold Master (GM)
    Upgrade Price
    Suite / Editions
    Code CD-ROM Retail Box
    + License Key
    Physical
    Store
    User
    DESKTOP ERA

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  7. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    1995
    Market Leader
    Microsoft
    Key Concepts
    Gold Master (GM)
    Upgrade Price
    Suite / Editions
    Code CD-ROM Retail Box
    + License Key
    Physical
    Store
    User
    DESKTOP ERA

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  8. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    1995
    Market Leader
    Microsoft
    Key Concepts
    Gold Master (GM)
    Upgrade Price
    Suite / Editions
    Code CD-ROM Retail Box
    + License Key
    Physical
    Store
    User
    DESKTOP ERA

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  9. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    1995
    Market Leader
    Microsoft
    Key Concepts
    Gold Master (GM)
    Upgrade Price
    Suite / Editions
    Code CD-ROM Retail Box
    + License Key
    Physical
    Store
    User
    Magazine
    Buy product
    Discover product
    DESKTOP ERA

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  10. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    1995
    Market Leader
    Microsoft
    Key Concepts
    Gold Master (GM)
    Upgrade Price
    Suite / Editions
    Code CD-ROM Retail Box
    + License Key
    Physical
    Store
    User
    Magazine
    Buy product
    Discover product
    Install & use
    program
    DESKTOP ERA

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  11. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Apple
    Key Concepts
    Top Free / Top Paid
    In-App Purchase
    Update All
    User
    Social
    Media
    Native App
    Code App
    Bundle
    App Store
    Buy &
    install app Discover app
    Use app
    MOBILE ERA

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  12. Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Peak Year
    2000
    Market Leader
    IBM
    Key Concepts
    Build vs Buy
    Systems Integration
    Software Dev Lifecycle
    SOW COTS Code Servers User
    Statement-of-Work Commercial-
    off-the-Shelf
    Customizations &
    Integrations
    On-Premise
    or Hosted
    ENTERPRISE EDITION

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  13. Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Peak Year
    2000
    Market Leader
    IBM
    Key Concepts
    Build vs Buy
    Systems Integration
    Software Dev Lifecycle
    SOW COTS Code Servers User
    Statement-of-Work Commercial-
    off-the-Shelf
    Consultant /
    Reseller
    IT Manager
    Discover capabilities / needs
    Define & refine scope
    Specify
    Customizations &
    Integrations
    On-Premise
    or Hosted
    ENTERPRISE EDITION

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  14. Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Peak Year
    2000
    Market Leader
    IBM
    Key Concepts
    Build vs Buy
    Systems Integration
    Software Dev Lifecycle
    SOW COTS Code Servers User
    Statement-of-Work Commercial-
    off-the-Shelf
    Consultant /
    Reseller
    IT Manager
    Discover capabilities / needs
    Define & refine scope
    Specify
    Customizations &
    Integrations
    On-Premise
    or Hosted
    Use app
    ENTERPRISE EDITION

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  15. Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Many Agile Dev Shops
    Key Concepts
    Scrum Master
    Story Points
    Pair Programming
    Stories 3rd-Party Tools Code Servers User
    Open-Source
    Frameworks or
    External APIs
    Product
    Owner
    Stakeholders
    Discover needs / goals
    Translate into user stories
    Minimum Viable
    Product (MVP)
    On-Premise
    or Hosted
    Use app
    Iterate
    AGILE DEVELOPMENT

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  16. Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Peak Year
    2005
    Market Leader
    Google
    Key Concepts
    Deep Link
    Open Web
    RESTful
    HTML
    Resource
    Code Hosted
    Servers
    Gateway to
    Databases, Protocols,
    and Systems
    User
    Web
    Browser
    WEB 1.0
    2010

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  17. Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Peak Year
    2005
    Market Leader
    Google
    Key Concepts
    Deep Link
    Open Web
    RESTful
    HTML
    Resource
    Code Hosted
    Servers
    Gateway to
    Databases, Protocols,
    and Systems
    User
    Web
    Browser
    WEB 1.0
    2010

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  18. Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Peak Year
    2005
    Market Leader
    Google
    Key Concepts
    Deep Link
    Open Web
    RESTful
    HTML
    Resource
    Code Hosted
    Servers
    Gateway to
    Databases, Protocols,
    and Systems
    User
    Web
    Search Engine
    Crawling
    Searching
    Web
    Browser
    WEB 1.0
    2010

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  19. Use app
    Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Peak Year
    2005
    Market Leader
    Google
    Key Concepts
    Deep Link
    Open Web
    RESTful
    HTML
    Resource
    Code Hosted
    Servers
    Gateway to
    Databases, Protocols,
    and Systems
    User
    Web
    Search Engine
    Crawling
    Searching
    Web
    Browser
    WEB 1.0
    2010

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  20. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    “NO SOFTWARE”
    Hosted
    Servers

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  21. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    “NO SOFTWARE”
    Hosted
    Servers

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  22. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    Discover, subscribe to, and use app
    “NO SOFTWARE”
    Hosted
    Servers

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  23. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    Native App User
    Code App
    Bundle
    App Store
    Front-End (iOS/Android)
    Discover, subscribe to, and use app
    “THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT”
    Hosted
    Servers
    Modules

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  24. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    Native App User
    Code App
    Bundle
    App Store
    Front-End (iOS/Android)
    Discover, subscribe to, and use app
    Use app
    “THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT”
    Hosted
    Servers
    Modules

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  25. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    Native App User
    Code App
    Bundle
    App Store
    Front-End (iOS/Android)
    Discover, subscribe to, and use app
    Use app
    “THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT”
    Hosted
    Servers
    Modules

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  26. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2010
    Market Leader
    Salesforce.com
    Key Concepts
    Freemium
    Multi-Tenant
    Cloud-Based
    Code App
    Bundle
    Web
    Browser
    User
    Front-End (HTML/CSS/JS)
    Back-End (APIs & Databases)
    Native App User
    Code App
    Bundle
    App Store
    Front-End (iOS/Android)
    Discover, subscribe to, and use app
    Use app
    “THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT”
    Hosted
    Servers
    Modules

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  27. Front-end
    Back-end
    Software-as-a-
    Peak Year
    2015
    Market Leader
    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Key Concepts
    Build Tools / CLI
    DevOps
    Jamstack Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    ervice
    S
    User’s
    Environment
    PUBLIC CLOUD
    App
    Bundle
    Front-End
    Back-End

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  28. Front-end
    Back-end
    Software-as-a-
    Peak Year
    2015
    Market Leader
    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Key Concepts
    Build Tools / CLI
    DevOps
    Jamstack Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    ervice
    S
    User’s
    Environment
    PUBLIC CLOUD
    App
    Bundle
    Front-End
    Back-End

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  29. Front-end
    Back-end
    Software-as-a-
    Peak Year
    2015
    Market Leader
    Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Key Concepts
    Build Tools / CLI
    DevOps
    Jamstack Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    ervice
    S
    User’s
    Environment
    PUBLIC CLOUD
    App
    Bundle
    Front-End
    Back-End
    Back-end
    Biased

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  30. Package
    Registry
    Source Code
    Repository
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2020
    Market Leader
    GitHub
    Key Concepts
    Open Source
    Dependencies
    Package Management Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    User’s
    Environment
    Front-End
    Back-End
    MODERN DEV WORKFLOW
    App
    Bundle

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  31. Package
    Registry
    Source Code
    Repository
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2020
    Market Leader
    GitHub
    Key Concepts
    Open Source
    Dependencies
    Package Management Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    User’s
    Environment
    Front-End
    Back-End
    MODERN DEV WORKFLOW
    App
    Bundle

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  32. Package
    Registry
    Source Code
    Repository
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2020
    Market Leader
    GitHub
    Key Concepts
    Open Source
    Dependencies
    Package Management Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    User’s
    Environment
    Front-End
    Back-End
    MODERN DEV WORKFLOW
    Developer’s Toolbox
    App
    Bundle

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  33. Package
    Registry
    Source Code
    Repository
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2020
    Market Leader
    GitHub
    Key Concepts
    Open Source
    Dependencies
    Package Management Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    User’s
    Environment
    Front-End
    Back-End
    MODERN DEV WORKFLOW
    Developer’s Toolbox
    App
    Bundle
    80%
    20%

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  34. Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Peak Year
    2020
    Market Leader
    GitHub
    Key Concepts
    Open Source
    Dependencies
    Package Management Code Modules
    Deployed
    Assets
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    User’s
    Environment
    OPEN-SOURCE CATALOG
    Module Catalog
    App
    Bundle
    Front-End
    Back-End

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  35. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    ES Module Imports
    Full-Stack Composability
    Runtime Configuration
    LIVE CODING ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog
    Live Code
    Editor
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Back-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules

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  36. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    ES Module Imports
    Full-Stack Composability
    Runtime Configuration
    LIVE CODING ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog
    Live Code
    Editor
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Back-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules
    Front-end
    Biased

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  37. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    ES Module Imports
    Full-Stack Composability
    Runtime Configuration
    LIVE CODING ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog
    Live Code
    Editor
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Back-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules
    Front-end
    Biased

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  38. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    ES Module Imports
    Full-Stack Composability
    Runtime Configuration
    LIVE CODING ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog
    Live Code
    Editor
    Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Back-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules
    Change
    Front-end
    Biased

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  39. Change
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    Shared Content Types
    Versioning / Merging
    End User Configuration
    NO-CODE ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules
    Live Code
    Editor
    Back-End
    No-

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  40. Change
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Peak Year
    2025
    Market Leader
    JavaScript
    Key Concepts
    Shared Content Types
    Versioning / Merging
    End User Configuration
    NO-CODE ENVIRONMENT
    Module Catalog Cloud
    Hosting (CDN)
    User’s
    Environment
    Cloud
    Hosting (API)
    App-Specific
    Modules
    Front-End
    Off-the-Shelf
    Modules
    Live Code
    Editor
    Back-End
    No-

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  41. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module

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  42. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY

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  43. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Personal Data
    Securely Store

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  44. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Personal Data
    Securely Store
    Personal Data
    Continuously Sync

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  45. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Personal Data

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  46. HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    Personal Data

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  47. HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    Personal Data Personal Data
    Continuously Sync

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  48. HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    Personal Data
    Securely Serve
    Personal Data
    Continuously Sync

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  49. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

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  50. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software Code
    Load as a Tool to view or edit
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

    View full-size slide

  51. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software Code
    Load as a Tool to view or edit
    Distribute to others
    via a Resource link
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

    View full-size slide

  52. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software Code
    Load as a Tool to view or edit
    Assemble & tweak modules
    to make a Product suite
    Distribute to others
    via a Resource link
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

    View full-size slide

  53. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software Code
    Load as a Tool to view or edit
    Subscribe to a recurring
    Service for hosting
    Assemble & tweak modules
    to make a Product suite
    Distribute to others
    via a Resource link
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

    View full-size slide

  54. Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Software Code
    Load as a Tool to view or edit
    Get a Quote
    for a custom module
    Subscribe to a recurring
    Service for hosting
    Assemble & tweak modules
    to make a Product suite
    Distribute to others
    via a Resource link
    Content / Data / Configuration
    Stored and sync’ed as a set of file-based Resources

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  55. “Real Code” “No Code”
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    Any User
    Any Resource
    Any Cloud
    Any Module
    ACCESS
    HOST
    DEPLOY
    Get a Quote
    for a custom module
    Subscribe to a recurring
    Service for hosting
    Assemble & tweak modules
    to make a Product suite
    Distribute to others
    via a Resource link

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  56. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Software-as-a- ool
    T

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  57. Software-as-a- roduct
    P
    Software-as-a- uote
    Q
    Software-as-a- esource
    R
    Software-as-a- ervice
    S
    Software-as-a- ool
    T
    USERS
    DEVELOPERS

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  58. CARDSTACK
    • CatalogJS
    Front-end biased JavaScript Module Catalog and build system. Works with NPM package registry.
    • Cardstack Hub
    Full-stack application runtime for module-driven Cloud Hosting (API) built on NodeJS and Postgres.
    • Cardstack Builder
    End user focused No-Code Editor built on EmberJS (Octane). Support Live Code Editing for CSS
    theming and (soon) template customization using Monaco or VS Code.
    OPEN-SOURCE TOOLS FOR DEVELOPERS & USERS
    and Card Catalog

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  59. CARDSTACK
    © 2020 CARDSTACK FOUNDATION. CARDSTACK® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK.

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