We have been talking about SaaS-Software as a Service; however we have not yet shown some examples. But they are beginning to appear very rapidly so a few examples are in order. Here is Jotspot (who also offer a Wiki as SaaS) with their spreadsheet based (or in JotSpot speak “Tracker”) personal or workgroup space called Jotspot Tracker. What makes this different from other SaaS personal spaces is that JotSpot Tracker is a pretty savvy spreadsheet available in any browser. As the screenshot
shows Jotspot creates a spreadsheet with an associated calendar and maps. This immediately takes it beyond the classic spreadsheet realm – because any dates entered in the spreadsheet get recorded as calendar entries and addreses are passed to Google Maps to create automatic mappings. This is cool.
Even cooler it is dead simple to just cut and paste from any Excel or Open Office Calc spreadsheets and load the data into JotSpot. Warning formulas are not currently imported into Jotspot as of May 07, 2006. Also macros and VBA scripts also get ignored. But the critical point is that your spreadsheetcan be made viewable (and editable if you supply permissions)on the Net for up to 5 people in the free version and unlimited invited users with up to 10 spreadsheets with the $9.95 per month version.
Finally it is dead simple to to copy the data in a JotSpot Tracker/spreadsheet back to excel or Open Office Calc .. or just about any spreadsheet I suspect. This is another example of where Ajax and Saas are going. Very useful.