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Do you recommend against changing underlying code of cloud apps due to possible upgrading issues down the road? (Webinar Attendee Question)

This question was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar “Webinar Video: Best Practices for Evaluating and Selecting Accounting Software" held on February 13, 2013.  Please join the discussion and add your insights below.

A video of the webinar can be viewed here: https://www.proformative.com/resources/webinar-video-best-practices-evaluating-selecting-accounting-software

Answers

Topic Expert
Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

One of the issues with cloud apps is that they may not conform to the specific way that your organization does business. For example, an expense reporting app may not conform with how your employees submit expense reports. In this case, you might want to change the user interface but not necessarily the back-end software. I believe that this will be a very common scenario for the cloud and you should expect to see software vendors provide this type of customization capability. To get technical for a second, what this means is that you would be allowed to modify the client-side code, most likely using javascript but not the server-side code which the software vendor will most likely control. there are valid reason for this, the main one being that modifying server-side code is the most common way to introduce security vulnerabilities to a system. It's much harder (but not impossible) to introduce security vulnerabilities in client side code.

Microsoft is actually making this a feature of its next release of SharePoint which is designed for the cloud - you can modify the client side code but Microsoft controls server side code. This is a reasonable trade-off and should allow for the most common types of customizations that people need.

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