So that said I do disagree with him that shipping AMIs is just the same as shipping DVDs for one very very big reason
AMIs and Virtual Machines must run
This for me is a big leap forward from vendors as while it still means that I have to build my application I don't have to spend days or even weeks trying to install software that quite clearly has never been tested from the DVD or downloads that they have on the site. Some wonderful pieces I had in the past include
- A software & hardware manufacturer whose software worked on competitors operating systems but not their own
- A software vendor whose instructions for connecting their two products had never been tested... I know this as it did not work at all
- Spending 2 weeks installing from DVDs and downloads from a vendor and eventually having them on-site trying to do it for themselves, failing and then "getting back to us" a week later with an installer than actually worked
- A single software vendor whose two products that were required to work together required two differently patched versions of the Java runtime
- A vendor whose installation DVD was missing some core jar files, which they denied at firt but the old "Class not found" exception was a bit of a give away
So don't con yourself that you are doing SaaS, you aren't you are doing PaaS at best. But do rejoice in that vendors are at last forced to prove that the software runs before shipping to you. Having a vendor delivered AMI or virtual machine that doesn't run really would set a new low bar in the sorts of quality that they expect customers to put up with.
So I say hail this new move away from DVDs and towards images, because personally I'm sick and tired of debugging their installers.