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Deploying Web Map Layers off-premises
It is possible to deploy Cadcorp’s powerful web mapping and GIS application, Web Map Layers, either on-premises or off-premises. In the on-premises deployment an organisation runs the application on its own computing infrastructure, and typically assumes all responsibility for managing the application on behalf of its end users.In the off-premises model, Web Map Layers is installed on a Microsoft Azure cloud computing. platform located in a data centre. The application is accessed by the customer via the internet, and is managed by Cadcorp as part of a web GIS service which Cadcorp delivers to end users on behalf of the customer
Although end-users should notice little difference between an on-premises and an off-premises deployment of Web Map Layers software, there are significant differences in the two underlying commercial models, and in the allocation of responsibilities between Cadcorp and the customer.
Some of the more important characteristics of off-premises hosting that should be considered by customers considering deploying web GIS in the cloud are listed below.
Upfront costs on hardware and licencing
Under a cloud implementation of Web Map Layers, customers don’t purchase the computing assets – hardware or software - but effectively rent them from Cadcorp as part of their subscription fees. This can be advantageous when a customer has a preference for operational rather than capital spending.
Ongoing subscription costs
Cadcorp maintains and supports Web Map Layers software, applying patches and updates as necessary. It is the responsibility of the data centre to maintain, support and update the hardware and operating system software infrastructure that is required to run Web Map Layers. All these support activities are included the service rental fee. Many organisations value the predictability that this commercial model gives to their budget forecasting.
All Web Map Layers data is located and securely managed in one location where it can be accessed by multiple end users. Customers are able to upload their own data and updates to this data into their own secure business data layers. Updates will be automatically applied by a Cadcorp data management application.
Web Map Layers is a generic application, which is configured to meet the specific needs of individual customers. Cadcorp assumes responsibility for this configuration. The operation involves configuring a customer’s own business data layers, and the web services (‘Local Knowledge' and ‘Reporting’) which are called by the application. Having Cadcorp responsible for configuration can shorten the time taken for an organisation to deploy the web GIS service when compared with an on-premises deployment.
The allocation of responsibilities between Cadcorp and the customer is defined in a Services Agreement. It details what is and what is not included in the service. It also details the responsibilities of the customer. These include, for example, what data to provide, how frequently, and ensuring internet connectivity to the data centre. Because most of the responsibilities for implementing, maintaining, and supporting the service rest with Cadcorp, organisations deploying a cloud-based solution may find they have less need to deploy specialist IT support staff in their own organisations.
The technical performance of the web GIS service is backed up by a Service Level Agreement signed between Cadcorp and the customer.
Cadcorp’s GIS in the cloud customers are able to scale their requirements for processing power and data storage, upwards and downwards, as their needs change. Contract periods can be flexible and renegotiated when required.
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