OrangeScape bases KiSSFLOW, a flexible workflow-management app, on Google Cloud SQL

OrangeScape bases KiSSFLOW, a flexible workflow-management app, on Google Cloud SQL Automating workflows

India-based OrangeScape developed its KiSSFLOW workflow-creation and management application specifically for the Google Apps Marketplace. Its diverse customer base, ranging from colleges to manufacturers to consultancies, now uses this flexible app as a simple, efficient way to automate workflows around current email users. OrangeScape built the KiSSFLOW app using Google App Engine and Cloud SQL.

Pay-per-use model

One important reason for OrangeScape’s choice was the pay-per-use model, which makes Cloud SQL a great fit for Software as a Service (SaaS) providers. Cloud SQL customers can opt to pay for a database only when it’s being accessed, and for inexpensive storage the rest of the time. This means that OrangeScape can provision one database instance for each of its thousands of customers at very reasonable cost. This simplifies the application, improves performance and security isolation, and avoids the “noisy neighbor” problem of multi-tenanted databases.

“The Google solution is the only one that gives you the ability to have independent databases, and to provision them affordably,” says Mani Doraisamy, OrangeScape cofounder and chief technology officer (CTO). “Users need an app based on standards, so they can move data to and from traditional relational-storage systems. To do that, we had to have the right SQL database. At the same time, we did not want to pay for a separate SQL database running all the time. We wanted to pay only based on our usage. Google Cloud SQL gave us both those advantages.”

“We did not want to pay for a separate SQL database running all the time. Google Cloud SQL gave us that advantage.”

Mani Doraisamy cofounder and CTO, OrangeScape

Cloud SQL API

Managing so many instances is easy using the new Cloud SQL API, since it allows Orangescape to build database management into their application. “We could not provision the database every time a new customer came in,” Doraisamy explains. “With the Cloud SQL API, we were able to provision it and not have costs or manual intervention associated with it from offsite.”

With KiSSFLOW, “we manage Cloud SQL instances and App Engine instances individually for each of our customers,” Doraisamy says. This is especially important, he adds, “when we have more than 3,000 customers running in 3,000 instances on Google App Engine and Google Cloud SQL.”

‘Zero systems in IT’

Truly democratizing the way in which organizations build applications requires a complete, managed environment, OrangeScape believes. Cloud SQL’s seamless integration with Google App Engine helps make this possible. “We felt Google App Engine was in the sweet spot where someone could develop an application environment, then just click ‘Deploy,’” Doraisamy explains.

The Google solution also doesn’t require a large IT staff to implement or maintain. “That is the beauty of it,” Doraisamy adds. “We do not have IT people at all. All of our internal infrastructure, as well as our platforms themselves, run completely on Google. We actually have zero systems in IT, and zero administrators who manage servers in Cloud SQL.”

Integration and replication

Doraisamy definitely would choose Cloud SQL and App Engine again, if OrangeScape were to build a similar product today. “Cloud SQL gives you the comfort level for data export, when you have to integrate with enterprise systems,” he says. “And you have a strong tool set that works with Java DataBase Connectivity (JDBC) connectors. This makes it so much easier to go with Cloud SQL and run multiple instances of Cloud SQL, then partition it.”

Cloud SQL also provides painless data replication, across multiple data centers and in multiple locations. Even if a power failure or natural disaster should ever take down one data center, all customers’ databases will still be up and running, with all data still available. This avoids the overhead normally associated with managing replication and backups yourself.

“The Google solution is the only one that gives you the ability to have independent databases, and to provision them affordably.”

Mani Doraisamy cofounder and CTO, OrangeScape

Familiar and scalable

OrangeScape was confident in relying on the Google solution for KiSSFLOW. “It was best to use a known tool set like Cloud SQL, even if you run it for thousands of customers,” Doraisamy says. “I was concerned that we might soon hit the limits, but Cloud SQL scales quite well. That was the biggest surprise for me.”

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