Let's make a list of ideal SaaS offerings which can be compelling alternatives to Google Apps/Docs, Microsoft Office 365, Zoho, Basecamp, etc.

Criteria to be on this list


  • To offer application support
    • Not shared hosting or just firing up a VM with the app
    • They'll ideally fix reported bugs, but at the very least verify them and track for resolution
  • They handle upgrades
  • Possible to migrate to the FLOSS version
    • SaaS version must available for download (so you can move your data if needed)
    • Upfront explanations on how to do this, and any costs involved.
  • Uses an OSI license. It's OK to have additional non-FLOSS editions or services but they are not the target of this list
  • Pay with a credit card or PayPal
  • They are contributors to the FLOSS project
    • So by purchasing their services, you are indirectly helping the project

Nice to have

  • A free trial version (ex.: 30 days)
  • Multiple vendors (so you could move from one to another)
  • Public and predictable pricing (ex.: Monthly fee per user, when applicable)
  • An apparent business model so we can be reassured that it is a sustainable model (Freemium is OK)
  • An open development process (public source repository, open contribution policy, etc.)
  • Browser-based for quick access (if apps need to be installed, they should be cross platform)

The A-list

If a provider is almost there, please add on this list with a note of what they can improve.

Almost there

Developer tools

Not same class of web apps as above, but nonetheless very interesting

The ex-list

Excluded and why



Page last modified on Wednesday 11 May 2022 15:59:40 GMT-0000

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