Cloud Computing Directory
Cloud computing is where software applications, processing power, data and even artificial intelligence are accessed over the Internet from any kind of computing device. This page is a constantly-updated online version of the cloud computing directory included in A Brief Guide to Cloud Computing, and provides easy-access to cloud computing resources in the following categories:
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The following are all Microsoft Office compatible online word processors, spreadsheets and presentation packages. Some of them are demonstrated in this video.
Acrobat.com is a suite of cloud services and applications from Adobe. These include a word processor named Buzzword, a spreadsheet called Tables, and a presentation package called Presentations. A free account is available anywhere in the world, with various paid subscription options at present only available in the United States.
- Google Apps
Google Apps is a paid suite that includes Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Video private video hosting and the Google Sites website creation tool. By using the Google Apps Marketplace (see below), many other business software applications can also be integrated.
- Google Docs
Google Docs is a free online word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and drawing package. It has excellent collaborative tools, a great set of spreadsheet gadgets, and includes a form generator for creating online surveys. In April 2012, Google Docs became an integral part of Google Drive (see below).
- Microsoft Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps are online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. They can be accessed from Windows Live Skydrive and/or docs.com from where they can be integrated into Facebook. Office Webs Apps are also one element of Microsoft's cloud-centric Office365.
SlideRocket is a sophisticated online presentation package available in both free and subscription formats. Presentations can include video and live data from other cloud applications, including Google Docs. The SlideRocket Marketplace enables the purchase of related media and services, including stock photography, graphic design and copy editing.
Zoho's wide range of cloud applications include its Zoho Writer word processor, Zoho Sheet spreadsheet and Zoho Show presentations package. There is also the Zoho Notebook online scrapbook application. All of these applications can be used for free.
The following are all free online media editing tools. Some of them are demonstrated in this video.
Aviary offers suite of online media editing tools, including its Phoenix photo editor, Raven vector-based drawing package (a bit like an online version of Adobe Illustrator), and its Myna multi-track audio editor.
Fotoflexer is a popular online photo editor that includes great integration with Facebook, Flickr and MySpace.
flauntR is an online photo editing package that can integrate with a range of other popular web applications that use photos.
- Photoshop Express
Photoshop express is a free if very-cut-down online version of the industry-standard PhotoShop photo editor.
Picnik is an online photoeditor that can be used for free without registration. It is a cheery package for those who want clear and simple tools.
Pixlr is an absolutely excellent free online photo editor. An interface called Pixlr Express is provided for image editing novices. However, for those who have experience of the full version of PhotoShop, the full Pixlr Editor offers a very powerful range of tools. These include layers, a history brush, and wide range of real-time filters. Anybody can use Pixlr for free online without even registering. Hurrah! However, online file storage is not included.
Pixorial is an online video editor with some cool collaborative features.
Videotoolbox provides free online video editing tools with a particularly wide range of format conversion options.
The following all allow e-mail to be written and collected in the cloud.
Gmail is the very popular free web-based e-mail offering from Google that provides 7GB of storage.
Mimecast is a cloud-based e-mail system for businesses that offers enterprise-class security and archiving.
- Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail is Microsoft's free online e-mail system. It offers 5GB of storage that 'automatically increases as you need it'.
- Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! Mail is a free online e-mail system which claims to offer 'unlimited' storage.
The following packages all facilitate virtual meetings by allowing remote participants to electronically communicate and share computing resources.
- Adobe ConnectNow
Adobe ConnectNow is a sophisticated online application for running virtual meetings. Users can share files, notes and their entire screens, as well as using online whiteboards and audio or video conferencing. Both free and paid versions are available.
- InterCall Unified Meeting
InterCall Unified Meeting is a cloud-based application that facilitates online meetings that let you talk, present and share webcam videos from a single interface.
- LotusLive Meetings
LotusLive meetings is a paid online virtual meeting tool from IBM, and one element of the broader LotusLive online collaboration suite.
WebEx is a suite of online collaboration tools from Internet giant Cisco. It features file and desktop sharing combined with phone conferencing and video conferencing and is becoming an industry standard. Whilst WebEx is a paid service, a free trial is available.
The following are all high-quality business software applications of particular benefit to small and medium-sized organizations. They are all paid services charged on a per-user or usage basis.
Bontq is an excellent bug and issue tracking SaaS application that allows programmers to manage their projects online.
Clarizen provides online project management tools that can be used to collaboratively manage anything from one-off projects to resources, timesheets, budgets or expenses.
Concego provide a range of bespoke and customized cloud computing solutions, including database, CRM, datawarehouse and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.
Employease provides online human resource (HR) information systems that allow companies to run their payroll, benefits administration and other personnel-related IT in the cloud.
evolve is a cloud-based recruitment application that includes a CV pool and Microsoft Office integration.
Google Apps Marketplace
Google Apps Marketplace is an app store that offers a wide range of business applications that can be integrated with Google Apps (see above). Applications are provided from a wide range of vendors and cover just about every conceivable business software requirement.
GroupSpaces is an easy-to-use platform that allows sports clubs, charities and all other kinds of groups or membership associations to manage themselves online. The application can handle newsletters, a membership database and online ticket sales, and is free for up to 250 members.
Huddle provides online collaboration, live conferencing, project management and document sharing tools.
Hyperoffice is a cloud collaboration suite that provides web-based e-mail and document management, together with project management and portal tools.
MProLite is an online version of the ManagePro project management application, and allows for the management of projects, tasks and people.
Netsuite offers a comprehensive suite of online applications for customer relationship management (CRM), accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), e-commerce and website management.
NowWeComply.com automates administrative HR processes such as sending out contracts, asking a candidate or employee for information, making that sure a sales person has supplied a document, or ensuring that health and safety training has taken place.
ProjectManager.com is a sophisticated online project management application that claims to be the smartest online project management software in the world. The package features a stylish graphical interface, issue tracking functionality, and sophisticated charting tools.
Salesforce is a long-established provider of online sales and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Their website also includes som great demo videos.
TrackerSuite.Net is an integrated suite of modular applications for project management, time reporting, purchasing, resource management, CRM and help desk services.
WebEx WebOffice is a suite of online collaboration tools that includes the WebEx online meeting application (see above), but also some very powerful tools for creating online databases, managing projects, filing expense reports, and running online polls.
Zoho offers a whole host of productivity and collaboration online business applications. Thess include the very popular Zoho Creator database application, as well as project management, recruitment, human resource, customer relationship management (CRM) and invoicing software.
All of the following allow you to run a Windows-like desktop in a web browser with integrated cloud applications.
- Alchemy Group Windows Hosted Desktop
Windows Hosted Desktop delivers a traditional Microsoft Windows desktop and Microsoft Office applications via the cloud.
EyeOS is an open-source online operating system and desktop including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation package, calender, and application development toolkit.
- IT Farm
The IT Farm provides a browser-based version of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office that runs from their online servers.
Startforce is complete online desktop with integrated word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, e-mail and media-player applications. There is even a free version that includes Microsoft Office 2007 installed on the virtual desktop.
The following all allow data to be stored, backed-up, shared and exchanged in the cloud.
Box.net is a popular provider of online storage, with 1GB of cloud filespace provided for free.
- CloudBerry Lab
CloudBerry Lab provide a range of consumer interfaces that allow individuals to make use of the Simple Storage Service (S3) offering that forms part of Amazon Web Services.
Dropbox is an online storage service coupled with a local application that automatically backs up data to the cloud and can synchronize it across multiple computers.
- Google Drive
Google Drive is the storage solution behind Google Docs, with 5GB of filespace provided for free, and up to 16TB for a fee. Liek Dropbox, it features a local app to synchronize files across multiple computers.
Livedrive provides an online storage and back-up service that claims to offer 'absolutely unlimited' online back-up for $3.95 a month.
- Simple Storage Service
Simple Storage Service (S3) is one element of Amazon Web Services (AWS), and provides professional, large-scale online storage for businesses.
SoundCloud is an online service for the storage and sharing of music tracks. It is intended for artists, record labels and other music professionals. 120 minutes of online music storage is provided for free.
- Windows Live Skydrive
Windows Live Skydrive provides 25GB of free online storage that can be used to back-up and share files in the cloud.
- Zoho Docs
Like Google Docs, Zoho Docs offers the facility to store and share any kind of file online, with 1GB of storage provided for free.
Based around a number of open-source projects, Wuala is an encrypted online storage solution from well-known external hard disk manufacturer LaCie.
The following allow anybody to easily establish a presence on the web.
Blogger is a website that allows anybody to create their own blog for free.
- Google Sites
Google sites allows anybody to easily build a public website or private intranet with advanced functionality. Even quite sophisticated sites can be built and hosted with no payment required.
Moonfruit is a very easy to use, drag-and-drop website building tool that has already been used to build over 2.5 million websites. A site with up to 15 pages can be built and hosted for free. After that a subscription becomes payable.
Webs is a free or paid website building tool that offers more code-savvy website designers somewhat greater technical flexibility that most of its competitors.
Wordpress is a very popular and sophisticated tool for creating your own free or paid blogging website.
The following all allow their customers to create and host new software as a service (SaaS) online applications. For more information on PaaS see the cloud computing page.
Force.com allows companies to create and run applications on the cloud infrastructure operated by Salesforce.com.
- Google App Engine
Google App Engine is online platform that can be used to develop and run applications on Google's cloud infrastructure.
- Mendix App Platform
The Mendix App Platform enables companies to build, integrate and deploy web and mobile enterprise applications in the cloud.
- Windows Azure
Azure is Microsoft's platform for running Windows applications and storing data in the cloud. Windows Azure itself is a cloud operating system that runs on server computers located in Microsoft data centres. Customers then use the Windows Azure Platform this creates to develop and run their online applications on Microsoft's infrastructure.
The following all provide cloud infrastructure on which their customers can host online applications and store data. For more information on IaaS see the cloud computing page.
3Tera is a pioneering cloud computing vendor that offers a wide range of infrastructure as a service configuration options.
- Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a very popular infrastructure as a service offering. It provides a range of products including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that allows processing capacity to be purchased by the hour, as well as the Simple Storage Service (S3) for commercial online storage.
- App Nexus
App Nexus offers an infrastructure as a service solution that provides customers with dedicated physical servers.
Bluemile offers a service called bCloud Compute for running applications online, as well as a storage service called bCloud Storage and a back-up service called bCloud Backup.
- Elastic Hosts
Elastic Hosts is an infrastructure as a service provider that offers cloud hosting from just 4p an hour.
GoGrid offers cloud hosting, hybrid hosting and dedicated hosting, with the company's services generally regarded as being some of the easiest to get to grips with.
Rackspace is a well-known provider of traditional hosting services that now also offers a range of infrastructure as a service solutions.
- Six Degrees Group
Six Degrees Group provides integrated managed data services linking people, places and clouds. There services include private clouds and cloud enablement.
Web services are online gadgets that you can add to you website to increase its functionality.
- Google Checkout
Google Checkout is a web service for creating an online shop on any website.
- Google Gadgets
Google Gadgets is a website containing thousands of web service gadgets that can be mashed into most websites. It is therefore a great place to go find web services to add to your website!
- Google Translate
Google Translate is a website that allows text and entire websites to be translated from one language into another. On the site, click on 'tools and resources' if you want to add Google Translate to your own website.
Netbanx is a payment service provider web service that allows other websites to take payments online.
Palpay is a payment service provider web service. Click on 'Accept debit and credit cards on your website hassle-free' to learn more.
Sitepal is a great web service that allows you to create a 3D speaking avatar for your website. It is worth a visit just to see (and hear) these virtual guys in action. Loh!
- RBS Worldpay
Worldpay is a payment service provider web service. Click on 'Online payments' to learn more.
Augmented reality (AR) overlays data from the cloud on a real-time view of the world. Visit the following sites to find out more!
AugmentReality is a developer of augmented reality applications for the Layar augmented reality browser. It also does some really amazing stuff!
- Google Goggles
Google Goggles is an application for Android smartphones that allows a picture or video to be used to conduct a visual search. It is free to download to smartphones running Android 1.6 and above.
Layar is an augmented reality browser available for Android and Symbian smartphones and some Apple iPhones. Layar also offer a commercial augmented reality platform.
- Wikitude World Browser
The Wikitube World Browser is an augmented reality browser available for Android and Symbian smartphones and Apple iPhones.
Open source initiatives use the Internet to share intellectual property and to allow the collaborative creation of things too complex to be developed by a single individual. Open data is data shared online in the public domain. All of the below are great examples of the new spirit of online openness.
Data.gov.uk is an open data resource that provides access to wealth of United Kingdom government data for free private and commercial use.
Fab@Home is an open source project dedicated to building 3D printers or 'fabricators'.
OpenOffice is a completely free, open source word processing, spreadsheet and presentations package for those people who still want to install local software!
The goal of the OScar project is 'to develop a car according to Open Source principles'.
RepRap is an open source initiative for building desktop 3D printers.
The purpose of Riversimple is 'to provide a sustainable transport service whilst working systematically towards the elimination of the environmental damage caused by personal transport'. So far Riversimple has resulted in a prototype hydrogen fuel cell car.
A few odds and ends just in case you've got bored!
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Floorplanner allows anybody to create great 2D or 3D floor plans. Personal users can create one project for free!
GoAnimate allows anybody to easily create their own animated cartoons in the cloud.
Liftmagic allows you to upload a photograph and then try out a facelift.
OnLive is an on-demand cloud gaming website that enables sophisticated 3D games to be played on any type of computer.
Rememberthemilk.com is a lovely website for creating to-do lists.
Xtranormal is a fun website for creating your own 3D movies just by typing in text!
If the above set of links has got you thinking about the scope of cloud computing, then why not checkout my cloud computing videos or read A Brief Guide to Cloud Computing -- the handy paperback book that discusses all of the above developments in one pocket-sized place!