Screenshot from

So Jarret Pazahanick, posted me a link to the details of the more detailed announcement of the Workday PaaS (it having been earlier hinted at a couple of months back.

He wondered at my thoughts. Well, here they are.

Firstly, I’m really glad Workday are saying they are releasing a PaaS, it justifies all the work that I have been doing in this space. Having a PaaS to support your SaaS based HR solutions is now pretty much de-facto table stakes.

On the downside, Workday didn’t actually announce a PaaS at all. They have suggested that developers use other PaaS to deploy and run the applications and then integrate the applications via a newly released suite of APIs.

I think the most telling thing about Workday’s PaaS is the disclaimer on their website. It isn’t publicly available and they may not deliver it at all.

Whilst the claim on the website is “The Workday Cloud Platform is built on the principle of openness” it’s not possible to access the details of the developer website without requesting a user id, so I’m not even sure of the scope of the APIs that they are releasing.

In fairness this is a similar situation to SuccessFactors about 5 to 6 years ago. Then even high level details of their APIs were a guarded secret. I remember one of my very first presentations about developing applications on what was then the SAP Netweaver Cloud, integrating to SuccessFactors Performance and Goals. It was painful to figure out how to do it. Now there are Open SAP MOOCs that step you through easy platform enabled steps.

Screenshot from Open SAP

I’m pretty sure that Workday will move to a more open model, the industry demands it, but until they work out a way to deliver an actual platform that their customers can run apps on, not just the services to support the apps, then I think we should really call them to task for calling something that is NOT a PaaS, a PaaS.

It’s nice that Workday feel they need to have a PaaS, but what I’ve seen doesn’t count as that, at least not in my understanding of the term.


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