Idea to Execution – Opportunities to Innovate

Idea to Execution – Opportunities to Innovate is a post on how I created a prototype from a simple idea in a short period of time by leveraging a PaaS.

Idea to Execution – Opportunities to Innovate

Last week I was at Starbucks sipping on a cup of coffee, waiting for my wife and my two adorable kids to return from a birthday event. It was raining that day here in South Florida. I had about two and a half hours to spare and nowhere to go. The place was empty and I was getting bored (I conveniently forgot to bring the honey-do list with me).

To pass the time, I decided to create a simple application by leveraging a Platform as a Service (PaaS). The idea of this effort was to prove a point that I previously made in one of my posts (click here). In it, I described the value of a PaaS for startups, small and large enterprises. I embarked on creating a very basic Registration Software to list various events and collect contact information from the registrants. Blog: From Idea to Execution

Figure 1. Click image to zoom in

In about fifteen minutes, I was able to provision an environment with all the capabilities I needed to develop my software by simply leveraging the IBM Cloud Platform (A.K.A Bluemix). Since the effort was ad-hock, I didn’t have a preset list of all the information I needed to collect from the registrants. I was constantly adding and deleting fields to the data entry forms. If you ever worked with structured databases, you would agree that these databases are rigid for an ad-hock approach (e.g. planning the structure of the tables, fields and their types, preparing SQL statements and so on.). Instead of using a structured database, I leveraged the Cloudant service for my backend database. This NoSQL database stores the data in a JSON format as documents. This capability offered me tremendous flexibility while developing my application. I was able to create the data entry forms on the fly. I also decided to add additional capabilities to my application. I leveraged two services offered by the IBM Cloud Platform: Watson Text to Speech to “speak” the confirmation to the registrants and the SMS service to send confirmation text messages. I added these additional capabilities by simply dragging and dropping these services into my environment (I disabled the additional capabilities so I don’t occur any charges !!!). By the time my family got back from their event, my prototype was done (check out the application before my trial ends).

With the combination of a NoSQL Database and a PaaS, I was able to provision an environment to create a proof of concept. The prototype was completed in a short period of time without purchasing or installing any software on my Mac. In my book, that’s Power!.

About the Author

Sami's picture on cafesami.comSami Joueidi holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He is currently residing in South Florida and working for a fortune 500 company as the Executive Cloud, Cognitive and Blockchain Leader for the Federal business unit. His role is to guide customers on adapting the appropriate cloud strategy for their enterprises, incorporating cognitive capabilities and leveraging the latest technology trends to innovate.

© Sami Joueidi and, 2017. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sami Joueidi and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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