Encrypt SaaS Data

Readers sound off on securing SaaS apps and Visual Studio 2008.

Letters to Visual Studio Magazine are welcome. Letters must include your name, address, and daytime phone number to be considered for publication. Letters might be edited for form, fit, and style. Please send them to Letters to the Editor, c/o Visual Studio Magazine, 2600 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94403; fax them to 650-570-6307; or e-mail them to [email protected]. Note that the views expressed in the letters section are the opinions of the letters' authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Visual Studio Magazine or those of 1105 Media.

Encrypt SaaS Data
As a U.K. software professional I read Patrick Meader's editorial on Software as a Service (SaaS) with interest (Editor's Note, "Is SaaS Right for You?" July 2008). As Meader notes, SaaS is fine for non-critical applications. Lack of availability is only one problem. What about the security of the data? We always thought banks were security-minded until more than one major financial institution had personal data stolen off its Web site.

Satay Raghavachary made the point that data could have encryption applied before transmission. In the United Kingdom, there have been three or four major losses of data by our government in the news recently. All these incidents have featured non-encrypted data. The first of these was the loss of two CDs in the post that contained the Child Benefit records of 25 million people. The big danger of SaaS is that personal data might not be encrypted!

Searching the BBC news site for data loss proves that many people fail to encrypt personal data. See this link for several cases where the British Government has lost unencrypted data!

Peter Appleby, received by e-mail

What Do You Think of Visual Studio 2008?
Many readers responded with comments to the recent VisualStudioMagazine.com online poll question, "In general, what is your reaction to VS 2008?" You can take the poll or add your comments here. Here's a smattering of the responses received:

I like it, although finding what you need is getting a little cumbersome. Overall, it's good, but I still have to split my time between VS 2008 and VS 2003. The differences between the two versions are striking. 2003 is quicker, but 2008 has more helpful tools that sometimes outweigh the speed advantages of the earlier iteration.

Matt McGuire, Yakima, Wash.; posted online

It's nice to see VS 2008 begin to implement features that Eclipse has had for years.

Robert Durgin, Hudson Mass.; posted online

Service Pack 1 has solved most of the problems I've encountered with VS 2008. However, using Entity Framework as a data source for ASP.NET Dynamic Data now requires a separate Web.DynamicData.dll and patch. I've also found strange behavior with databinding to EntityCollections of associations.

Roger Jennings, Oakland, Calif.; posted online

About the Author

This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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