The cloud, or cloud computing, refers to free or subscription-based services that are delivered in real-time over the Internet; you do not have to purchase the application itself or have it installed on your local computer. Some of these services include software services such as file storage, synchronization, or backup. An example of a local-based service versus cloud-based service is word processing; you could pay for a local word processor application, such as Office Word, or you could use a free cloud word processor, such as Google Docs.
There are cloud martial art school management service available. However, are they the best choice for you?
Comparison between TaskMaster and a cloud manager
- TaskMaster. You pay a one-time cost to purchase the application and use it for as long as your wish to use it. TaskMaster is free for up to 15 students, costs $100 USD for up to 25 students, and has $100 USD incremental upgrades up to a maximum of unlimited students for $500 USD. The unlimited version may be purchased or a growing school may purchase the $100 increments as it grows. Total maximum cost is $500 USD.
- Cloud manager. You do not purchase an application; you pay a monthly fee for the service. The minimum monthly charge for a cloud service is at least $50 USD. This monthly charge continues for as long as you use the service. Even for a user with less than 50-100 students, this is a minimum of $600 USD a year—every year. In addition, you may have to agree to pay for a set number of months in advance or contract to a minimum number of months. Beware of service-level agreements.
- TaskMaster. TaskMaster has many, many powerful tools that permit a school to many all the administrative tasks involved with managing up to five different martial art programs, including managing all aspects of conducting martial art rank tests. All aspects of each program may be setup and changed by the user as situations demand, including such things as martial art rank requirements.
- Cloud manager. Cloud managers allow to track attendance, promote students, and send email to students—and that is about it.
Data storage and backup
- TaskMaster. TaskMaster makes automatic on-site backups. If desired, off-site automatic backups may be set up with free online backup websites, or you may store backups on other commuters, on your own website, or on your email server.
- Cloud manager. Cloud mangers store your data on their servers. Online services close all the time. For example, some large online photo storage services closed, some with only 24 hours notice for you to recover your photos. What will happen to you school data when this occurs?
- TaskMaster. TaskMaster allows you easily to place test cycle attendance form online for students to view.
- Cloud manager. You have access your data from work, home, or anywhere in the world. You may grant instructors, students, and parents limited online access to the data. Access to you data is only as good as the reliability of your Internet provider and of the cloud service's servers. If your Internet provider or cloud service goes down, you may be with access to your data for hours or days.
- TaskMaster. You are always in full control of your data and its security. TaskMaster encrypts data and has security controls that allows the owner to set up user passwords and the level of access granted by each password.
- Cloud manager. Who owns your data—you—or the service? No matter how secure the online service’s servers are, all your data is stored in a remote location and may be accessible to hackers. Also, who knows how much information these companies collect from you and your school data, and how they use the information or to whom they may sell the information.
- TaskMaster. Your data stay with you and under your control at all times. Although the file that stores school data is encrypted and password protected, a licensed owner is provided with the password, which permits the file to be opened, viewed, and accessed by any software application that can access data in a Microsoft Access database.
- Cloud manager. If the cloud service closes or you stop using it, will you ever get your data back, and if you do get it back will it be a format you may easily transfer to another application.