Having just launched our ComplianceWare tool as a web-based application the various components of the solution stack serve as a prime example of the depth of licensing complexity and ancillary terms given the number of platforms utilised in the web-central (or cloud) model as is prevalent these days.
In the case of ComplianceWare, we decided to utilise an Opensource stack of products that, rather than requiring the likes of source disclosure (eg. GNU licences), are subject only to the typical copy-left inclusion of acknowledgements (eg. BSD-3). This, coupled with a SQL back-end issued under a similarly liberal PostgreSQL (MIT-like) license allowed us to construct an industry-grade solution entirely within the Opensource domain.
When it comes to deployment though there are of course provider terms, and that's when it can pay to look around. With a scaled application like ComplianceWare many providers have a tiered model to suit start-ups like ourselves in particular. And you don't necessarily need to limit yourself to a single platform. As an example, to keep our data local we use S3 storage from the AWS Sydney hub, while the web application actually runs out of US based data centres. And across all, you only pay for what you use - from fee-free to pay-by the-hour.
So if you are looking to implement a similar scalable solution, consider the stack approach - the benefits are essentially two-fold - firstly, the terms imposed by providers are generally minimal, and secondly, you gain broad access to low-cost hosting - all still to a robust industry standard.
And if you'd like to see all this in action just ask for a login to our ComplianceWare demo site by sending an email to us at email@example.com!