My Premise on Premises

I want to start this post out by stating that I am not normally one to get hung up on specific terminology.  In general, if everyone understands the intent and direction of a given conversation (or a topic being read) then the end goal has been accomplished.  However (there is always a “however”, right?), for as long as I can remember, I have also had a tendency to judge written articles, e-mail messages, etc. based upon the number of misspelled and/or misused words – keeping in mind that I am not a grammar or spelling expert.

That said, there has been a lot of articles, blog posts, discussion, etc. around the topic of the “cloud” over the past few years.  One of the discussion points that come up quite frequently these days when discussing 3rd party products (or even in-house products), for example, is whether the product runs in the “cloud” or on premises.  It is this word, premises, that I have seen misused over and over again for the past couple of years in favor of the word “premise”.

Just in case you’re curious, here are the basic definitions of these two words (based on the Bing Dictionary):



Given that, when a service, web site, etc. runs within your company’s ecosystem (as opposed to in the cloud), it is considered to run on premises — not premise.

The reason I am thinking about this now is because I’ve spent the past couple of days researching API Management vendors (for managing publically exposed APIs for mobile applications) and I am continually coming across the term “on premise” when it should technically be “on premises”.

Again, I understand their intent – i.e. their product can run within my organization.  However, in the back of my mind I’m still judging the professionalism (right or wrong) of the company that is misusing this term.

Here are a couple of examples:



I’ve actually come across several others over the past couple of days but didn’t want to copy/past them all in :-)

So, what’s the point of this blog post, you ask?  Well, although it provides an outlet for me to let everyone know how I feel about the terms premise vs. premises, more importantly it serves as a reminder that there are people out there, like me, that might judge a company’s professionalism (and, potential value) based on how they use (or misuse) common terms.

As for my search for API Management vendors, I am not letting the misused term cloud my judgment :-)