Software as a Service

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Software as a service (SaaS) is a software application delivery model where a software vendor develops a web-native software application and hosts and operates the application for use by its customers over the Internet. Customers do not pay for owning the software itself but rather for using it.

The term SaaS has become the industry preferred term, generally replacing the earlier terms Application Service Provider (ASP) and On-Demand.

Contents

[edit] SaaS Background

[edit] History

The concept of "software as a service" started to circulate in 2000/2001.

[edit] Principles

SaaS is generally associated with business software and is typically thought of as a low-cost way for businesses to obtain the same benefits of commercially licensed, internally operated software without the associated complexity and high initial cost. Consumer-oriented web-native software is generally known as Web 2.0 and not as SaaS. Many types of software are well suited to the SaaS model, where customers may have little interest or capability in software deployment, but do have substantial computing needs.

[edit] Key Characteristics of SaaS

The key characteristics of SaaS software, according to IDC, include:

  • network-based access to, and management of, commercially available (i.e., not custom) software
  • activities that are managed from central locations rather than at each customer's site, enabling customers to access applications remotely via the Web
  • application delivery that typically is closer to a one-to-many model (single instance, multi-tenant architecture) than to a one-to-one model, including architecture, pricing, partnering, and management characteristics
  • centralized feature updating, which obviates the need for downloadable patches and upgrades.
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