Knowing About SaaS

What is SaaS?

SaaS, typically pronounced [sæs], means “Software as a service” (sometimes referred to as “software on demand”), which is the software that is deployed over the internet and/or is deployed to run behind a firewall on a local area network or personal computer. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers as a service on demand, through a subscription or a “pay-as-you-go” model.

SaaS was initially widely deployed for sales force automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Now, it has become commonplace for many business tasks, including computerized billing, invoicing, human resource management, financials, content management, collaboration, document management, and service desk management.

The Key Characteristics

There are some characteristics of SaaS:
(1) Activities managed from central locations rather than at each customer’s site, enabling customers to access applications remotely via the Web.
(2) Centralized feature updating, which obviates the need for end-users to download patches and upgrades.
(3) Network-based access to, and management of, commercially available software.
(4) Application delivery typically 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.
(5) Frequent integration into a larger network of communicating software—either as part of a mashup or a plugin to a platform as a service. (Service oriented architecture is naturally more complex than traditional models of software deployment.)

In addition to characteristics mentioned above, SaaS sometimes provides:
(6) More feature requests from users, since there is frequently no marginal cost for requesting new features. [citation needed]
(7) Faster new feature releases, since the entire community of users benefits. [citation needed]
(8) Embodiment of recognized best practices, since the user community drives the software publisher to support best practice. [citation needed]

More About It

SaaS is becoming an increasingly prevalent delivery model as underlying technologies that support Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) mature and new developmental approaches, such as Ajax, become popular. Meanwhile, broadband service has become increasingly available to support user access from more areas around the world.

SaaS is closely related to the ASP (application service provider) and On Demand Computing software delivery models. IDC identifies two slightly different delivery models for SaaS. The hosted application management (hosted AM) model is similar to ASP: a provider hosts commercially available software for customers and delivers it over the Web. In the software on demand model, the provider gives customers network-based access to a single copy of an application created specifically for SaaS distribution.

Why SaaS?

If you understand what are the benefits you may get by using SaaS, you would be thankful to know about SaaS. Here is the list of the advantages:
(1) Save money by not having to purchase servers or other software to support use.
(2) Focus Budgets on competitive advantage rather than infrastructure.
(3) Monthly obligation rather than up front capital cost.
(4) Reduced need to predict scale of demand and infrastructure investment up front as available capacity matches demand.
(5) Multi-Tenant efficiency.
(6) Flexibility and scalability.

Referrence site:
Software as a Service
SaaS Showplace
Where to Find the Latest SaaS News and Breakthroughs


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