What is there in this article ?
What is SaaS ?
Think it this way, when you want to use the functionality of expensive software without getting into the hassle of actually buying a new license in traditional way and installing on your machine neither you want to get into trouble of buying an expensive hardware to run, install, manage and support the software what is the option available in the market? Yes its SaaS. Do you want to know how ?
I will try to answer all your question in step by step way.
Here is the Answer.
There are companies who use cloud computing technology to provide Software as a Service, think SaaS as Software Delivery model in which software is deployed on cloud in some data center somewhere around the globe by the service provider.
We as an end user or any other organisation which want to use the functionality of this centrally hosted software can buy a subscription license from the service provider and can login to their account from anywhere around the world.
The beauty of this model is that user doesn’t have to be physically present on the software deployed site, no software installation is required on end users machine. User don’t have to worry about the software updates, hardware dependencies etc, you just have to pay as per use.
Now, theoretically, Software as a service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which a Service Provider hosts applications on cloud/ Server and makes them available to customers over the Internet or you can say Software as a service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud based applications over the Internet. Makes sense?
Is SaaS something new in the market?
No, we all have been using one or the other free form of SaaS from long time.
Everyone must have used or at least heard of one or the other SaaS products, yes everyone once in lifetime must have used a form of SaaS product.
Remember Hotmail, Yahoo Mail where the mail services are hosted on company servers and we can access our mailbox through a web link by using any browser over internet and login to our account. These are examples of SaaS products for personal use which are free.
Another common example in today world is Google Apps.
Is SaaS and Cloud Computing same thing?
I would say no. SaaS and Cloud computing are commonly thought to be one thing but it has thin line differentiation between them.
SaaS is a type of cloud computing, where Software Services are delivered to end users using cloud technology or you can say SaaS uses cloud computing technology to deliver services to end users. Cloud computing is broader form of SaaS, SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
Why SaaS (Software as a Service) ?
There are many expensive analytics, data mining and research tools. There licenses were expensive after moving to SaaS the use of such software has become more affordable and cost of maintenance and support has decreased.
SaaS has changed how people have started looking at Software Asset Management and Software Licensing.
With SaaS concept around one can access to complex applications without purchasing the actual license. You will be free from hassle of installing, updating or maintaining any hardware, middleware or software. This way it becomes affordable to organisation which cannot afford big infrastructure to support complex software applications.
SaaS works on subscription model so you only have to pay for what you use, which becomes affordable if you want the software for limited period.
Users can run most SaaS apps directly from their web browser without needing to download and install any software.
In SaaS data is stored in the cloud therefore any user can access his data, application from anywhere without being physically present near the hardware machine. The user can connect with the software application through any internet connected device and login to their account to use the functionality of the software application.
Best advantage of using SaaS is the scalability. I will talk about what questions you should ask before choosing a SaaS vendor in my next blog.