Software as a Service | SaaS:-
SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a cloud service provider and made available to customers over internet. SaaS is also known as “On-Demand Software”.
SaaS is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and web browser. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases and code that constitute an application. This is a significant departure from the on-premise software delivery model.
In SaaS, software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud server. SaaS is accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. SaaS uses the web to deliver applications that are managed by a third-party vendor and whose interface is accessed on the clients’ side. Most SaaS applications can be run directly from a web browser without any downloads or installations required, although some require plugins.
Because of the web delivery model, SaaS eliminates the need to install and run applications on individual computers.
SaaS Examples: Google Apps, Salesforce, Workday, Concur, Citrix GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx
There are the following services provided by SaaS providers –
Business Services – SaaS Provider provides various business services to start-up the business. The SaaS business services include ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), billing, and sales.
Document Management – SaaS document management is a software application offered by a third party (SaaS providers) to create, manage, and track electronic documents.
Example: Slack, Samepage, Box, and Zoho Forms.
Social Networks – As we all know, social networking sites are used by the general public, so social networking service providers use SaaS for their convenience and handle the general public’s information.
Mail Services – To handle the unpredictable number of users and load on e-mail services, many e-mail providers offering their services using SaaS.
Advantages of SaaS cloud computing layer:-
1) easy to buy:-SaaS pricing is based on a monthly fee or annual fee, SaaS allows organizations to access business functionality at a low cost which is less than licensed applications.
Unlike traditional software which is sold as a licensed based with an up-front cost, SaaS providers generally pricing the applications using a subscription fee, most commonly a monthly or annually fee.
2) Less hardware required for SaaS:-The software is hosted remotely, so organizations don’t need to invest in additional hardware.
3) Low Maintenance required for SaaS:-Software as a service removes the necessity of installation, set-up, and often daily upkeep and maintenance for organizations. Initial set-up cost for SaaS is typically less than the enterprise software. SaaS vendors actually pricing their applications based on some usage parameters, such as number of users using the application. So SaaS does easy to monitor and automatic updates.
4) No special software or hardware versions required.
All users will have the same version of software and typically access it through the web browser. SaaS reduces IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the IaaS provider.
Disadvantages of SaaS cloud computing layer:-
1) Security:-Actually data is stored in cloud, so security may be an issue for some users. However, cloud computing is not more secure than in-house deployment. Learn more cloud security.
2) Latency issue:-Because the data and application are stored in cloud at a variable distance from the end user, so there is a possibility that there may be more latency while interacting with the application than a local deployment. So, SaaS model is not suitable for applications whose demand response times are in milliseconds.
3) Total Dependency on Internet:-Without internet connection, most SaaS applications are not usable/working.
4) Switching between SaaS vendors is difficult:-Switching SaaS vendors involves the difficult and slow task of transferring the very large data files over the Internet and then converting and importing them into another SaaS also.