‘Development’ is the keyword for the contemporary world. Over the years, we have witnessed unbelievable advancements in technology. And in recent years, we can see that new technologies are being introduced at a much faster pace. With this pace, we are sure to touch new boundaries in future years. So at present, let’s talk about the developments in the software world. Cloud computing has proved to be a breakthrough technology and today, its various versions are in use. Before we dig deeper into the subject of cloud computing and related software, let us address the very basic question first:
SaaS(Software-as-a-service) or on-demand-software, is a software delivery and licensing model that provides access to software and its components as a web-based service. Yes, you can easily access the software from anywhere and don’t need to worry about the maintenance or setup cost. It is one of the basic three fundamental models of cloud computing (other two are IaaS and PaaS).
In SaaS model, the software is licensed to the users on a subscription basis, and the subscription is issued on a monthly or annual payment to the service provider. With its cost-effective structure, it is slowly becoming a standard delivery model for numerous business applications.
But wait…I would like to point out the common mistake that most of the people often make. People often treat SaaS as a synonym for cloud. It’s important to lay a clear line distinction between the two. Let us address another basic question:
A network of servers is often referred as ‘the cloud’. Every time we access our e-mail, we are using the cloud services. Whenever we use the cloud, our computer connects to the network of servers. There are two types of servers in the cloud. Each is specialized to perform a specific function. One type performs the storage function while the other type is responsible for running applications as it has the capability of computing.
The cloud has given birth to the concept of web applications (also known as web apps). These are the applications that run on the cloud, and there’s no need to install these applications on your system. All you need is a web browser to access them.
Now after understanding the cloud, we are in a perfect position to answer the question below:
What is Cloud Computing? How is it Different from SaaS?
Cloud computing is a newly evolved term that is used for the delivery of hosted applications over the internet. It allows centralized data storage and online access to cloud computing services and resources as well. It is important to know the difference between SaaS and cloud computing for the better understanding of these technologies.
We have to keep in mind that these terms cannot be used interchangeably. There is a vast difference between the two. In SaaS model, users have access to licensed applications. These applications are not running on the server of the user but instead they are running on the service provider’s network center. It is very easy to access SaaS; the user just has to sign in at the service provider’s website.
In cloud computing, computing resources are not bound to any specific place. Another essential feature of cloud computing is that the data and applications of the users are running on their servers. Also, SaaS applications are fully developed end-user applications. They are easily accessible to the users. Cloud computing applications and services are those application and services that a user can subscribe to.
In coming years, SaaS technology is going to be the undisputed market leader in software delivery systems. So here are the seven things every business owner must know about SaaS:
SaaS saves the set-up, installation and maintenance cost
An essential feature of SaaS is that it is a cost-effective service where the user don’t have to pay for a licensed software and related services. Initial set-up cost for this service is also very low.
No extra expenditure on additional hardware
SaaS providers being the primary hosts, operate the software remotely which saves the money of their clients as they will not have to spend on additional hardware required for proper functioning.
SaaS is preferred by many companies because of the lack of complexity in its operating structure. Since it’s a web-based service, users can easily access the software using a web browser.
Better than Perpetual License Model
In the perpetual license model, the software is issued on a permanent basis but it requires annual maintenance. But that is not the case for SaaS. SaaS model requires a very low maintenance cost.
More Storage Space
The problem of storage space will also be solved. SaaS services can replace the traditional means of data storage. With the advent of cloud-based storage, you can expect more storage space and a more cost-effective service.
Industry Specific Applications
SaaS vendors are now focusing on developing industry-specific applications. They will develop applications especially for specific industries such as retail, healthcare, and others.
Achieving Stateless Architecture Design
With ongoing developments in SaaS, we can expect SaaS systems to support stateless applications as well. The data security issue can be solved if we achieve stateless architecture design.