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Software as a Service (SaaS)

Last updated: July 7, 2021

What Does Software as a Service (SaaS) Mean?

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model that delivers application programs over the Internet. End users can access SaaS cloud apps with a web browser. The SaaS provider is responsible for hosting and maintaining the application throughout its lifecycle.

Advantages to using the SaaS delivery model include:

  • Clients can easily access the software from multiple computing devices.
  • Updates and patches can be applied automatically without client assistance.
  • Application access, as well as storage to support application use, can be sold on a subscription basis.

SaaS is also known as hosted software or on-demand software.

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Techopedia Explains Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a natural evolution of software. The old model of physically installing software on data center servers and end user's computing devices was the only realistic solution for many years.

In recent years, a number of developments have allowed SaaS to become mainstream. One factor is bandwidth; the internet is simply faster than it was a decade ago and access is more widely available. Another major factor has been the growing acceptance of cloud computing for business use.

Today, SaaS is used in a number of core business areas, including customer relationship experience management, human resource (HR) management and document management. There are literally thousands of SaaS vendors, but Salesforce.com is perhaps the best known example, as it was one of the independent software vendors to significantly disrupt a traditional software vertical by changing the delivery model.

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Synonyms

Hosted Software, On-Demand Software

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SoftwareWeb 2.0Application Service Providers (ASPs)InternetTechnology TrendsSoftware-as-a-Service (SaaS)

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