By hearing the name SAAS, you might be like, “oh! What is it? Why do you have to know it?” However, SAAS is something that you have been using most likely ‘every-day.’ Yes, you heard it right. If you can recall, back around 2005, you have to install it if you have to use the software. For example, if you want to access Windows, you have to install Windows on your laptop or computer device. But with the development of SAAS, the case is now different.
What is SAAS?
As mentioned above, back in times when you wanted software, you had to install it, and for that, you had to purchase it from the vendor. Once you make the payment, the software is ready for usage, and any future updates could be done generally for free. Now with SAAS, the software is provided as a service. For example, if you want to use image-editing software, the vendor will give you the option to use the software at a weekly or monthly subscription. Sometimes you can also access the software for minutes! Moreover, the software (here, image editing software) need not have to be installed on your device at all. All you need is a subscription, and then the server will help your device access the software over the web.
One of the most common examples of SAAS is Google docs provided by Google. Hopefully, now you are convinced that SAAS is something you all have used once. SAAS is also called on-demand software, web-based software, and hosted software.
Features of SAAS
Different SAAS programs can use additional features. However, these are some of the standard features offered by SAAS applications.
- Central Server: Under SAAS, a single server can provide software services to a lot of vendors. All these vendors can also interact and innovate accordingly. Since everything is maintained centrally, most vendors from high-class businesses to small service providers, all rely upon the SAAS server. Thus, it supports multitenant architecture.
- Easy access: Since a single server maintains all the applications, it is easy for the vendors and the users to access their applications or software.
- Customization: many tech giants and companies use SAAS to spread their work. Each company has its demand, and keeping this in mind; SAAS was developed. The feature enables the companies and other vendors to customize the features as per their wishes. Note that this will not affect the common infrastructure or model of the SAAS application. Even customers can alter the elements according to their wishes. For example, while using the software, you might have noticed the options that allow you to change the page’s color. This is done to make people feel like it is their application.
- Easy updates: Since the application has a single configuration and a central server, updates are straightforward and fast. If you have been using a SAAS application, you will realize that it gives you weekly or monthly updates.
Comparing IaaS, PaaS and SaaS
All of the three are different types of web-based software. Firstly IaaS or Infrastructure as a service is taking hardware applications to the cloud or server. So here we are shifting our hardware requirements to the web. This makes it easier for customers to manage their hardware. Even modifications can be made relatively more comfortable—secondly, PaaS or Platform as a Service, which provides a development framework to the platform developers. With the help of PaaS, developers can easily make, manage, modify their platforms easily. They do not have to worry about either the operating system or hardware; all they have to do is write the code. Thirdly, we have already discussed SaaS as a system that provides software for service.
Understand it this way, IaaS covers data centers, networks, and servers. PaaS covers data center, network, servers, operating system, and lastly, developer tools. SaaS, on the other hand, goes one more step forward. It covers data centers, networks, servers, operating systems, developer tools, and finally hosted applications.
Advantages of using Saas
Following are the main advantages of using SaaS both from a vendor’s perspective and a user’s perspective.
- Unlike the traditional software building, where the developer has to build a server and a code and then install the application, SaaS allows you to use its services on a rental basis. You pay for what you use, and you don’t have to worry about rest.
- As it will follow from the above point, this reduces the time involved. No more you have to spend your time in building and configuration, just put in a request and be ready to use the already developed server.
- Using SaaS also lowers down the cost drastically. This is because of its multitenant architecture, which reduces down the license cost and the maintenance cost. So if you are a small business yet not ready to invest in a traditional software license, SaaS is a good alternative.
- Quick upgrades- This feature is beneficial for both vendors and customers. Most of the climbs are generally free, and even if any cost is charged for an upgrade, it is comparatively shallow than a standard software upgrade package.
- Since the SaaS software is developed to cater to all types of businesses, it has an easy to use concept. Even for a beginner, the system is easy to use. For the vendors, there is an option to test the software before buying.
It is these advantages that have made SaaS a great alternative to traditional software. It’s easy to use concepts, cost, time-saving, quick access, better upgrades, and customization has given it an edge over the existing traditional software. As per the latest growth rate reports, the predicted worth of SaaS is believed to go around 60 bn by 2023.