SAAS (Software as a Service) comprises of technologies SOA, Web services and Ajax as a new approach to build enterprise application. It is deployed as hosted service and access over internet for all vendors. Basic idea behind SAAS is to deliver business application including collaboration software and line of business to vendors for running their business.
SAAS is often divided into two categories.
- Business services which refer to business solutions offered to companies and enterprises, and sold or made available to these enterprises on a subscription basis. Applications covered under this category include business processes such as supply-chain management programs, customer relations applications and others.
- Customer-oriented services which are offered to the general public either on a subscription basis or (more often than not) offered for free but are supported by advertising. Web-based email services such as those cited above fall into this general category.
Properties of SAAS
- Software Delivery Model: On – Demand delivered over the web and managed by service provider.
- Release Cycle: Completely transparent with continuously releases and updates.
- Architecture: Web based Technologies – SOA, Agile, Ajax and web services.
- Payment: Based on license model or consumption model or subscriptions etc.
Essentials for SAAS
- Multiple Client Support: SAAS should have the ability to support multiple clients from a single instance to reduce infrastructure, hosting and management costs.
- Performance: SAAS should have the ability to support many users with minimal resources to derive efficiencies and economies of scale.
- Availability: 24*7 supports, application availability requires an investment in the solution’s infrastructure, processes and people.
- Security: Need to secure multiple vendors data.
- Integration with Back Office Applications: SAAS need to integrate with back office systems to avoid duplication of work and create consistency of data across systems.
- Multi-Browser Compatibility: Since every company has its own standard for supported browsers and operating systems, it is extremely important that SAAS comply with multiple browser platforms and versions.
- Manageability: A hosted application requires an infrastructure to support billing, logging and provisioning across multiple customers.
How SAAS differs from ASP
In the 1990s, ASP (application Service Providers) took software delivery to the next level by offering packaged or shrink-wrapped software to customers over the internet. SAAS is closely related to the ASP and on-demand computing software delivery models. SAAS differs from ASP in many ways.
- Upgrade and Enhancement: ASP depend on commercial Software providers, their ability to upgrade the application was limited. Whereas in SAAS, upgrades are often possible. Since no software is deployed on the customer site, enhancements may be implemented at the SAAS data center and made available to all vendors.
- Interface: Most ASP-supported applications were immense client-server programs with simple HTML Web interfaces. SAAS solutions today are designed specifically for the Web environment, which improves usability and manageability.
- Approach: ASP vendors were ill prepared and rushed their offerings to market before performance, security, customization and integration issues were solved, and before many organizations were ready to adopt the ASP model. Users are better equipped to take an advantage of SAAS with the majority of these issues being resolved. The decrease in technical provisions and increase in user awareness and cost savings is providing the momentum for companies to adopt a SAAS approach.
- IT Support: Inclusive in SAAS.
- Scalability: very limited to ASP but open in SAAS.
- Hardware Compliance: Most SAAS products are purpose-built for the Internet. Also SAAS hosting hardware is developed for use on the Internet. An ASP would take a software package that was not written to be hosted and put it on the Web. This often caused hardware compliance problems.
Players in the Market
- Multi-Tenants Database Architecture
- Cloud Computing – Infrastructure
- PAAS – Platform as a Service