This is a model for vendor distribution of software allowing hosting of applications, through the Internet. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS is widely used as a delivery-model, which supports web based services, and SOA or Service Oriented Architecture, which uses more sophisticated and the latest in service guided approaches.
Similarly broadband services are provided to users so that accessing the web through these services from any part of the world has become easy. Thus your Internet service provider is a software as a service provider.
SaaS is also referred or related to as an Application Services Provider or ASP, and is one of the delivery models for on-demand services. Two variants of SaaS are hosted application management and software on demand. The former is akin to Application Services Provider, wherein the service provider makes available hosting facility for a price, delivering the same through web services. The software on demand brings you accessing network based services, specially made for SaaS distribution.
There are a number of benefits accrued from using Software as a Service. Since you are only hiring the software for your purposes, the administration becomes very easy, and the provider takes care of the various problems that may arise for administering the software utility. It allows for updating data automatically, and compatibility of the software becomes easier, as all the customers will be using the same software. This also provides for easy collaboration between users and the service provider. The software becomes accessible globally.
In comparison to Software as a Service, the traditional method of purchasing a particular application program, installing it on your computer and making use of it is called in computing parlance as “software as a product”. This kind of software has limited utility and you have to depend on web services for updating. Internet access becomes restricted in this method and the present trend is to opt for Software as a Service and use the provider’s utility services by paying per use.
As computing gets more sophisticated and clients require more and more unique applications, SaaS offers great deal of flexibility in usage.