Right from 1980s, when the first windows came into existence, whenever we talk about “Software”, we associate it to the software package that comes with an installation CD or can be downloaded from a website. The executable installer installs the software locally on your machine and once installed, can be launched using a “Shortcut” created on your desktop. The concept here was more of a packaged “Product” that user could purchase and use on his system.
This worked well till the time user performed all his work on a single independent system. But as the user became more mobile and connected through various devices like his Smartphone, Laptop, Tablet, etc. it became increasingly difficult for him to access his data on all the devices and at all times. Sometimes the user does not even own the device he is working on. Thus it was time to give a new definition to “Software”.
Using the latest web-technologies and cloud computing, the concept of “Software” has evolved from a “Packaged Product” to a “Service”. The software in this case is hosted by the provider on the web (widely referred as “Cloud”) and a user can purchase licenses for accessing the software.
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a web based service that allows a user to access the software and its functions remotely. Also, because the software is hosted remotely, users don’t need to invest in additional hardware. User can easily access the software using a simple web browser. Few well known examples of SaaS are Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Documents, Dropbox, Apple iCloud, iTunes, Salesforce, etc.
Some of the advantages of SaaS are mentioned below:
SaaS is a new age software delivery model that has evolved as a result of changing dynamics of the way people and business operate in the new world of interconnectivity.