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Frequently Asked Questions about SaaS

If you are a programmer or are into any IT related field, you must have heard about SaaS. The world of technology is focused on this phenomenon, but many companies are not as familiar with it. That is changing, though, as SaaS services keep offering viable softwares for several companies as alternatives to conventional on-site installations.

What is SaaS?

The term SaaS refers to a software delivery model where another company hosts and makes programs available to users over the web. This is a major departure from the traditional on-site software distribution model. Companies do not need to put resources into extensive equipment just to host their software; this, in turn, enables them to outsource the bulk of their IT tasks usually required to maintain the software. SaaS vendors will manage everything for you.

Is SaaS a new technology?

To cut the long story short, it is not. SaaS dates back to the early days of modern computer, the 1960’s period. In a speech at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, famous computer scientist John McCarthy stated, “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” This is what we have with cloud computing, which relies on shared resources instead of having personal apps or local servers to handle applications.

The idea of SaaS has been around for a long time, but the technology needed to support it evolved only a couple of decades ago. In the late 1990’s, cloud-based software companies started offering conventional enterprise solutions through this distribution model.

Initially, the world of enterprise software did not take this technology seriously. However, that has changed considerably as SaaS providers have shown that they could grow their customer base and revenue through this subscription-based licensing model.

What is the difference between cloud computing and SaaS?

The cloud is a set of very complicated technological infrastructure. On a fundamental level, it is a set of servers, computers, and databases interconnected in a manner that you can lease access in order to share the combined power of these. The computing power can be scaled so that you can dynamically decrease or increase the extent of the power you lease.

The cloud can mean anything that is hosted remotely and is delivered over the internet. Every cloud program is run by the underlying platform, but SaaS refers to business software delivered through the cloud. Considering the widespread development of cloud accessibility, rolling out programs has been easier, less expensive and quicker for SaaS developers than conventional on-site software development. Nowadays, most core business functions, including HR and enterprise resource planning, are available via SaaS.

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