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We`ve Got SaaS
By: Michael Lowry
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    Table of Contents:
  • We`ve Got SaaS
  • Pros and Cons
  • What's Happening Now?
  • Conclusion

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    We`ve Got SaaS

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    As the Internet stretches across our planet we find ourselves struggling to keep up with the seemingly daily advancements geared toward host and user alike. Today we will discuss the growing trend toward SaaS models, give an overview for you newcomers, and pinpoint exactly where we stand today. Keep reading to find out more about this user friendly delivery model for both the business and everyday customer.

    When SaaS started to become popular, it was clear that an SaaS provider could give better service than the actual large scale software companies could. The fact that more people now have a computer and are familiar with its basic usage has created less need for hefty IT software. Add that to the fact that the web provides a much broader global market and easy access for customers and it's easy to see why a lot of traditional vendors have been outsourced. The security for SaaS based applications has also greatly improved to the point where it's almost no longer an issue.

    SaaS (Software as a Service) is the term a lot of tech junkies are using to describe the latest and greatest in terms of Internet usage. Briefly defined, SaaS is a way for vendors to provide software for people to use over the Internet. The software itself is hosted independently or through an ASP (Application Service Provider) and is entirely web-native. On its face, SaaS is designed to give businesses the same advantages of any internally-licensed software, but much cheaper and without the hassle of installing new hardware, if need be.

    SaaS software is remotely available. This means that organizations will no longer have to install the software or manage the upkeep and maintenance. All activities are managed from a central location rather than each individual's site. The delivery of the application is on a one-to-many model, usually from the central location. This makes updating part of the centralized feature as well, eliminating the need for more upgrade downloads. Sounds good so far, right?

    As far as how SaaS applications are differentiated, we have to look at how they are designed, particularly their architectures. They are categorized into four levels of "maturity." The first level allows each customer to have their own customized version of the application to run on the host's servers. At the second level, all customers use the same foundation, called an instance, and the vendors supply different options for the user to choose as to how the application will look for them. The third level again has all customers on one instance with only metadata providing an individual user experience. All of the customers' data are stored in one file, but it is impossible for one customer to see another customer's data. The fourth level is the same as the third except that the customers are hosted on a variety of identical instances, which makes repair and updates for many, the same as for one.

    Now that I've laid out a brief synopsis of what SaaS is and how it works, it's time to get a little more specific and determine the pros and cons of SaaS that you may not have considered. There are a variety of interesting things concerning this growing trend.

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