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Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the three components of cloud computing alongside Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is basically the process of equipping organizations with software applications over the internet- as a service. In this software distribution model, the provider hosts the application and makes them available over the Internet freeing one from complex hardware infrastructure installations. Additionally, it also removes the expenses of hardware acquisition, installation and software licensing. There is even the flexibility to integrate SaaS with other software using application programming interfaces or APIs.

Simple definition of SaaS

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software delivery and licensing model, which allows users to access applications over the internet, which is centrally hosted by a third party provider. Instead of installing and maintaining software, users can seamlessly access applications over the internet, eliminating complicated software and hardware management. SaaS is considered to be one among the three major cloud computing categories along with platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The SaaS applications are also referred to as on-demand software, web-based software, or hosted software. The SaaS applications seamlessly run on the SaaS provider’s servers and the providers manage access to the application, which also includes its security, performance, and availability.

Until the recent past, before the introduction of SaaS services, organizations were required to build, buy, and maintain their own IT infrastructure regardless of its high expense. Currently, organizations are now able to save huge amounts of money as SaaS applications are based on subscription. This also eliminates the hardware expense along with the software expense as the SaaS provider manages the IT infrastructure.

Importance of SaaS

The importance of SaaS is constantly increasing as it eases deployment and decreases customer acquisition costs. With the help of SaaS, developers can support numerous customers with one single version of a product. Additionally, organizations can merge SaaS applications with various other software using application programming interfaces (APIs). SaaS applications have numerous advantages as mentioned earlier. SaaS applications are available for basic business technologies like sales management, email, customer relationship management (CRM), billing, and so on.     

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