What is SAAS
What is SAAS refers to the question of what is Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) that are application dealing with big data but are completely hosted in the cloud. It is one of different cloud service levels that include SAAS, but also Infrastructure-AS-A-Service (IAAS) and Platform-As-A-Service (PAAS). SAAS is on the highest level on top of PAAS and IAAS and is offering special application interfaces for consumers. Examples are Enterprise Resource Planing (ERP) systems or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. In particular CRM systems are the largest SAAS market (revenue ~3.8 $ billion in 2011). SAAS is a modern software delivery model including innovative licensing schemes based on monthly or yearly subscriptions of the SAAS application. The architecture of SAAS application is based on a multitenant architecture in order to guarantee scalability.
Advanced SAAS topics includes the approach of cross-selling business cases. For example, Zoho the CRM SAAS application is quite close to the functionality of the Contact Manager SAAS application and thus ZOHO offers to use both. The advantage is automatic data exchange and same login for services that overlap with respect to functionality about clients and consumers. Another advanced SAAS topic is cloud security concerns that among privacy and software as a black box at providers is the most known data ‘lock-in’ problem. Data stored in one SAAS cloud application is not easily migrated to another SAAS cloud application. For example the data stored in the Zoho CRM is not easily to be re-used in the Salesforce CRM. There are missing standards today.
All key software players like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and IBM all offer SAAS applications accessible just via Web browser. In many cases they include advanced collaboration features among users (e.g. comments, etc.) and social features (e.g. like, share, etc.). Often Web developers are using PAAS and IAAS solutions in order to build SAAS applications. Despite the good uptake of the SAAS model there are also many disadvantages such as the data ‘lock-in’, the necessity for a perfect internet connection, and the problem of the software ‘blackbox’ somewhere hosted somewhere that somehow is against free open source transparency movements today.
What is SAAS in detail
The following video provides more details: