Software as a Service (SaaS)

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What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which a software application is hosted by a third-party provider and made available to customers over the internet. Customers can access the software using a web browser or a mobile app, and they do not need to install or maintain the software on their own computers or servers.

The need for SaaS arises from the increasing complexity and cost of maintaining and updating software applications. With SaaS, the provider is responsible for hosting, maintaining, and updating the software, which frees up resources for the customer. Additionally, SaaS typically offers a subscription-based pricing model, which means that customers only pay for the software as they use it, rather than having to make a large upfront investment in purchasing the software.

SaaS is important because it allows businesses to access software applications and services without having to invest in the infrastructure and resources required to run the software themselves. It also allows businesses to scale their use of the software up or down as needed, without having to make additional investments in hardware or IT staff.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing that delivers software functionality over a network, usually the internet.

  • The software is running on a server(s) in a data center not physically in the same location as the user - it can be anywhere on the planet
  • The user accesses the software using a network connection to the server. Again, the user can be anywhere on the planet, and as long as they have a network connection to the server they can use the software's functionality

Software as a Service (SaaS) Model
Source: Software Design with Dustin

Wikipedia defines SaaS as follows: Software as a Service (SaaS; pronounced /sæs/) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.

There are many different types of software that can be delivered as SaaS, including customer relationship management (CRM) software, project management software, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Examples of well-known SaaS providers include Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Office 365.


  • Saas is a delivery model
  • This delivery model can be priced any of a thousand ways without affecting the model itself
  • Hence, the inclusion of licensing in the definition of Saas is superfluous

See Also