What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

This is the cloud service model you would probably be most familiar with. If you use Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, Office 365, Spotify, or Salesforce, you are acquainted with the Software as a Service model.

SaaS is the delivery of software over the Internet. We are simply a consumer of the application without concern about how it's developed, managed, and operated. A common way of delivering a SaaS product or service is via subscriptions, which can be paused at any time, and we pay for as long as the service is in use. This is very far from the traditional licensing we used to have back in the day.

With this model, cloud providers host and manage the software, patch for security vulnerabilities, scale based on usage, make sure it's accessible for use, etc. We access it over the Internet via a browser, desktop, mobile, or tablet.

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