Software as a Service

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Software as a Service (SaaS) is a means of delivering specific user applications services, within the broader context of cloud computing. In SaaS, the service delivered across the "cloud", commonly the Internet, is standardized: the good news is that there is no application development, and the bad news is that there is no application development. There is no development time for the customer, but the customer needs to change his procedures to match the way the SaaS application works.

The lack of application development does not mean the software cannot be customized. Indeed, many successful SaaS applications have substantial flexibility in tailoring the user interface as a mashup or dashboard. Among enterprise applications, customer resource management (CRM) is probably best known. Everdream help desk management; SuccessFactors employee performance management; and Ketera spend management software.[1]

Hotmail is basic email offered as SaaS. Non-free SaaS email, with archiving, additional security, etc,., are offered by a variety of vendors.

A surprising SaaS market was the office productivity suite, such as Google Apps.

eBay and PayPal use a SaaS model to provide financial services, with a range of financial models, feature sets, and ability to customize.


  1. Galen Gruman (21 May 2007), "The Truth About Software as a Service (SaaS)", CIO