Software as a Service also known as SaaS or an on-demand software, that allows its users to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the Internet. The Service Provider manages all the aspects of this application. So everything we talked about, the data center, the networking, the servers and the development, all that stuff is handled and maintained by a Cloud Service Provider, i.e., The Azure Cloud. We as the users using the Software as a Service only focus on using a software.
Common Scenario of SaaS
SaaS becomes more easier to understand in this following scenario. A huge user case for this would be Microsoft Office 365, where we can actually exchange emails right at any place and at any time. Have you ever wondered about what happens in the background? How does a mail gets transferred? Let’s assume you have the knowledge but what if you did not have? Would it matter a lot? You know it won’t because everything is taken care of and you only have to do is type your email and it gets delivered to the locations or the person you want to deliver it to. You just hit the Enter button and the message is delivered. So, what happens here is our only concern is consuming the services provided by Microsoft Office 365. We are not concerned about how the platform works. What is happening in the background, what are the security concerns? What if the server goes down? Where is the mail or email getting stored? Its none of a concern of end-users, i.e., us. Our only concern is to exchange meals that means we are just using the service and the service provider is just providing us with a complete software or an application in the form of service that is why this architecture is called as Software as a Service.
Purpose of Azure SaaS
Software as a Service (SaaS) largely evolved out of the growing recognition that the Internet presents a viable option to on-premise installation which has dominated computing since the early days. SaaS removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers, which typically requires a massive investment in terms of infrastructure, logistics and manpower. This eliminates the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation and support.
Advantages of Azure SaaS
Accessibility: Services can be accessed and run via Internet at any time, any place and from any device.
Cost Effective: Eliminates hardware expenses and provides with flexible payment methods such as pay-as-you-go model where we only need to pay for the services we use.
Scalability: It provides the ability to handle the increasing workload by increasing the proportion amount of resource capacity. By the use of scalability, the architecture provides on-demand resources if the traffic is raising the requirement.
Data Storage: Data is routinely stored in the cloud so that it can be easily accessed anywhere and at any time.
Operational Management: No need for installation, equipment updates or any traditional licensing management.
Increased Security: It means that a copy of our data is always available on various servers. If one fails, data is safe on the others. SaaS providers invest heavily on this aspect and its expertise.
Applications of SaaS
SaaS has numerous applications, including:
Automating sign-up for products and services.
Managing documents, including file sharing and document collaboration.
Shared company calendars, which can be used for scheduling events.
Customer Relationship Management systems, which are essentially a database of client and prospect information. SaaS-based CRMs can be used to hold company contact information, business activity, products purchased as well as track leads.
Types of software that have migrated to a SaaS model are often focused on enterprise-level services, such as human resources. These types of tasks are often collaborative in nature, requiring employees from various departments to share, edit, and publish material while not necessarily in the same office.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a software licensing model, which allows access to software on a subscription basis using external servers.
SaaS allows each user to access programs via the Internet, instead of having to install the software on the user's computer.
SaaS has many business applications, including file sharing, email, calendars, customer retention management, and human resources.
SaaS is easy to implement, easy to update and debug, and can be less expensive (or at least have lower up-front costs) since users pay for SaaS as they go instead of purchasing multiple software licenses for multiple computers.