One of the reasons the ‘Cloud’ has become such a ubiquitous term is the Saas model. Some people are beginning to think Saas should not be thought of as a part of the Cloud packages at all, because it provides in some respects a different type of service than Paas or Iaas.
Saas or Software as a service is the most basic service, essentially it is a cloud offering that individuals or companies can use to standardize routine tasks or services. An email client might use this type of cloud packaging because the basics of an email client needs to work across platforms. Essentially Saas is a data storage, offering specific software that uploads and downloads from the general server. The whole process is streamlined by the Cloud provider. The Cloud provider is doing all the developing for the software; while in Paas the platform can do some of the work– Saas takes this beyond the scope of what Paas provides. Saas is really just the data storage aspect of the Cloud offering where the data is limited in scope to the type of software the Saas is providing.
The Saas model, in fact most Cloud based services, rely upon the use of some software interface for the client that uploads and downloads from the Cloud. The Cloud operator utilizes intelligent software to handle data from the clients. Examples include GoogleDrive, iCloud, or an application store; all these services remotely hold data and software in the cloud that the client is able to upload and download from. It takes little know-how to operate many of Saas Cloud operations the Cloud is able to manage and essentially streamlines aspects of business operations.
Interoperability and security are still issues with the Saas model. A problem with Saas is the use of software precludes or interferes with control over your data. The software operator remains in control of formatting the software. The data a customer puts onto the Cloud is read by their own network through a pre-designed software client, so porting or moving customers’ data is a cumbersome process. As portability is a problem for all Cloud services the service of your particular Cloud host is an extremely important decision.
What a Saas customer must keep in mind is that they are limited by the software they are using. If, for-instance, one wanted to port data or use their information in any particular way, they would need to design their own system for accessing the information for personal use. Porting data from an Saas Cloud provider is a significant concern for the customer. On the other hand, the software service is already pre-packaged into the product so the customer does not have to worry about setting up a system. And usually a customer using Saas will be looking to outsource significant amounts of IT needs to the Cloud provider.
As Cloud customers come from all walks of life, the client base for a provider is not limited to a company.
But many individuals use a Saas in their day to day operations. Saas is such a ubiquitous model that many people are using it without knowing it has a particular designation. Whether Saas should be considered in step with the other services is up in the air, but the basics of a Cloud service are there. The Cloud host usually maintains a large server or servers to hold the data that is being sent through its operation, and the client accesses that data as way of interfacing with data, often in the form of communications. The Cloud is a nascent industry with new issues cropping up routinely.