What is SaaS (Software as a Service) in Cloud Computing?

While studying cloud computing or just gaining a light knowledge about remote computing architecture, you would come across the word software as a service or call as SaaS. It is one of the essential computing service systems that use cloud-based architecture to provide cost-effectively and ready-to-user computing services. Its servers are maintained remotely, and it is a web-based application.

What is Software as a Service?

Whenever you need it, you can get it to the type of ready-to-use software service where a user only pays for the service they use or need. It is a method for the provider to distribute the services as and when needed. This model is among the three main or essential cloud-based models.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a service (PaaS) are the other two. As all servers and databases are sustained by the users' provider, using this type of architecture has various benefits for the user, the primary among them being the reduction in operational costs and sustenance costs.

Working of SaaS

This cloud-based system allows users to access internet-based applications offered by providers on demand. SaaS is delivered through a centralized network of sensors and servers connected to a remote database.

SaaS can be hosted on the proprietary owned sensors, servers, and the provider's database or outsourced and hosted by the Independent Software Vendor (ISV). The provider of these types of services is often called the Application Service Provider (ASP). The ASP can host a user application and allow its conveyance to authorized users over the internet, ensuring the service's security.

Thus, these users are not required to maintain or set up their network. They only pay the required fee for their usage and get going on using the application.

The provider provides users with network-based access to the service, and the users' data is stored either on their local database or in the cloud, and often sometimes, a mixture of both is used.

The users can combine different tools using the API. Organizations or users can create their proprietary software and integrate it with the SaaS-based systems; moreover, they can interconnect multiple SaaS-based applications.

What is the structure of SaaS?

Its architecture is a type of software delivery where the provider or vendor hosts the application on a cloud server and delivers the finished, ready-to-use application to the user. The server is centrally maintained and common for its users. This means the access to the application is provided to the users by providing them access to the cloud server, and various users use the common cloud server to perform the necessary computation and complete the required tasks.

Organizations or users also develop their in-house applications or software to enhance the SaaS-based service software using the APIs.

Aids of SaaS

The main advantage of the model is reduced costs. There is no upfront cost for installing sensors and servers and also no cost to maintain their database; the cost for sustaining them also goes to zero. All we have to pay for is the service they use to their provider. It is an anytime, ready-to-use software service, so the users only pay for the service they use and nothing more.

It offers high amounts of scalability and integration options. As the SaaS system is cloud-based, it is very easy to enhance its scale and integrate with other software as a Service application, offering the users an extreme amount of flexibility.

Drawbacks of Software as a Service (SaaS)

Security is the primary concern for the users who use SaaS-based applications; as the servers and databases are centralized, the users' data can be leaked and used for malicious activities. For this, the users are recommended to go for known service providers for choosing their third-party vendor.

The subsequent problem faced while using this type of architecture is that it can low perform quite frequently; as an application is browser-based and is running on remote servers, it takes longer for the request to fetch the required data and perform the required computing (as in the case for HPC – high-performance computing).


A SaaS is a cloud-based architecture that provides a cost-effective and ready service that can be used whenever users require it. It is hosted and maintained on centralized servers.

Updated on: 14-Oct-2022


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