What Distinguishes a SAAS Platform From Regular Software Applications?

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When it comes to software, there are two main types: SAAS platforms and regular software applications. But what distinguishes these two types from each other?

SAAS platforms are web-based software applications that require no installation and are accessed through a web browser, while regular software applications are installed on a user’s computer.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between SAAS platforms and regular software applications in detail. So, if you are wondering what makes a SAAS platform different from a regular software application, read on!

Introduction to SAAS

Software as a service” (SaaS), also known as Cloud-based software enables the users to connect to and use apps over the Internet.

SAAS is revolutionizing the way we use the software. With SAAS, users can connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. This eliminates the need for expensive hardware and software since all of that is taken care of by the service provider.

Best of all, with SAAS you pay only for what you use.  There is no need to purchase an expensive license for software that you may only use a few times a year. SAAS also allows your organization to get quickly up and running with an app at minimal upfront cost.

Introduction to Regular Software Applications

Regular software applications are installed on a user’s computer. The most common type of regular software application is an executable file that runs locally on the desktop or laptop.

This means that you will need to install and maintain the server hardware, operating system, database management systems (DBMS), network bandwidth, and security components required to support these applications. 

In addition, you will need to purchase and install the software license for each user. And finally, you will need to train your users on how to use these applications.

What Distinguishes a SAAS Platform From Regular Software Applications

Now that we have introduced both SAAS platforms and regular software applications, let’s compare the two in more detail.

Installation

SAAS platforms do not require any installation. All you need to do is sign up for the service and you can start using the app. Regular software applications, on the other hand, require installation.

This means that you will need to install and maintain the server hardware, operating system, database management systems (DBMS), network bandwidth, and security components required to support these applications.

Customizability

When it comes to customizability, SAAS platforms are not as flexible as regular software applications. Regular software applications have the ability to be customized according to your business needs.

For example, if you want an ERP application that has special features for your manufacturing process, then you will need a regular software application since most of these features are not available on SAAS platforms.

On the other hand, if you want a simple CRM application with no customization required, then using a SAAS platform is your best option since these applications are designed to be easy-to-use and cost-effective. 

Maintenance

The maintenance of regular software applications requires more effort than a SAAS platform. With regular software applications, you will need to maintain the server hardware, operating system, database management systems (DBMS), network bandwidth, and security components.

This can be a daunting task for small businesses with limited resources. SAAS platforms do not require any of this maintenance as all of that is taken care of by the service provider.

Cost

SAAS platforms are usually cheaper than regular software applications since most of them offer a monthly subscription model. Regular software applications, on the other hand, require purchasing a license for each user which can be more expensive especially if you have many users in your organization.

However, the prices for regular software applications are dropping as more and more companies move to the cloud.

Functionality

SAAS platforms usually have limited functionality compared to regular software applications. However, this is changing as more and more SAAS companies are adding features to their platforms. For example, Salesforce recently added Einstein AI into its platform which enables users to use artificial intelligence (AI) in their business processes.

Most regular software applications offer a wide range of features that are not available on SAAS platforms.

Architecture

SAAS platforms are built on a multi-tenant architecture which means that all users share the same application instance and database. Regular software applications, on the other hand, have a single-tenant architecture where each user has its own server hardware, operating system, and database management systems (DBMS).

This makes regular software applications more expensive to run since you need to purchase and install the software license for each user.

Data Ownership

With a SAAS platform, you do not own the data that is stored in the application instance or database. The service provider owns all of the data and can access it at any time without your consent. This should be a major concern for businesses that are storing sensitive data in a SAAS platform.

With regular software applications, you own the data and can access it at any time without the service provider’s consent. This is an important consideration for businesses that need to keep their data secure.

Scalability

SAAS platforms are not as scalable as regular software applications. Most SAAS platforms have a fixed number of users that they can support. As your business grows, you will need to purchase more licenses for the platform which can get expensive.

Regular software applications are scalable and can support any number of users without any additional cost. This makes them more suitable for businesses that need to add new users on a regular basis.

Security and Privacy

Regular software applications have a single-tenant architecture which means that each user has its own server hardware, operating system, and database management systems (DBMS). This makes them more vulnerable to hackers as they only need to breach one server in order to access all of the data.

SAAS platforms also have a higher risk of data breaches due to their multi-tenant architecture. All of the users share the same application instance and database which makes it easier for hackers to access it if they know how to do so.

A data breach can also happen due to human error such as leaving the database open without any password protection or allowing unauthorized people into your premises where sensitive information is stored on computers.

Examples

Here are some examples of SAAS platforms:

Salesforce: A customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps businesses manage their sales and marketing processes.

Dropbox: A cloud-based file storage and synchronization service that allows you to save files online so they can be accessed anywhere anytime.

ZenDesk: Another cloud-based customer service software that allows businesses to manage their customer support operations.

Here are some examples of regular software applications:

Microsoft Office: a suite of desktop applications that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.

QuickBooks: an accounting software used by small businesses to manage their finances.

Photoshop:  A photo-editing software that enables the user to manipulate images and create new ones. 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that SAAS platforms are distinguished by their focus on delivering a better user experience and making it easier for customers to get up and running. If you’re looking for an enterprise software application, be sure to ask how the platform works and what kind of customer support they offer.

By understanding the key features that distinguish SAAS platforms from regular software applications, you can make a more informed decision about which option is best for your business needs.

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