Software as a service (SaaS) allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. Common examples are email, calendaring, and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365).
In this lecture, you’re introduced to the concept of Software as a Service, commonly abbreviated as SaaS. It’s explained that SaaS enables users to connect to cloud-based applications via the internet, with typical examples including email, calendaring, and office tools such as Microsoft Office 365.
The lecture delves into the details of how SaaS operates as a complete software solution that organizations can subscribe to, usually through a pay-as-you-go model offered by cloud service providers. This subscription-based model allows organizations to ‘rent’ the use of an application and provide their users access to it over the internet, most often through a web browser.
It is emphasized that the infrastructure, including hardware, middleware, app software, and even the data, is maintained in the service provider’s data center. In this case, a service provider like Microsoft Azure not only delivers the software but also manages the hardware, ensuring the security and availability of both the app and the data, given the right service agreement is in place.
The benefits of SaaS for organizations are outlined as well, noting the rapid deployment and minimal upfront costs. Examples provided extend from personal use cases, like web-based email services, to enterprise-level applications such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and document management systems. Payment models for these services are based on subscription or usage levels.
Lastly, the lecture prepares you for an exam scenario, emphasizing the importance of understanding that SaaS refers to cloud-based applications accessed over the internet, and is a cost-effective, scalable solution for organizations looking to implement or use software applications.