Cloud Computing is a general description for anything that involves delivering computing services over the Internet. These services are divided into three major categories: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
SaaS is a rapidly growing area of Cloud Computing that provides tremendous reliability, functionality, flexibility and scalability, while greatly simplifying your business technology environment. SaaS providers develop business applications to be delivered over the Internet and accessible via any common web browser. SaaS applications are hosted at discrete data centers that are owned or leased by the SaaS vendor. The SaaS model uses a multi-tenant architecture, which means that customers share a common application platform, while their unique configurations and data are stored separately. A primary feature of SaaS is subscription-based pricing, which typically bundles full use of the SaaS application, a robust and secure computing infrastructure, free version upgrades, service level guarantees, and ongoing support.
Virtually any type of business application can be developed and delivered as multi-tenant SaaS. Enterprise business management, e-commerce, customer relationship management, accounting, office productivity suite, communications, and marketing applications are just a few of the many business solutions being offered by today’s SaaS providers.