You are no doubt familiar with banking, booking trips or buying goods through an internet connection. In each case, the vendor is exposing its application to you as a web-based service. As long as the device you are using can run one of the popular browsers, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Macintosh, a PC, a netbook or a mobile phone.
It’s a short jump from such bespoke services to the idea of a standardised service which could be used by many companies or individuals. Among individuals, standardised services for photo sharing, blogging, social networking and many others are already very popular.
You may have heard of Flickr, WordPress and Facebook, for example. Users can tweak the way their pages are laid out and which options are activated but these services are essentially fixed in their scope, but subject to continuous improvement, usually in the light of user feedback.
You will find parallels and overlaps in the business world where the delivered services have a more professional intent, but they are more or less equal in philosophy. You may have heard of salesforce.com, one of the best known and most successful examples of what is called Software as a Service, or SaaS.
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is an increasingly popular way to deliver software capabilities to organisations. It remotely hosts and manages the software and data associated with particular applications. And it delivers its services across the internet directly to any device that can run a web browser. This means that people can work on applications from any location that has internet access
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