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Two acronyms getting some attention are SaaS and Sass. Although the acronyms are very similar and easily confused at first glance, they are two different concepts in the development world. In this article we will discuss both of them and how they may apply to you.

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Software as a Service – SaaS

Software as a Service is a new concept that simply means, on-demand software. Previously, software was delivered by CDs and floppy disks. Then, it became downloadable as internet speeds increased and hard drives grew. You still had to install the program in order to use or run it. SaaS eliminates the need to download or even install software on a computer. Companies create applications that run on servers “in the cloud” which in turn brings many benefits:

  1. Less Overhead
  2. No maintenance of out of date software
  3. Quick release of updates
  4. Ease of adding new customers

SaaS also allows for a new pricing structure. Applications that use this model tend to be subscription based, where a monthly or annual fee is set up to continue using the software. Other applications offer the services for free, and add additional features or support for a nominal cost. This is known as the freemium model.

The biggest concern with SaaS is security. All this data is being hosted and saved in the cloud. Depending on the software this could include social security numbers and credit cards, so use SaaS applications wisely. Another big concern is SaaS applications run on the server then transmit the updated data to the client. This can cause problems if your application requires quick response times.

Look for Part 2 of the series Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (Sass).