SAAS or “software as a service” is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. This has become an effective way of delivering services online. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software”, “web-based software”, “subscribeware”, and “rentware”. Microsoft used to call it “software plus services”.
SAAS is a way of delivering applications over the internet as a service. So instead of installing and maintaining software, you can simply access it through the internet. With SAAS, the provider manages access to the application. That includes security, availability, and performance—so that users don’t have to do it themselves.
SAAS is different from the traditional on-premise software delivery model because it doesn’t require extensive hardware. This allows buyers to outsource most of the IT responsibilities typically required to troubleshoot the software in-house. SAAS systems also have a subscription model, whereas on-premise software typically have a purchasable license, paid up front.
Because SAAS applications don’t have access to a company’s internal systems, they predominantly offer integration protocol and APIs, also known as application programming interfaces. These protocols are usually based on HTTP, REST, and SOAP, and operate over a wide area network.
Because of the standardization of SAAS applications and their API technology, “mashups” have been developed. These are lightweight applications that combine data, presentation, and functionality from multiple services, creating a compound service.
HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. It is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. With HTTP, users can easily access resources with a tap of the screen or by clicking on hyperlinks using their mouse.
Representational state transfer or REST is a software architectural style that defines a set of constraints to be used for creating web services. Web services that use the REST architectural style are called RESTful web services. RESTful web services allow the requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of web resources by using a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations.
REST was designed specifically for working with components such as media components, files, and objects on a particular hardware.
SOAP, or Simple Object Access Protocol, is a messaging protocol specification for exchanging structured info in the implementation of web services in computer networks. It uses XML Information Set for its message format. SOAP was designed before REST came into the picture. The main goal behind SOAP was to ensure that programs built on different platforms and programming languages could exchange data easily.
This is why SOAP only works with XML formats while REST works with plain text, XML, HTML, and JSON. SOAP also needs more bandwidth, whereas REST does not use much. Finally, SOAP cannot make use of REST while REST can make use of SOAP.
SAAS companies strive for innovation and modernization—but in the modern business landscape, this is easier said than done. A lot of cloud-based companies face the same hybrid integration challenges that other organizations face, such as connecting on-premise and cloud data sources.
The more a SAAS organization grows, the more its integration and data movement requirements grow with it. Before, one-off fixes were enough to handle emerging demands—but this is no longer the case. One-off solutions do not scale well in the modern enterprise.
This is why companies are learning to adapt and use these various open integration protocols to provide their users’ many needs. While SOAP is like using an envelope that contains lots of processing information inside it, REST can be compared to a postcard with a URI as a destination address. REST is data-driven and is used to access a resource for certain data, while SOAP is a protocol that is more function-driven.
Companies use SOAP when applications demand higher level of security. REST is used for communication failures and other data-related tasks.
Kennected is one of many examples of SAAS. It is an automation tool for LinkedIn that lets you generate leads reliably by using the social networking platform’s data-rich filters. This service provides a steady stream of sales, connections, appointments, and opportunities to users by finding the most qualified leads.