In the early 1970s’ when I was in college, computers were huge and incredibly expensive so that only governments and the largest corporations could afford them.   So computer time was very valuable and was sold (or rented) on a minute by minute basis.  For our computer classes or any computer use, we had to write our programs then go to a room with specialized machines and type our program onto computer cards.  Then we gathered up the cards, waited in line for a “computer technician” to feed them into the computer.  After a length off time, minute to hours, when the computer got to our low priority work it would print out the results.  Typos or out of order cards meant back to where the mistake was and recreate the program.  Incredibly time consuming.  PCs were such a blessing, but cost in the range of $3,000 each.

Trivial fact: A  computer manufactory named Commodore said they would reduce the price of their computers when they paid their factory off.  Somewhere in the mid to late eighties they paid it off and lowered the price of an IBM PC from the $3,000 range to $1500 or less than a thousand dollars depending on the computer.  Now almost everybody could afford one and time sharing on computers became a thing of the past.

Until SaaS. As I said “Everything old is new again.”

The following is from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Software as a service (SaaS; pronounced /sæs/ or /sɑːs/[1]), sometimes referred to as “on-demand software” supplied by ISVs or “Application-Service-Providers” (ASPs),[2] is a software delivery model[3] in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including Office & Messaging software, DBMS software, Management software, CAD software, Development software, GamificationVirtualization,[2] accountingcollaborationcustomer relationship management (CRM), management information systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) and service desk management.[4] SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of all leading enterprise software companies.[5] One of the biggest selling points for these companies is the potential to reduce IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the SaaS provider.[6]

According to a Gartner Group estimate,[7] SaaS sales in 2010 reached $10 billion, and were projected to increase to $12.1bn in 2011, up 20.7% from 2010. Gartner Group estimates that SaaS revenue will be more than double its 2010 numbers by 2015 and reach a projected $21.3bn. Customer relationship management (CRM) continues to be the largest market for SaaS. SaaS revenue within the CRM market was forecast to reach $3.8bn in 2011, up from $3.2bn in 2010.[8]

The term “software as a service” (SaaS) is considered to be part of the nomenclature of cloud computing, along with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), desktop as a service (DaaS), backend as a service (BaaS), and information technology management as a service (ITMaaS).[9]


Centralized hosting of business applications dates back to the 1960s. Starting in that decade, IBM and other mainframe providers conducted a service bureau business, often referred to as time-sharing or utility computing. Such services included offering computingpower and database storage to banks and other large organizations from their worldwide data centers.

The expansion of the Internet during the 1990s brought about a new class of centralized computing, called Application Service Providers (ASP). ASPs provided businesses with the service of hosting and managing specialized business applications, with the goal of reducing costs through central administration and through the solution provider’s specialization in a particular business application. Two of the world’s pioneers and largest ASPs were USI, which was headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, and Futurelink Corporation, headquartered in Orange County California.

Software as a service essentially extends the idea of the ASP model. The term Software as a Service (SaaS), however, is commonly used in more specific settings:

  • Whereas most initial ASPs focused on managing and hosting third-party independent software vendors‘ software, as of 2012 SaaS vendors typically develop and manage their own software.
  • Whereas many initial ASPs offered more traditional client-server applications, which require installation of software on users’ personal computers, SaaS solutions of today rely predominantly on the Web and only require an internet browser to use.
  • Whereas the software architecture used by most initial ASPs mandated maintaining a separate instance of the application for each business, as of 2012 SaaS solutions normally utilize a multi-tenant architecture, in which the application serves multiple businesses and users, and partitions its data accordingly.

The SAAS acronym allegedly first appeared in an article called “Strategic Backgrounder: Software As A Service”, internally published in February 2001 by the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) eBusiness Division.[10]

DbaaS (Database as a Service) has emerged as a sub-variety of SaaS.[11]