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  • Writer's pictureSiru Pihlajavesi

PaaS vs. SaaS: Understanding the Fundamental Differences

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Integrating new technology into your business? Choosing between PaaS vs SaaS can be a daunting task.

Here's a simplified breakdown of the key differences:

1. Ownership of Data:

- PaaS: With PaaS, the customer owns and controls the platform and the associated data. The vendor provides administration and management services, ensuring clear data ownership.

- SaaS: In contrast, SaaS providers host the application and dictate data ownership terms. While specifics may vary, it's crucial for companies to understand data ownership stipulations before signing a license agreement.

2. Security

- Paas: PaaS applications are deployable within a customers existing cloud infrastructure, and not deployed publicly to the internet. This greatly reduces potential access to the application by bad actors, and leverages the inherent security protocols of the cloud platform and the end customer, providing greater security.

- SaaS: These applications are hosted and made available through the internet, which provides increased exposure. Additionally there is no guarantee of database segregation, potentially leading to commingled data and each user having an equal risk of exposure or breach.

3. Application Flexibility and Customization:

- PaaS: Users can directly access and manipulate application data, fostering limitless utilization and enabling endless reporting and dashboard customizations by the end user.

- SaaS: SaaS applications are designed to cater to multiple users or organizations through a shared code base or feature set. While some level of customization may be possible, it often involves configuring pre-existing features rather than making significant changes.

4. Pricing Models:

- PaaS: PaaS models include fees for platform management, which are explicitly outlined in the service agreement. The cost of hosting and managing the platform is incorporated into the overall pricing structure.

- SaaS: While not presented as a distinct line item, the cost of hosting and managing the application is encompassed within the SaaS license fee. Users do not have to worry about additional management costs.

Understanding these fundamental differences is crucial for making an informed decision about which model best suits your business needs. Stay tuned for our next post, where we'll dive deeper into the pros and cons of each approach.

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