SaaS vs SaaP: What are the Differences?

Difference between saas and saap

Start-ups should always think about the long term. Likewise, even a small choice, like subscribing to software should be carefully thought out. If you’re befuddling whether to go with SaaS and SaaP, it’s best to know the difference between the two.

So what’s there to know about SaaS Vs SaaP? SaaS refers to subscription-based cloud-based software that is fully controlled by the supplier. On the other hand, SaaP is software installed locally and controlled by the user on their hardware infrastructure after being purchased outright.

But then again, which one’s the best for you? We’ll look closely at the differences between these services, using examples and clear definitions to help you understand them better. Moreover, we’ll help you find your perfect match!

What is SaaS?

SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”. It is a cloud-based software solution through which users can buy software services directly from the provider through the Internet. The buyer will not install it on their servers or host computers but rather access it through the internet.

As an alternative, consumers pay a membership fee to access the services online, usually once a month or once a year.  By paying the subscription fee, SaaS users access the chat platform on the provider’s cloud.

As a result, they can access the application from any place with an internet connection. Furthermore, they do not need to make upfront investments in equipment or software.


what is saas


Examples of SaaS

Understanding SaaS gets a whole lot easier when you come across examples that you have already been using. So let’s check them out. 

  • Google Workspace: It is SaaS that you are paying Google for a little bit of extra storage or making a Google Meet link that lasts more than an hour.
  • Microsoft Office 365: In your daily life, you undoubtedly encounter events when you must use Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. This is a classic example of software as a service provided by Microsoft through the annual subscription fee you pay.
  • Dropbox: It is a cloud-based file storage and sharing platform that allows users to store files and share them for collaborative work. However, you need to pay for additional storage which is also considered as SaaS.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Whether it be Photoshop, Illustrator, or Premiere Pro, Adobe provides users with this software for monthly or yearly payments. 

SaaS Software – Features and Benefits

Knowing the features and benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS) will help you decide the best option for your business. So let’s check them out.

Features of SaaS Software

Here are the features of SaaS;

  • Access From Anywhere: As long as you have an internet connection, you can access the software from anywhere in the world.
  • Automatic Maintenance: Since Saas is based entirely on a cloud network, the software automatically updates itself and ensures the user has the latest software.
  • Easy Integration With Others: Through APIs, SaaS apps frequently allow integration with other software programs and outside services, facilitating smooth data transfer and workflow automation.
  • One Software Serves Everyone: SaaS software is built with multi-tenant architecture. So a single instance of the program can serve numerous clients while keeping their data separate.

Benefits of SaaS Software

Here are the benefits of SaaS;

  • Cost Efficient For Customers: Since the customer has to pay every month/year, it eliminates the big bucks that the customer would have to pay upfront.
  • Cost Efficient For Businesses: Since businesses no longer have to sell hard copies such as CDs. Thus, helps businesses to save big bucks in the long run.
  • Super Scalable: SaaS providers can effortlessly accommodate growing user bases without the need for extensive hardware investments. This makes SaaS a super scalable solution for businesses.
  • Can Be Deployed Superfast: SaaS can be swiftly implemented on the infrastructure because it is based on cloud networks. On the contrary, if the product wasn’t SaaS, human on-premises installation would be required.

What is SaaP?

SaaP stands for “Software as a Product” and is known as the traditional method for service providers. However, while SaaP is similar to SaaS, the delivery process is entirely different. Instead of receiving the service software online, you receive it in a product such as CDs.

Starting from installation, configuration, and maintenance, everything is done from the user side. As a result, infrastructure such as servers are a physical element of SaaP and are required to operate SaaP at an optimal level. 

Owning the infrastructure is one of the SaaP disadvantages. Nevertheless, this model provides users with greater control and customization but requires upfront investment in hardware and software licenses.


what is saap


Examples of SaaP

Here are the examples of SaaP;

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: If you have bought a license or a CD that contains Adobe products such as Photoshop or Illustrator, you have bought SaaP software.
  • Microsoft Office Suite: Similar to Adobe, buying license keys or CDs for Microsoft products such as Excel or PowerPoint and installing it on your local device.
  • Antivirus Software: Whether it be McAfee or Norton, you certainly bought antivirus software back in the day. It’s an excellent example of SaaP.
  • QuickBooks: QuickBooks, a popular SaaP accounting software exemplifies how SaaP software is usually focused on niche categories. It is considered a SaaP because it follows a traditional software model where users purchase licenses for it.

SaaP Software – Features and Benefits

Now that you know what is SaaP, let’s delve into its features and benefits. Understanding these will highlight its advantages for businesses, making it easier to see how it can improve operations and productivity.

Features of SaaP Software

Here are the features of SaaP;

  • Full Control Of The Software: Users can install, configure, customize, and use the software in any way they see fit, giving them total control over how it is used.
  • Customization: SaaP software frequently provides a wide range of customization choices, enabling users to personalize the program to their particular needs and work processes.
  • One-Time Purchase: Even though it involves a big chunk of the entire setup of SaaP, it eliminates the need for ongoing subscription fees.
  • Data Control: Since their data is kept locally on their physical infrastructure, users have complete control over it and can keep up with privacy and data security laws.

Benefits of SaaP Software

Here are the benefits of using SaaP;

  • Offline Access: One of the key selling points of SaaP is that it can be accessed and operated offline.
  • Higher Security: Since all the data are stored in one’s computer, if the SaaP provider gets hacked anyhow, their data is not jeopardized.
  • Cost-Efficient For Customers In The Long Run: SaaP can save businesses a lot of money in the long run. There’s no monthly fee and only a one-time cost that the business has to bear. 
  • Ownership: SaaP software licenses are owned by users completely, allowing for long-term use of the program without the need for recurring subscription fees.  Also, giving users the impression that they are the true owners of the program.

SaaS vs SaaP – Differences and Which is Better?

In comparing SaaS (Software as a Service) and SaaP (Software as a Product), several factors determine the better option for businesses. 

SaaS wins in scalability, accessibility, short-term cost-effectiveness, deployment time, and maintenance. It allows for easy scalability, access from anywhere, lower upfront costs, quick deployment, and reduced maintenance responsibilities. 

However, when it comes to customization, security, ownership, dependency, and long-term cost savings, SaaP emerges as the winner. SaaP offers more outstanding customization options, stronger security control, full ownership of the software, reduced dependency on external providers, and long-term cost savings.

Nevertheless, here’s a table that lists different factors and the winner in that factor;

Factor SaaS SaaP Winner
Scalability Easy to scale up resources on-demand with cloud infrastructure Requires additional investments in hardware for scaling SaaS
Accessibility Accessible from any location with an internet connection Physical infrastructure is required SaaS
Short-term Cost-effectiveness Lower upfront costs, pay-as-you-go model Higher upfront costs due to hardware and infrastructure investments SaaS
Customization Limited customization options due to multi-tenant architecture Offers more extensive customization options SaaP
Security Data stored on the provider’s secure cloud servers Data stored locally offers more control over security SaaP
Ownership Users access services online through a subscription Users own software licenses outright SaaP
Deployment Time Quick deployment due to cloud-based infrastructure Longer deployment time due to installation and setup requirements SaaS
Maintenance Provider handles maintenance, updates automatically Users responsible for maintenance and updates SaaS
Dependency Relies on external providers for updates and maintenance Less dependency on external providers SaaP
Long-term Cost Saver Lower long-term costs due to the subscription model No recurring subscription fees, one-time cost SaaP

Choosing The Right Software Model For Your Needs

Both SaaS and SaaP have been performing well in the market and are two excellent viable choices for businesses. However, the right software model for your needs depends on many factors. 


which one is better between saas and saap


The easiest way to determine which is best for you is to look at the table above and make a list of the factors that best fit your requirements. Whichever scores the most is the winner for you, and you can implement it in your system mindlessly. 

In general, SaaS could be the optimal option if you require quick scalability, accessibility from anywhere, and lower upfront costs. It’s suitable if you don’t have an existing infrastructure and prioritize ease of deployment and maintenance. 

However, if you’re playing a long-term game where you aim to have more control over customization, security, and ownership, SaaP would be the ideal option.”


Overall, the comparison between SaaS vs SaaP is everlasting, and none of them is the winner. It’s your needs that make each of them a winner. If you need scalability, accessibility, short deployment time, and easy maintenance, opt for SaaS.

On the other hand, if you want ownership of the software, data security, customization, and long-term cost savings, then there’s no better option than SaaP. Evaluate your needs first and then decide which one suits you best. So good luck!


Let’s check out some commonly asked questions regarding SaaS vs SaaP.

How do support and troubleshooting differ between SaaS and SaaP?

With SaaS, the provider usually takes care of all the support and troubleshooting. With SaaP, users may have to rely on their own IT team or outside firms for help and maintenance.

What should businesses consider when switching from SaaP to SaaS or vice versa?

When a business wants to switch from SaaS to SaaP, it should consider costs, moving data, integrating with other systems, and educating employees.

How do SaaS and SaaP options handle moving data between systems and working with other ones?

Some SaaS companies may offer tools and services to make moving data and connecting to other cloud-based systems easier. On the other hand, SaaP users may have to use manual methods or third-party integrations to move data and connect their systems.

Sara Francis is a seasoned writer with extensive expertise in SaaS business dynamics. With 3 years of immersed experience in the industry, she aims to help businesses by providing valuable insights and practical advice.

Sara Francis
Author’s Bio

Sara Francis is a seasoned writer with extensive expertise in SaaS business dynamics. With 3 years of immersed experience in the industry, she aims to help businesses by providing valuable insights and practical advice.

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