Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing are used fairly synonymously these days. A software application accessed via the web through a web browser is considered SaaS. Cloud computing is the broader term that encompasses any form of application that is accessed and run via the internet. Either way, with ePath Learning ASAP, this means there is no hardware to buy, software to install, hidden implementation costs, or costly upgrades. You also benefit from rapid deployment, free and immediate upgrades and we manage all the technology – so you don’t have to.
If you think in terms of your online banking, or even eBay, they are both examples of SaaS. You go online and access the service, without ever having to download software to your computer. You login and the application delivers all the appropriate functionality to your desktop via your web browser. All information provided during your session, including any user preferences you select are saved to the application’s database so it is available the next time you log in, no matter where you login from.
Ah, multi-tenancy. This is where things really get interesting. All clients share a single instance of the application and server infrastructure with data partitioned to maintain autonomy. The easiest way to think of multi-tenancy is like an apartment building. The building provides the shared infrastructure, but each tenant has their own apartment. Within each apartment, the tenant can house their own unique belongings without those belongings comingling with contents from other apartments. The building, front door, hallways and elevators are shared infrastructure among all tenants, but beyond the locked apartment door the space is unique to each tenant.
Multi-tenancy provides greater efficiency for us, which in turn reduces cost to you. With a single instance of the software running, we are able to make global upgrades instantaneously available to all our customers all at once. The same is true for maintenance. Single tenant “hosted” providers deploy separate instances of the application to each customer across multiple servers. It becomes costly for the provider to maintain all the versions of the software and related hardware and those costs are passed on to the customers.