SaaS (software as a service) provisioning refers to the process for on-boarding or establishing service delivery to users of cloud based software applications. SaaS self provisioning refers to the establishment of such services using automated processes, which provides immediate access to software in the cloud. Self provisioning greatly increases operational efficiency for ISV’s (independent software vendors), as they no longer have to allocate labor resources to handle the routine tasks that are associated with SaaS provisioning. SaaS provisioning also provides cloud ISV’s with the necessary framework to push out automatic updates to their SaaS subscribers. This reduces the workload on IT developers, as they no longer have to manage release schedules or the deployment of software enhancements, patches or upgrades.
At a high level, SaaS provisioning systems provide the necessary framework to activate or deactivate software services based on a variety of user events. To this end, a SaaS provisioning system automates the allocation and reallocation of system resources, the deployment or removal of application components and the granting or revocation of permissions to various applications or application features.
Behind the scenes, SaaS provisioning systems are designed to handle the intricate details of delivering software as a service to client users, which are also sometimes referred to as tenants. For example, a SaaS provisioning system may enter default tenant information into a database table, create a virtual directory on a web server for a tenant or authenticate a tenant’s credentials.
Since SaaS provisioning systems control the delivery of billable services, it follows that such systems must also be tightly integrated with SaaS billing, subscription and payment processes, which provides the benefits of low-cost and low-touch user administration for SaaS ISV’s. For example, a SaaS provisioning system must be able to roll out the necessary software service changes, after a client modifies their subscription level using a self service web interface. Likewise, a SaaS provisioning system must also be able to automatically update the subscription fees to be billed to a client when a change in service is requested.
Apprenda’s ISV solution offers a flexible SaaS provisioning system, as well as a full suite of administrative tools, including: entitlement monitoring, self service account management, subscriber management, metering & usage analytics and entitlements definitions. This functionality is built upon Apprenda’s PaaS (platform as a service) stack that includes identity federation, a multi-tenant run time, a metering engine and a role/entitlement system.
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