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SaaS vs Software

Published on Thu Jul 06 2023

Salesforce is often considered as the company who created the SaaS era. As a record, SaaS stands for "Software As A Service".

Salesforce is often considered as the company who "created" the #SaaS era. As a record, SaaS stands for "Software As A Service".

In short, it means that you use the software without having to setup or manage it yourself. In exchange, you pay for a monthly subscription, often based on the number of users.

Even though it might sound appealing, this mode - that has become a de-facto standard in our industry - has a couple of caveats.


To make it economically viable, SaaS are often developed in a multi-tenant fashion. It means that you, customer X, customer Y, etc. live in the same database. It's the same as if you had roommates.

If one of your roommates does something bad, or simply has a high load, it can impact your performance as well.


Having roommates has inherent impacts on your privacy. Given the fact that all the customers are on the same database, a small bug in the code of the platform can leak your information to other customers.

Let's take Zendesk as an example.

They have a huge database table storing the tickets of all their customers. Each ticket has a column "tenant_id" that indicates to whom it belongs to. In the code, they list the tickets with your tenant id to give you the full list in the UI.

Without good attention, a small bug can be introduced and leak your tickets to your competitor, who's also using the platform.


Given what we've explained above, there is another topic that matters a lot. If the platform is down, you are down. You have no way to restart the servers, to see the logs, etc.

So if the SaaS you're using is critical for your business, plan ahead and think about a plan B in case of emergency.

And last but not least, if the company behind the SaaS goes down, you can say good bye to your data if they don't plan a data hand over. So again, think about a plan B.


It's no secret that SaaS is very lucrative for the companies behind them. If we caricature a little bit, you develop a product once, and each month, your customers pay you to use it.

In reality, they need to pay for servers, marketing, an army of sales, etc, of course.

But all in all, it's more expensive for you to use a SaaS than using an open source equivalent on your own servers. If you have 3 sales, you need a very small server to run an open source CRM. On the other side, having an account for each of them on Pipedrive or HubSpot will be more expensive for you.

So as you can see, SaaS has lots of advantages but one needs to take into account its limits as well.

In comparison, with "regular" Software, you are 100% in charge. You can manage everything.

That's why we chose this pattern while developing RebootX. You buy the software once, but then you enjoy it without having to pay a subscription each month.

And of course, you receive regular updates.

More over, it's an app that lets you manage your cloud infrastructure. So it means that your data is very sensitive. We didn't want to store your secrets on our servers because it simply makes no sense. Even if we use a tool made for this like HashiCorp's #Vault.

It's your keys, they stay on your phone. It's as simple as that.

We strongly believe that our industry needs to go back to this "old" fashion of making software. Seeing companies giving their confidential data to other companies through their SaaS is incredibly surprising for us.

Most of the time, it's because of a lack of knowledge, so we hope people are more aware of that.

Especially when they give access to their emails to a random company to supposedly "clean" it to save the planet...

Chafik H'nini

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