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Service vs Software

 
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Hi All,

We all talk about Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Similarly SaaS talks about Software as a Service. SalesForce says "No Software". So what exactly a service is in layman's term.

While reading through ITIL documents, I read a service as "A means of delivering value to Customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs or risks”. So, this involves, people, practices, processes, resources along with software. So is the service, defined by ITIL different from the service SOA, SaaS, SalesForce etc talking about.

So, whether we call it as a service or a software, is again a bunch of machine readable code. If we take Webservices, or other means of SOA, again it is all about a bunch of code, to put it simple a software. So what is the difference between a Software and a Service.

Could some one explain me this in a very layman's terms.

Thanks
 
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Another term is "software as service".

It means that rather than delivering your software on a CD to install, or as a download to install, you instead sell access to a website that runs the software for you.

Its still software, it just runs on someone else's computer, not yours. You use any browser to talk to it do do your work.

There are simple appls like Google Docs or even GMail. On up to million dollar packages

 
Kumar Raja
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Thanks Pat, for explaining in the simplest terms.

But my other question is, is the ITIL definition of Service, different from the service what we are talking about.

Thanks
 
Pat Farrell
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I have no idea what a "ITIL documents" is. Can't help here.
 
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ITIL, ISO, CMM..you can safely ignore all that crap.
 
Kumar Raja
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Well Maneesh,

I'm not sure, on what basis you can conclude that as a crap, as they are the industry standards atleast in service industry. Can we afford to call PMP a crap? Atleast the practitioner would not like it.
I'm not educative enough to argue on that, but my senses say, they are standards out there and industry is benefiting out of that. I would be really greatful, if you could elaborate on your conclusion.

As a side note, from the Pat's post, posted earlier, instead of selling the software as installable components in CDS or by other means, instead hosting them on websites and letting customers get what they wanted to get from those websites, may literally mean service in layman's terms. From the cost effective perspective, is that not more expensive for maintaining huge stack of servers to serve millions of customers, by providing services. Instead is it not a cheaper solution to distribute them in CD's so that, service maintanance would not be a hassle.

 
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The point is, you can safely ignore all of those acronyms if you just want a layman's answer as to what a "service" is. And to tell the truth, the definition you quoted in your original post is a pretty good description.

As for whether it's more expensive to operate servers to run your service on instead of distributing your software on DVDs: you're forgetting that customers are paying money to connect to those servers. The fee structure for on-line services is very different from the fee structure associated with software distributed on DVDs. And I think you will find that the people who run those services have already considered your question and have reasons for what they chose to do.
 
Kumar Raja
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That makes more sense to me , Paul and thanks for correcting me on the my interpretation of Maneesh's response.
 
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