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ASP (Application Service Provider)

In the context of Document Management the three letter acronym ASP stands for Application Service Provider (ASP) and does not refer to the Active Server Pages (ASP) developed by Microsoft, which are used for the construction of dynamic websites.

As a forerunner to Software-as-a-Service, an ASP application can be considered (SaaS). Both words refer to software-as-a-service applications that run in the browser.
The term application service provider (ASP) has been in use for over a decade and refers to both the provider, i.e. the application service provider, and the process, i.e. application service providing or application service provisioning.

Both SaaS and ASP are built on the concept of providing software as a service using Internet technology. It's easy to get SaaS and the "Application Service Providing" model mixed up. The main distinction is that with ASP, each user firm is given its own software instance. However, this is installed at the provider's site rather than at the customer's. SaaS, as a platform-based solution, provides many distinct clients via the Internet and is defined by the fact that all users work with the same software instance that is made available via the Internet.

Summing up, the most important points about ASP are:

  • Forerunner to Software-as-a-Service
  • Provider of computer applications
  • Similar to Cloud-Computing

Services of Application Service Providers

Application Service Providers are companies, that provide computer applications via the internet to other companies for use. The applications are not running on the client's computers, but on the Application Service Providers' computers. This concept is also referred to as Cloud-Computing.

Document Management software in the cloud

There are providers of Document Management Software in the cloud. But small and medium-sized companies tend towards having their own application running on their own computers. Many firms do not want to outsource their sensitive data for very good reasons. The security of their own four walls and the general lack in cyber security play a key role. In addition, many cloud providers do not have their headquarters in the clients country and therefore a strong legal uncertainty exists who else has access to the data and what happens in the case of data loss.

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