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I found some questions here on how to create a SaaS. This much is easy, but what I don't understand is what makes an application a PaaS and not a SaaS. What lines does an application cross before we can start calling it a PaaS (platform as a service) and not just a SaaS (software as a service)? It seems like a small difference but I can't pinpoint it.

I would welcome even examples of PaaS if you can point something about them that makes them a PaaS and not a SaaS. A common name in this area is salesforce but I don't know much about the service itself to understand from it why it's a PaaS.

Edit: I feel that from a programmer's perspective, it's the same job, or no? I think the only difference is the PaaS is for developers as end users and SaaS is for regular users as end users. Does that sum it up?

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Talking about Salesforce.com, they offer Force.com platform, which actually provides a programming language, database, integration features and so on. You can use this platform to build whatever you need or like.

Salesforce also offers their own prebuilt CRM applications which is SaaS or Software as a service as the application has been built for you, you can simply start using it.

PaaS provides you with tools and components to build something. SaaS provides you with a prebuilt application you can pick up and use straight away. Using the Salesforce example, you can tailor their SaaS offerings by using some of their PaaS technologies.

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