Definition

data as a service

Data as a Service (DaaS) is an information provision and distribution model in which data files (including text, images, sounds, and videos) are made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.

DaaS offers convenient and cost-effective solutions for customer- and client-oriented enterprises. For example, Fidelitone, a supply-chain and logistics management company, employed ARI's DataStream DaaS solution to deploy parts catalogs into the customer channel. Here are a few other examples of DaaS providers: Urban Mapping, a geography data service, provides data for customers to embed into their own websites and applications. Xignite is a company that makes financial data available to customers. Hoover’s provides customers with business data on various organizations.

DaaS is emerging as underlying technologies that support Web services and SOA (service-oriented architecture) mature. High-speed Internet service has become increasingly available to support user access from more areas around the world, making DaaS an attractive option to more people and organizations. The evolution of SOA has greatly reduced the relevance of the particular platform on which data resides.

DaaS allows for, but does not require, the separation of data cost and usage from software or platform cost and usage. Hundreds of DaaS vendors, with various pricing models, exist worldwide. Pricing can be volume-based (a fixed cost per megabyte of data in the entire repository) or format-based (a fixed price per text file, another fixed price per image file, etc.).

Benefits of DaaS include the following.

  • Ability to move data easily from one platform to another.
  • Avoidance of the confusion and conflict that can occur when multiple "versions" of (supposedly) the same data exist in different locations.
  • Outsourcing of the presentation layer, reducing overall cost of data maintenance and delivery.
  • Preservation of data integrity by implementing access control measures such as strong passwords and encryption.
  • Avoidance of "vendor lock-in."
  • Ease of administration.
  • Ease of collaboration.  
  • Compatibility among diverse platforms.
  • Global accessibility.
  • Automatic updates.

DaaS is expected to facilitate new and more effective ways of distributing and processing data. Information management specialists believe that as more companies figure out which data assets they can rent for competitive advantage, the DaaS market will continue to expand. DaaS is closely related to Storage as a Service (abbreviated SaaS) and Software as a Service (also abbreviated SaaS) and may be integrated with one or both of these provision models. As is the case with these and other cloud computing technologies, DaaS adoption may be hampered by concerns about security, privacy, and proprietary issues.

This was last updated in May 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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