Application service provider

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An application service provider (ASP) is a business providing application software generally through the Web.[1]

The ASP model[edit]

The application software resides on the vendor's system and is accessed by users through a communication protocol. Alternatively, the vendor may provide special purpose client software. Client software may interface with these systems through an application programming interface.

ASP characteristics include:[citation needed]

  • ASP fully owns and operates the software application(s)
  • ASP owns, operates and maintains the servers that support the software
  • ASP makes information available to customers via the Internet or a thin client
  • ASP may bill on a per-use basis, a monthly/annual fee, or a per-labor hour basis

The advantages to this approach include:[citation needed]

  • Software costs for the application are spread over multiple clients
  • Vendors provide more application experience than the in-house staff
  • Key software systems are kept up to date and managed for performance by experts
  • Access to product and technology experts dedicated to available products
  • Reduction of internal IT costs to a predictable fee

Some disadvantages include:[citation needed]

  • The client must generally accept the application as provided
  • The client must rely on the provider for a critical business function
  • The client must adapt to possible vendor changes
  • Integration with other applications may be problematic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Upstarts: ASPs, ASPs Article". 2000-04-01. Retrieved 2022-06-14. An ASP hosts software applications, which its customers access over the Web instead of running them on their own computers.

External links[edit]