Because ASP is hosted remotely via third parties, it is often grouped together with SaaS solutions. But while there are some similarities, the two approaches are not strictly the same thing.
SaaS models tend to service a range of tenants using the same version of the application, including all its features and upgrades. SaaS solutions provide access to their own proprietary software. The user does not own the licence to the software, but instead purchases the right to use it on an as-needed basis. The provider hosts and runs the software from an external site and handles release management on behalf of the customer (usually a business or other organisation) who accesses the application solely on the web via a standard web browser.
On the other hand, ASP is often considered a more rudimentary approach. The provider manages and hosts applications developed by other third parties. ASP may also require that clients install the third-party applications locally, maintaining a separate instance of the application from other users. As such, updating ASP instances can be much more time consuming and costly.
Modern application service management combines the functionality of ASP with the advanced capabilities, accessibility and support of cloud-based SaaS solutions. ServiceNow, the leader in IT management, is on the forefront of this revolution.