An application service provider (ASP) is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network. Software offered using an ASP model is also sometimes called On-demand software or software as a service (SaaS). The most limited sense of this business is that of providing access to a particular application program (such as customer relationship management) using a standard protocol such as HTTP. The need for ASPs has evolved from the increasing costs of specialized software that have far exceeded the price range of small to medium sized businesses. As well, the growing complexities of software have led to huge costs in distributing the software to end-users. Through ASPs, the complexities and costs of such software can be cut down.
Contributions by Sleepyhead81, S.K., and John Vandenberg.