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G2 Standard Definitions

G2 Standard Definitions

G2's list of standard definitions is as follows:

1. Cloud Applications

Cloud applications are software that are accessible over the internet. Cloud applications must offer a standard and shared service that is available as either a public or private cloud; a user interface that is built using standard technologies; and a turnkey solution that is packaged to include all required system resources. Additionally, cloud applications must have the following characteristics:

  • Self-provisioning, although may use some vendor onboarding assistance
  • Dynamic, fine-grained elastic scaling for performance optimization
  • Self-service application administration
  • Published integration APIs based on web services or other internet standards-based technology
  • Use-based pricing capabilities (service metering), though private cloud deployments may or may not actually utilize internal pricing (chargebacks)

2. On-Premises Applications

On-premises applications are software that are installed and accessed directly on a local computer or in-house server. On-premises applications require the purchase of a software license. On-premises applications must have the following characteristics:

  • Rely on internal IT infrastructure to deploy, run, and maintain
  • Limit remote access to data

3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is a set of services in the same integrated development environment which provide the capability to develop, test, deploy, manage, and operate cloud applications. PaaS shares the same basic characteristics as cloud applications, including:

  • A standard and shared service that is available as either public or private cloud
  • An administrative interface that is built using standard technologies to provide user control over software deployment and configuration
  • A turnkey solution that is packaged to include all required system resources
  • Self-provisioning, although may use some vendor onboarding assistance
  • Dynamic, fine-grained elastic scaling for performance optimization
  • Published integration APIs based on web services or other internet standards-based technology
  • Use-based pricing capabilities (service metering), though private cloud deployments may or may not actually utilize internal pricing (chargebacks)

4. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a set of cloud services that provide access to compute resources across the internet. IaaS products possess the following characteristics:

  • A standard and shared service that is available on a public cloud
  • Automated administrative tasks
  • Desktop virtualization capabilities
  • Self-provisioning
  • Dynamic, fine-grained elastic scaling that is user adjustable
  • Policy-based services
  • Use-based pricing capabilities (service metering)

5. Perpetual Software License

A perpetual software license provides the licensee the right to use a software product indefinitely as well as the right to access any updates and upgrades during the first year of the license. Access to updates and upgrades after the first year is generally offered by the vendor for an addition fee (usually a percentage of the license fee), often bundled as a part of a product support agreement, and referred to as maintenance.

6. Term Software License

A term software license provides the licensee the right to use a software product for a specific period of time. In addition the license, the term generally includes all updates and upgrades, along with some type of product support throughout the duration of the license.

7. Public Cloud

Public cloud is a method for accessing compute resources as a service for applications, platforms, and infrastructure that meet the criteria listed above for SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Public clouds are managed by a single software vendor but made available to external customers using internet technologies.

8. Private Cloud

Private cloud is a method for accessing compute resources as a service for applications and platforms that both meets the criteria in SaaS/PaaS listed above and is isolated to a single company. Private clouds are often managed by the company or a hosting and managed services provider.

9. Hosted Application

A hosted application is a software application that is purchased on a perpetual license, but is given to a hosting provider to manage for a monthly fee. The fee then covers the infrastructure and management of the application to make it available using internet technologies.

10. On Demand

On-demand software is an application software deployment model that emulates the cloud delivery of SaaS applications with an application that was not architected to run in a cloud environment. Furthermore, on-demand software does not meet all of the accepted criteria for a SaaS application, in particular the shared resources component.

11. Product

The term product is used to describe any software system with a singular unified code base that is sold on its own.

12. Product Suite

Product suites are groupings of individually-sold products from a single vendor that work together to solve a broader business problem.

On G2, these product suites receive their own profile page, with an icon reading “Product Suite”. Scoring for these product suites is an aggregate of the reviews for the individual products included in the product suite, as defined by a G2 analyst.

Examples: Customer Experience Cloud Suite, Adobe Experience Cloud

13. Solution

A solution is a tool, or set of tools, that provide ongoing value to a company. On G2, this term is used to refer to both products and product suites collectively.

14. Compound Product

A compound product is a software product that has the capability to be used in several different categories based on product configuration or a broad set of features, usually the result of combining functions from several existing applications.

Examples: Bridge, Influitive 

15. All-In-One Products

An all-in-one product is a software product that is sold individually with the capability to cover features in several different categories.

Examples: Hatchbuck, Vtiger

16. Free Software

A free software product is one that is available at no cost to the user. All features are available to users, with no additional tiers or cost-based options. These tools are often open source, or monetized using ads to avoid subscription-based structures.

17. Freemium Products

A software product with freemium pricing offers a basic set of features at no cost and charges a fee for additional features.

18. Free Trial

A free trial provides access to a product for a limited amount of time at no cost. Free trials may vary in the number of features that are accessible to users. At the end of the trial period, the user will lose access to the software unless a license or subscription is purchased.

19. Open-Source Products

Open source refers to a product for which users have access to the product and its code in their entirety, enabling users to make changes, adjustments, and additions as needed or desired. Most, but not all, open-source products are free.

20. Features & Verified Features

A feature is a distinctive characteristic of software products that helps end users perform a function or solve a problem.

Verified features on G2.com have been reviewed by G2's Research team to confirm a software product supports a particular feature.

21. Attributes

Attributes are subsets within categories that define a use case, an audience, or other points of differentiation among products within a category. While the products all have feature sets that qualify them for inclusion in a category, not all products have the same attributes within that category. Attributes can be used to filter categories based on these points of differentiation as defined by a G2 research analyst.

22. Transparent Pricing 

Vendors tagged with Transparent Pricing on G2.com publicly and transparently list their editions and pricing on their G2 product listings.

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