Saas vs. COTS in Programmatic Advertising

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Software as a Service or Commercial Off-The-Shelf? What to choose? Let’s get a handle on this.

Living in a digital world, small and large companies are forced to use various programmatic advertising software or online services to manage their business and make money. Some of them resort to software to facilitate and optimize business processes, others seek for automation and systematization, and many entrepreneurs set up the whole business on a particular software. Companies looking to invest in such a solution have to be sure that the product is scalable, extensible, сan easily integrate with other applications and brings the explicit user experience.

What is SaaS and COTS?

Software as a Service is conventionally delivered via the сloud and charged with a monthly fee for its use. In fact, users buy subscription. SaaS is described as a web-based solution that is hosted exclusively by the company that in essence provides the solution. Such applications run only on the provider’s servers and require Internet for users to access them.

COTS  is a one-time purchase with no monthly fees but with either paid or free maintenance or updates. When a software update is released, clients more often have to buy it at an additional cost. However, our company provides free of charge updates and support. The updates allow to get the best of new features and fixes. As a general rule, COTS solution can be used either with the Internet access or offline (or with an intranet connection).

What's the difference between SaaS and Commercial Off-The-Shelf?

Comparing both models, it should be noted that Software as a Service is quite a pricey solution as well. Its price depends on the functionality of the application, for example, ad traffic volume available for direct or Upstream SSP sales, targeting settings, effective auction strategies, etc. When choosing a SaaS model, the client should keep in mind how its expenses on monthly service payment will change in future, especially if the company plans to expand its activities. Likewise, it should be taken into account that the provider may raise the price for the service within the active package. What’s more, if the client needs some particular features tailored specifically to its business needs, its implementation might take a long time (read "never").

The provider is responsible for server capacities and tech support which, in its turn, lacks responsiveness. On the upside, a SaaS model is characterized by a really extensive functionality, though often being quite costly.

With regard to Software as a Product model, the company can act independently of the provider. In this case, company’s expenses on the scalability will be determined by the need for acquisition of additional server capacities. Further, the company should have a technical team who will be responsible for the product support and server maintenance. The product can also be customized for an extra payment. Many would say that buying a SaaP solution is a costly undertaking, however, a one-time purchase of the product is frequently paid off in the medium-term period, thus generating net profit for the company.

Operational Models

We’ve made a comparison of these two models to show the pros and cons of each approach. And now we would like to share with you the solution our company has developed. We have tried to consider some of the above-mentioned issues, and have established two models which our clients can benefit from.

They are On-Premise and Dedicated SaaS. So, you can choose the most appropriate variant according to your budget and long-term needs.

The On-Premise solution allows:

  • Deploy Adoppler in your controlled environment;
  • Get access to the source code;
  • Receive both functional and source code updates.

This option is ideal for companies who would like to invest in their own tech. Moreover, with the availability of the source code you can customize Adoppler for your specific business needs.

As for Adoppler purchase, you should not be afraid that the services won’t remain operational. Although you will have the access to the source code and have the opportunity to run the solution all by yourself and do things in-house, our team is always there to help you. We guarantee technical support and access to future updates as stated in the agreement. In addition, our definition of COTS includes customization and prioritization services. In a nutshell, you can either hire us to develop your own extensions to Adoppler, or influence the internal priorities of the features which are already on our backlog.

With the SaaS model we provide you with a dedicated installation of Adoppler on our servers. The SaaS model doesn’t imply access to the source code. Likewise, you don't have to deal with the technical complexities of operating a high-load application that consumes and produces a lot of traffic, and requires a sophisticated setup.


Notwithstanding a constantly changing digital world, the market research says that Adoppler is a future-proof software that fully satisfies the digital market requirements and can easily adapt to new technological advances and integrate with third party applications. Adoppler is a competitive product that has its obvious strong sides.

Stay tuned to the latest features and integrations of Adoppler, visit our website blog and read more about recent releases that help our customers be at the forefront of the digital market.