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application service provider (ASP)

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Definition
Firm that sells usage of computer programs via internet. An ASP (equipped with all required software, hardware, and trained employees) guarantees trouble-free availability of the application programs on a continuous basis. Customers use the programs they need, for a fixed monthly fee or usage based charges. The data generated by those programs can either be stored on the customer's computer or on the disk space rented out by the ASP on its storage devices.