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App Research Center

Resources to help you find the best apps.

Not sure which apps are right for you? Our App Research Center has information and tools that will help you navigate all the choices. For more about apps or help getting started, call 1-855-456-2777.

Learn more about apps:

Apps 101

What are cloud-based apps?

Apps are cloud-based services hosted by an offsite provider and available over the Internet. That means, you can access these apps 24/7, wherever you are, with any web-connected device. Most apps have free trials, require no additional hardware or software and are paid for with monthly or annual subscriptions. So apps are a low-risk investment that you can try before you buy and cancel anytime.

There are many types of business apps available, including solutions for security, data storage and online backup, office productivity, collaboration, web conferencing and more.

Why should I use cloud-based apps?

  • Convenient – Apps can be accessed from any
    Internet-connected device.
  • Budget friendly – With free trials for most apps, pay-as-you-go subscriptions and no additional hardware or software needed, it’s a low-risk investment.
  • Flexible – Users can be added or removed as your business needs change.
  • Worry-free – All app updates are done automatically by the provider, so you know you’re always running the most up-to-date version.

Why buy cloud-based business apps
from Staples?

The best apps, all in one place

We’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. Our experts explored thousands of business apps and selected only the top apps in each category.


Free trials and low-cost monthly subscriptions

Not sure apps are right for your business? Most apps come with free trials, so you can try before you buy. Plus most offer monthly subscriptions with the ability to cancel anytime, so you can pay as you go with almost no upfront cost.

Managing your apps has never been easier thanks to the Staples App Center Admin Console. With a single dashboard and login, you can buy or upgrade apps, add or remove users, control settings, access your apps without logging in again and monitor usage and costs. You can even pay for all your apps in one place with one consolidated bill, which means you’ll never have to deal with multiple charges on your credit card.

App Recommender

Not sure which apps are right for you? Our App recommender makes choosing easy.

Shop apps by category


Protect your data and identity using leading-edge security apps. With enhanced security, virus protection, and email filtering, you’ll have the best defense for your business.

Get started now

collaboration-apps-imgCollaboration & Project Management

Sync your schedule, to do lists, contact sheets, and even collaborate on projects on any mobile device.

Get started now

data-storage-apps-imgOnline Storage
& Online Backup

Keeping your information assets on the cloud means no matter what happens to your device, it will always be business as usual.

Get started now

conferencing-apps-imgWeb Conferencing

Collaborating with co-workers is easy, whether you’re side by side or across the country. Meet online to share files, conformation, and expertise.

Get started now

finance-accounting-apps-imgFinance, Accounting
& Payroll

Manage all of your financial accounts in one place. Easily create invoices and email them to your customers, plus process payroll and set up savings plans.

Get started now

productivity-apps-imgOffice Productivity

Work anywhere, anytime with web based email, file sharing, calendar, and office programs all straight from the cloud.

Get started now

sales-marketing-apps-imgSales, Marketing
& Customer Management

Find everything you need to connect with customers, close deals faster and grow your business.

Get started now

human-resources-apps-imgHuman Resources

Take charge of all of your businesses HR needs with apps that help you manage vacation schedules, job postings, payroll, company values, employee reviews and more.

Get started now

Shop apps by brand

Shop for apps from Carbonite Shop for apps from Tribehr Shop for apps from Mozy Shop for apps from Salespod Shop for apps from OmniJoin Shop for apps from SnapEngage Shop for apps from Lucid Chart Shop for apps from Yendo Apps from Google Apps from McAfee Apps from Symantec Apps from Box

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Introducing the Staples App Center

A new, easier way for businesses to purchase and manage cloud-based apps. It’s accessible wherever you are, scalable to grow with your business, requires less IT support and is secure to give you peace of mind.

Apps FAQ

What is an app?

Apps are web-based applications that you can access from anywhere on any internet-connected device. If you use Hotmail, Gmail or Google Maps, you're already using apps.

Why are apps better than desktop applications?

  • Apps install easily. You don’t even have to restart your browser or computer.
  • Apps are always available. You can access your apps from any computer or web-connected device.
  • Apps are always up to date. Your app provider automatically updates your app, so you can be sure you're always using the latest version.
  • Apps won’t crash your device. If an app starts to malfunction, just close it. Your browser and computer or smartphone won’t be affected.

What’s the difference between apps, software and services?

  • Apps are web-based programs that are hosted by a third-party site.
  • Software is a program that you download, and it lives on your computer’s hard drive.
  • A service is a process that runs behind the scenes on your computer and never interacts with the desktop.

Why choose a cloud-based app over software?

Simply put, apps are faster, easier and more accessible than software. With software, you have to worry about time-consuming downloads, maintenance and upgrades. Plus if multiple users need software, you have to load it manually on each user’s computer.

Once you download an app, which usually takes less than a minute, you can use it anywhere, anytime on any Web-enabled device. And you’ll never have to worry about maintenance or upgrades because the app provider automatically updates your app. Plus it’s easy for multiple users to access the same app through a shared portal.

What’s the difference between PC apps and mobile apps?

PC apps and mobile apps differ based on where you are able to access and use the applications. Often, an app may be available for both your PC and your mobile device.

How does an app store work?

An app store or marketplace is a site where you can search for, buy and download new apps for your computer and mobile devices.

Why are apps so popular?

Apps have become such a hot commodity lately because they’re convenient, easy to use and very affordable (often free). Also, with such a wide variety of them available, there’s an app for just about everything.

How can apps help your business?

Businesses of all sizes across the globe are using apps because they’re smart, affordable alternatives to software. Here are some advantages of business apps:

  • Convenient. Apps can be accessed from any Internet-connected device.
  • Budget friendly. With free trials for most apps, pay-as-you-go subscriptions and no additional hardware or software needed, it’s a low-risk investment.
  • Flexible. Users can be added or removed as your business needs change.
  • Worry-free. All app updates are done automatically by the provider, so you know you’re always running the most up-to-date version.

Why do apps need permissions?

Every app needs your permission to be accessed. Most smartphone apps are, by default, set to “on,” so that they can access the Internet if needed. You can easily change the permissions of your apps to restrict their access.

Why do apps update so often?

First, remember that updates are done to improve an app’s performance or introduce new features. For that reason, different app providers will update at different intervals, depending on how many times they upgrade their app.

What is the average app size?

Apps vary in size. File sizes are listed on each app page near the "buy" button.

What is the biggest app size?

The largest apps are typically 2–3GB.

Glossary of terms

  • All terms
  • API
  • ASP
  • Cloud
  • Cloud Computing
  • CoLo
  • CSB
  • End User
  • Freemium
  • Hosted Software
  • IaaS
  • ISV
  • MaaS
  • Mashup
  • MSP
  • Multi-tenancy
  • On-Demand
  • On-Premise
  • PaaS
  • Private Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Renewal
  • SaaS
  • SLA
  • Subscription
  • Unified Billing
  • Virtualization
  • XaaS

Application Programming Interface. Allows software programs to interact with other software.

Application Service Provider. A business that provides software or services over the Internet.

Technology that delivers computer resources over the Internet.

Cloud Computing
Storing data, sharing information and accessing software over the Internet.

Co-Location facility. The physical location of a data center that offers networking, data storage and other Web-based services.

Cloud Service Brokerage. A third-party that acts as an agent between the buyers/end-users of a cloud computing service and its developers.

End User
The individual customer that is using software and/or services.

Software or services that offer free basic features and advanced features at a cost.

Hosted Software
Cloud-based software that is installed, set up, and maintained over the Internet by a vendor or third party hosting company.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Outsourced equipment used for data storage, hosting, networking, etc., delivered on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Independent Software Vendor. An individual or organization that develops services delivered over the cloud.

Marketplace-as-a-Service. A centralized online marketplace where end-users can browse, purchase and manage their cloud-based apps and services.

An app that creates a service by combining the data, design and/or functionality from pre-existing sources. They are quickly integrated and produce results different than the original sources.

Managed Services Provider. A provider of high-level application management services, including oversight, reporting, billing and support.

A type of software architecture where one instance of software exists on a server and is delivered to multiple clients, also known as tenants.

Subscription-based software delivered over the Internet. See also SaaS.

Software that is installed on a computer and lives on a private data center. The opposite of cloud computing.

Platform-as-a-Service. A platform where application development tools are accessed on the cloud through a web browser.

Private Cloud
Storing data, sharing information and accessing software over a private intranet, as opposed to the Internet.

Public Cloud
Storing data, sharing information and accessing software over the public Internet, as opposed to a private intranet.

Extending a software subscription beyond its initial term period.

Software-as-a-Service. Subscription-based software delivered over the Internet. Sometimes referred to as “on-demand.”

Service Level Agreement. The terms of service for subscription-based software.

The period of time a customer licenses subscription-based software.

Unified Billing
A centralized billing system for multiple services from different service providers.

A method of simulating servers, storage and other networking resources that allow for resource sharing and easy scalability.

A term that encompasses Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).