Platform as a Service or PaaS is the cloud’s offering for the software development world. PaaS offers all of the benefits that Software as a Service (SaaS) brought for the use of software applications online, only for the development aspect of the proprietary software. It can be formally defined as a cloud-computing platform that allows for the creation of web applications quickly and easily without needing to buy and maintain the infrastructure and software.
Platform as a Service, in a nutshell, is a web-based platform for the creation and delivery of software over the web. There are a number of characteristics that define PaaS including:
- Platform as a Service offers services developers require to design develop and deliver software via the cloud. It allows for testing, development, hosting and maintaining applications in an integrated environment. All services offered enable the application development process.
- Platform as a Service is a web-based suite of development tools to aid creation, testing and deployment for various user interface formats.
- Much like the public cloud, Paas features a multi-tenant platform where multiple users can utilize the same development tools, simultaneously.
- Contains built-in scalability for deployed software.
- Supports collaboration with project planning and communication tools.
- Works as a type of e-commerce solution offering tools to handle billing and subscriber management
- Focusing on workflow management regardless of the data source used
Is Platform as a Service Right For You?
If you have multiple developers working remotely or other external users who need to interact during the development process (think BETA testing) Platform as a Service may be a cost effective option. If you have an existing data source, for example, a CRM database, it allows for the creation of a proprietary application to leverage that data. Some examples of PaaS include Google App Engine and Force.com.
Platform as a Service May Not Be a Good Fit If:
- your application needs portability in terms of host location
- you use non-compatible proprietary languages. It may impact the development process
- your application requires modification or customization of hardware or software in order to perform correctly
The future will see Platform as a Service usage continue to grow and evolve. It will continue to grow as the development option of choice due to the ability to automate the process, pre-define components and building blocks and deploy automatically to production. If your company needs proprietary applications to improve productivity, or if you’re in the business of software development either for subscription or sale, Platform as a Service is a viable cost effective option.