Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create applications (e.g., web, mobile apps), without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) on a pay-as-you-go (i.e., utilization) basis and access them over a secure Internet connection.
Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure - servers, storage, and networking - but also middleware, development tools, Business Intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.
PaaS allows you to avoid the capital expenses (CapEx) and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.
- Development framework
PaaS provides a framework that developers can build upon to develop or customize cloud-based applications. Similar to the way you create a Microsoft Office Excel macro, PaaS lets developers create applications using built-in software components. Cloud features such as scalability, high-availability, and multi-tenant capability are included, reducing the amount of coding that developers must do.
- Analytics or business intelligence
Tools provided as a service with PaaS allow organizations to analyze and mine their data, finding insights and patterns and predicting outcomes to improve forecasting, product design decisions, investment returns, and other business decisions.
- Additional services
PaaS providers may offer other services that enhance applications, such as workflow, directory, security, and scheduling.
By delivering infrastructure as a service, PaaS offers the same advantages as IaaS. But its additional features - middleware, development tools, and other business tools - give you more advantages:
- Cut coding time
PaaS development tools can cut the time it takes to code new applications with pre-coded application components built into the platform, such as software libraries, workflow, directory services, security features, search, and so on.
- Add development capabilities without adding staff
PaaS components can give your development team new capabilities without you needing to add staff having the required skills.
- Develop for multiple platforms - including mobile - more easily
Some service providers give you development options supporting multiple platforms, such as computers, mobile devices, and browsers making cross-platform applications development quicker and easier.
- Use sophisticated tools affordably
A pay-as-you-go (e.g., utilization) model makes it possible for individuals or organizations to use sophisticated development software, Business Intelligence, and analytics tools that would you would not otherwise be able to access or afford to purchase.
- Support geographically distributed development teams
Because the development environment is accessed over the Internet, development teams can work together on projects even when team members are in remote locations.
- Efficiently manage the application lifecycle
PaaS provides all of the capabilities that you need to support the complete application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating within the same integrated environment.