Platform as a service (PaaS)

Cloud computing is powerful due to its flexibility, storage options, and efficiency. It includes three main categories: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a Service).

What is PaaS?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is responsible for application development, running, and management. It is widely used for platform-based service delivery. This model is usually called an in-between element in the chain of cloud computing services. As shown in the picture below, PaaS consists of the infrastructure and the platform.

Cloud computing categories

Cloud computing categories (Source)

PaaS allows developers to avoid additional hardware and software installation while working on a project. And according to the Oracle research, the number of PaaS solutions will only increase year by year. Such services are helpful for:

  • expansion of different integrations (1st and 3rd parties)
  • increased automation
  • native support improvement for various projects

PaaS solutions are aimed to solve the problem with native support of blockchain, IoT (Internet of things), and AI (artificial intelligence) projects. It is necessary to understand the model’s peculiarities before delving deep into this category of cloud computing services.

PaaS infrastructure and platform peculiarities

The main idea of PaaS products is to provide users with efficient solutions to cope with complexities in management and administrative areas. Its architecture is different from other cloud computing models, as its infrastructure is prebuilt.

The model’s operating systems, storage, databases, and other components of the infrastructure are maintained by the provider. It makes PaaS applications easy to manage and audit. Speaking about platform peculiarities, it should be mentioned that PaaS cloud computing products can provide users with additional tools:

  • libraries
  • programming languages
  • a helpful set of development and database management options.

Experts prefer to compare PaaS architecture with the concept of the serverless model. Most developers find that these architectures are very similar. Both cloud computing models have a provider that is responsible for the distribution of services. It means that the infrastructure is not shown to application developers. IT-specialists can count on the hosted infrastructure and ready solutions.

The main purpose of the PaaS provider is to create an appropriate environment that will meet users’ needs. These environments can be not only public or private but also hybrid ones. Most platform-based services have support for application creation. It includes development, design, and testing options. Additionally, PaaS providers guarantee the high-level security of all stored data. So, all willing users can count on PaaS solutions and:

  • create their database/storage account
  • develop apps using different programming languages
  • use available libraries, etc.
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Platform as a Service examples: the most reputable PaaS providers

Here is a list of the top-ranked PaaS providers, according to the DevTeam analytical research. These companies provide consumers (web-developers, businessmen, designers, etc.) with a wide range of services:

  1. AWS Elastic Beanstalk (Amazon Web Services)
    This provider is known for its wide variety of options. It is possible to choose one of the available PaaS cases (data & analysis, databases, enterprise apps, storage, websites & applications). AWS Elastic Beanstalk pricing depends on the resources you use.
  2. Oracle Cloud Platform (OCP)
    This provider offers a cutting-edge automated and secure infrastructure that will be suitable for cloud application development processes. The service range also includes an autonomous database, analytical and computing options, marketplace environment, etc. Users can try any capabilities for free – Oracle offers a free-of-charge tier.
  3. Google App Engine
    With this PaaS, it is possible to use all the available options, including app development, libraries, programming languages access, etc. Google team guarantees fully-managed PaaS capabilities paired with app versioning and traffic splitting.
  4. Microsoft Azure
    This provider offers a range of standard features, including storage, infrastructure, networking, databases, and development tools. There is a free trial period with a number of products that you can use right away.

Other reputable providers are expected to have the same high demand for PaaS services. Among the leading PaaS vendors are IBM Cloud Platform, SAP Cloud Platform, and Mendix aPaaS.

The most common use cases for PaaS solutions

The main field of PaaS usage is application development. But such solutions can also be used to solve other actual tasks. For example, Platform as a Service is a great automation and data management tool (it will be helpful in email marketing, API management, and other processes). In addition, it has great capabilities for information storage and database forming. 

Other PaaS spheres of application are:

  • Business analytics
    Marketers can create any enterprise application to meet special needs. For example, PaaS solutions would be helpful for lead generation processes and comprehensive analytical research.
  • Communication
    PaaS is often used to build a platform for communication. Users will be able to interact and solve different tasks faster with the help of innovative platform-based projects.
  • IoT field
    As mentioned before, PaaS solutions can improve the IoT world. Most experts think that blockchain and IoT application will be tightly connected with PaaS in the near future.
  • Databases
    One of the PaaS providers’ options is to administer databases. It’s an efficient way to manage information and store hundreds of gigabytes of data.
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PaaS strong and weak sides

PaaS cloud computing model has both advantages and disadvantages. 

The main positive characteristics of PaaS resides in its optimal environment for application developers. It is also suitable for business representatives to improve different marketing and management processes. The weak spot of PaaS is its dependence on service providers. If the PaaS vendor decides to block access to some options, users will lose all the privileges they had before.

Wrapping it up

PaaS includes all the well-known advantages of cloud computing services mentioned before. Users can bank on a flexible and efficient environment that meets all the users’ requirements. Achieving business goals and successful application development with PaaS solutions is a good idea. But this is only possible if the provider is reliable.

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