What is platform as a service (PaaS)?

magnify glass

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model where third-party providers distribute hardware and software tools. Customarily the tools are designed for application development to the user over internet access. A PaaS provider hosts hardware and software within its proprietary infrastructure, freeing users from the need to install internal hardware or software to develop new applications or having to deal with constant upgrades. PaaS is an established hassle-free model for running applications across all sizes of the enterprise.

Challenges of platform as a service (PaaS)

The central advantage of PaaS is the convenience and ease for users. The service provider provisions a majority of infrastructure while users gain access via the web. PaaS providers then charge for the access on a per-use basis. This is a model many enterprises favor because it removes capital expenses that traditionally have been assigned for on-premises hardware or software. Service availability can be a worry with PaaS, however, if the provider experiences an outage or other infrastructure disruption. Of course, this is true of any as-a-service model.

Since users cannot simply move much of the data produced through one PaaS to another competing product, lock-in is another fear. Internal changes to a PaaS product are also a possible issue if, for example, a provider ceases to support a particular programming language or chooses to use a new set of development tools. The impact on productivity can be disruptive but that is a risk laid out in how the provider’s plan affects its environment and capabilities.

Platform as a service (SaaS) benefits

Every PaaS provider offers similar features. But each one can present varying limitations. It’s important for users to test provider offerings to ensure that services meet any business or technical necessities, such as availability, features, or supported languages. Regardless of the size of an organization, there’s a number of benefits to adopting a platform as a service:

  • Gives developers the ability to create personalized applications without maintaining the software
  • Development and deployment of applications is simple and cost-effective
  • Significantly reduces amount of code
  • Access to enterprise cloud services
  • Tremendous flexibility and scale
  • Mass availability over the internet
  • Permits easy migration to the hybrid model
  • Support across any device
  • Data agility

There are countless situations where implementing a PaaS is advantageous or even required. If there were several developers working on the same project, or if other vendors need to be included, then PaaS can provide efficient solutions for the entire process.

PaaS is also helpful if you want to be able to create personalized applications. This cloud service can greatly reduce costs and minimize certain challenges that arise if you are quickly developing or deploying an application.

Continue reading