Platform as a Service, or commonly called PaaS, is a type of cloud computing for developers to use different deployment platforms to build, deploy, and scale their applications. It is a cloud computing model where a third-party provider offers users the software and hardware tools via the internet.
Mainly, these tools are required for application development. Typically, a PaaS provider hosts the software and hardware on its own infrastructure. Hence, PaaS makes it easy for developers to eliminate the need to install in-house hardware and software to build or run a new application.
When developers work on PaaS, they simply need to work on the code. With PaaS development, the cloud provider offers the necessary backend infrastructure like networking, middleware, servers, storage, operating system, and runtime environments.
This allows the users to access all the required libraries, tools, and configuration settings. However, they cannot change the fundamental operating system or network settings.
The PaaS deployment model is an ideal choice for developers not focused on customizations and would want to focus on development and, not DevOps and system administration. PaaS products are impactful and are easy to scale and deploy.
PaaS dominance and growth are significantly driven by cloud adoption, cloud-first application development efforts, and other innovative cloud technologies like Artificial Intelligence and IoT.
What are the differences between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?
PaaS is one of the key types of cloud computing services. The other two crucial cloud computing services are Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS) and Software as a Service(SaaS).
- With IaaS, a cloud provider offers the essential software, storage, and networking infrastructure, including the hypervisor – a virtualization layer. After that, users must create virtual instances like VMs and containers, install OSes, support applications and data, and handle the configuration and management linked to those tasks. Some famous examples of IaaS include AWS, Azure, and Google Compute Engine.
- In PaaS, a cloud provider offers more of an application stack than IaaS, like operating systems, middleware like databases, and similar runtimes into the cloud environment. Some commonly known PaaS products are AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Google App Engine.
- With SaaS, a cloud provider shares the entire application stack. Users need to log in to use the application that runs on the provider’s infrastructure. More often than not, SaaS applications can be accessed on a web browser. A SaaS provider handles the application workload and the related IT resources, so the users only need to manage the data created by the SaaS application. Some common examples of SaaS are Dropbox, Google Workspace, and Salesforce.
What is included in Platform-as-a-Service?
PaaS functions can differ between different products and vendors. The basic PaaS features revolve around infrastructure, development tools, middleware, Operating Systems, database management, and analytics.
Infrastructure – PaaS essentially includes everything that comes with IaaS. It means that PaaS vendors will handle the servers, data storage, data centers, and networking resources. Moreover, it also includes the user interface that users need to engage with the PaaS infrastructure and services.
Design & Development Tools – PaaS offers a wide range of tools to develop and manage applications. These tools can be easily accessed remotely on a web browser. Some of the common lists of software development tools are a debugger, source editor, and compiler.
Middleware – PaaS often comes with the middleware, the software that connects different operating systems and user apps. Hence, PaaS users do not have to worry about employing specialist resources to develop middleware.
Operating System – The PaaS provider offers operating systems to develop and run the applications.
Databases – PaaS vendors will definitely handle the databases and offer different database management tools to the development team.
Analytics Tools – PaaS vendors often provide business intelligence services like monitoring and analytics. Due to this, the users can determine the usage of PaaS and help them understand the per-user costs and advantages.
Benefits of Platform As A Service (PaaS)
Some of the most prominent benefits of Platform as a Service are:
Unlike conventional application development, PaaS enables developers to work on applications without worrying about the development, configuration, and server updates. It is evident that the PaaS vendor manages the Platform to reduce your IT cost and maintenance.
It is easy to develop applications using PaaS rather than creating, configuring quickly, and managing the entire infrastructure. PaaS offers rapid access to a holistic software development environment and tools to reduce development time significantly. This is possible due to the pre-coded application components.
A pay-as-you-go subscription model enables businesses to access sophisticated software and analytics tools they don’t need to purchase. PaaS also provides the option to use pre-coded applications, which can help you save a considerable amount of time and money. It enables businesses to develop innovative applications at a fraction of the cost by bearing all the responsibilities.
Most PaaS vendors offer developmental options for various platforms, including computers, tablets, mobile devices, and browsers. Due to this, hybrid applications are faster and easier to develop. Moreover, as PaaS is available via the internet, it enables the development team to collaborate efficiently.
When you think about scalability, PaaS can efficiently allow you to scale your business requirements. It ensures that the customers can run their services without any issues and also offers them the alternative to access the resources via dashboards for better performance.
Platform as a Service is a cost-efficient and resourceful cloud platform to develop, run, and manage applications. The PaaS market is slated to gain prominence and grow through 2027. According to a report from IDC, the cloud and PaaS market will see a compound annual growth rate of 28.8 percent by 2025.
These expectations depend on the business requirement to enhance application time to market, decrease development complexity, get rid of local infrastructure, collaborate effectively, and consolidate application management tasks. The role of Integrated Platform as a Service is also slated to grow significantly by 2027 as businesses tend to take a novel approach to connect and share data between multiple software applications and offer integrated tools to their customers.