PaaS (Platform as a Service): From Cloud-Based Apps to Enterprise Applications

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.

PaaS offers developers the ability to bypass complex software installation procedures and quickly build powerful cloud-based applications through its preconfigured resources and platform services.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the history of PaaS and how it has evolved into an integral part of every developer’s toolkit.

What Is PaaS (Platform as a service)?

PaaS (Platform as a Service)
PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS or Platform as a Service provides developers with tools and cloud computing resources—including application programming interfaces (APIs), software development kits (SDKs), and hardware/software configurations—to help them build and deploy and scale applications in a pay-as-you-go model.

PaaS offerings can also take responsibility for running those apps, including handling scaling and high availability.

Platform as a service (PaaS) offerings make it much easier for developers to launch cloud applications without managing all of their cloud resources.

PaaS providers can also make it easy for developers to extend their apps with new capabilities and integrate them with other software and services. Building and deploying new applications is easier and faster.

What Can I Build With PaaS?

PaaS provides several components that make it possible to build cloud apps.

These components include Platform and infrastructure services that offer self-service, on-demand capabilities, and automation.

A typical PaaS application leverages multiple technologies, including App Services, Storage Services, messaging capabilities, monitoring tools, etc.

How Does PaaS Work?

PaaS architecture includes IaaS, which provides servers and storage on demand; SaaS, which handles applications like email or collaboration; and PaaS, for building apps that run in IaaS or SaaS environments.

Using these resources effectively requires understanding where cloud apps and services fit your enterprise architecture.

For example, if you already have an application hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can use AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy that app with one click.

Or, if you want to create a new application from scratch, you can build it using PaaS tools such as Google App Engine or Heroku.

The choice depends on what type of app you’re creating and how much control over its environment you need.

History of PaaS

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service.
PaaS stands for Platform as a Service.

The term PaaS has only been around since 2009. It stands for Platform as a service, and it came about in response to another term that was floating around at that time: SaaS, or software as a service. 

Some people argue that PaaS is just an extension of SaaS. However you look at it, though, one thing is clear: when we talk about cloud computing these days, we’re talking about both SaaS and PaaS. Both have their place in today’s business world.

What Are Some Common Pitfalls?

There are several common mistakes that businesses can make when dealing with PaaS. For example, some businesses may want to use PaaS for development and ignore deployment.

It would be best to keep in mind that even though you’re using an excellent platform such as Microsoft Azure or Google App Engine, you still need to create and deploy your cloud apps appropriately.

It means considering how you structure your application and what type of security measures you put in place (such as authentication). 

If you don’t consider these things upfront, it could lead to problems. Another pitfall is attempting to save money by not using PaaS at all—but then incurring costs for setting up infrastructure on-premises.

How Much Does It (PaaS) Cost?

Pricing for PaaS is typically built into your cloud vendor’s other services. For example, Microsoft offers Windows Azure Web Sites with shared virtual machines, no need for infrastructure management, and flexible scaling up and down; it also gives you free storage.

Google App Engine lets you build applications in Java or Python hosted on Google’s scalable infrastructure. You pay only for what you use—and there are no additional charges for long-running instances or data storage.

Why Use PaaS?

When your business is ready to deliver an app but isn’t quite sure what its future holds, consider building your app in the cloud with Platform as a Service (PaaS).

PaaS enables businesses to build apps quickly and easily without maintaining hardware or software. Still, it also enables them to do so without making significant upfront investments in development or hardware. It means they can move their IT projects forward while saving money.

Is There an Easier Way?

The term platform is used in many different ways. One of them, Platform as a service (PaaS), means your app will be hosted on someone else’s hardware and run using their software stack.

PaaS may be for you if you want to build an application but don’t want all of the hassles of setting up physical or virtual machines, configuring operating systems, and ensuring everything are secure.

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