Platform as a Service (PaaS)
As cloud computing continued to evolve it resulted in four distinct levels operation which are classified as:
i. Business Process as a Service
ii. Software as a Service
iii. Platform as a Service
iv. Infrastructure as a Service
In this article we will discuss the Platform as a Service (PaaS) level of the cloud computing solution.
In Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, the service provider provides more than just the infrastructure. Service provider provides complete solution stack for developing the software along with the complete runtime environment. Platform as a Service (PaaS) inherently offers multi tenancy and naturally supports various standards of web services and is typically delivered with dynamic scaling.
In other words using PaaS developers can develop web applications without installing any development tool on their computers and deploy these newly developed applications in the cloud without the need for any specialized knowledge of system administration. The required development tool is hosted in the cloud by the service provider and is accessed through the browser e.g. the service-now.com , platform as a service (PaaS) offers complete cloud based application development environment to the customers.
The alternative to PaaS is to build web applications using desktop development tools like Eclipse IDE, and then deploy these web applications manually in the cloud by using services like Amazon EC2.
Building web application in a traditional way requires developer with expertise in following three skill sets
- Front end client development
- Back end server development
- Website administration
In comparison, platform as a service (PaaS) enables general software developers to develop web applications without needing any expertise in specialized skill sets.
Platform as a Service differs from traditional development platforms, mainly in the following ways
PaaS offers multi tenancy: Platform as a Service Provides the clients with a multi user platform of development tools, as against the typical single user traditional tools for building the web applications.
Reduced Costs: When using Platform as a Service, users have to pay only for the usage of resources.
Benefits of Platform as a Service (PaaS) for Business Users:
- Platform as Service (PaaS) enables business users to increase their profitability by minimizing the operational costs.
- Business users don’t have to do any up-front investment.
- It allows business users access from anywhere/anytime.
- The access is secured and customized.
Benefits of Platform as a Service (PaaS) for Developers:
- PaaS allows developers to concentrate only on innovation and development, as these provide the real business value.
- Low risk.
- Improved profitability with lower costs.
- Fast and easy development.
- Quick monetization.
- Any Platform as a Service (PaaS) usually offers following features:
- Browser-based development
- Seamless deployment
- Monitoring and Management Tools
A very good example of Platform as a Service is Bungee Connect. It is a cloud based venture that offers a full set of development software. It also offers full software for life cycle management. Everything from software development to the testing takes place in the cloud. Bungee Connect starts charging fees only after the deployment of the applications.