What is Platform-as-a-Service?
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a method of delivery in which an organization’s developers can access software and tools through the web, instead of accessing them on local machines or computing environments. A PaaS solution works by combining cloud infrastructure and software with a graphic user interface (GUI). Your cloud infrastructure through PaaS includes operating system software, virtual machines, storage, networking, and firewalls. The software component is used for the development of applications and can include building, deploying, and managing them. The GUI forms the connection between the PaaS system and the system’s users, as it links developers with the tools they need to design appropriate solutions for those system users. Components of PaaS include:
Development tools. Development tools are components that software developers need to write, test, deploy, debug, and manage code. Tools may include source code editors, compilers, or debuggers. They may be offered together as a framework, but the specific tools offered will depend on the vendor.
Middleware. Middleware is software that enables applications to understand the keyboard or mouse clicks that are inputted by a user. It sits in between user-facing applications and the machine’s operating system. It is necessary for running applications, but system users do not interact with it.
Operating system (OS). PaaS provides operating systems that developers need to work on, ensuring that the versions are up to date with the latest security patches.
Database management. In PaaS, developers create, query, and maintain the databases for applications.
Infrastructure. Storage and servers are provided through PaaS via managed servers, storage solutions, and/or physical data centers.
Developers may choose PaaS for the following reasons:
Speed. PaaS is used to build applications faster than what would be possible if developers needed to build, configure, and provision their own platforms and backend infrastructure themselves. PaaS allows developers to simply write the code and test the application, with the PaaS vendor handling the rest.
Price. Overhead is reduced with PaaS because PaaS customers do not need to manage and provision virtual machines. Additionally, some PaaS vendors have pricing structures based on computing resources used.
Simplicity. PaaS allows developers to build, test, deploy, host, and update their applications within a single environment, helping developers to ensure that web applications will function properly as hosted, while simplifying the development lifecycle overall.
Licensing. PaaS providers manage all of the licensing for OS, development tools, and all other platform elements.