PaaS - Platform as a service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) or platform-based service is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
PaaS can be delivered in three ways:
As a public cloud service from a provider, where the consumer controls software deployment with minimal configuration options, and the provider provides the networks, servers, storage, operating system (OS), middleware (e.g. Java runtime, .NET runtime, integration, etc.), database and other services to host the consumer's application.
As a private service (software or appliance) behind a firewall.
As software deployed on a public infrastructure as a service.
The original intent of PaaS technology was to simplify the code-writing process for developers, with the infrastructure and operations handled by the PaaS provider. Originally, all PaaSes were in the public cloud. Because many companies did not want to have everything in the public cloud, private and hybrid PaaS options (managed by internal IT departments) were created.
PaaS provides an environment for developers and companies to create, host and deploy applications, saving developers from the complexities of the infrastructure side (setting up, configuring and managing elements such as servers and databases).
PaaS products can improve the speed of developing an app, and allow the consumer to focus on the application itself. With PaaS, the consumer manages applications and data, while the provider (in public PaaS) or IT department (in private PaaS) manages runtime, middleware, operating system, virtualization, servers, storage and networking.
PaaS offerings may also include facilities for application design, application development, testing and deployment, as well as services such as team collaboration, web service integration, and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation, and developer community facilitation. Besides the service engineering aspects, PaaS solutions include mechanisms for service management, such as monitoring, workflow management, discovery and reservation.
There are various types of PaaS providers. All offer application hosting and a deployment environment, along with various integrated services. Services offer varying levels of scalability and maintenance. Developers can write an application and upload it to a PaaS platform that supports their software language of choice, and the application runs on that PaaS.
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How PaaS works
PaaS does not replace a company's entire IT infrastructure for software development. It is provided through a cloud service provider's hosted infrastructure with users most frequently accessing the offerings through a web browser. PaaS can be delivered through public, private and hybrid clouds to deliver services such as application hosting and Java development.
Other PaaS services include:
- Development team collaboration
- Application design and development
- Application testing and deployment
- Web service integration
- Information security
- Database integration
Users pay for PaaS on a per-use basis. However, different platform as a service providers charge a flat monthly fee for access to the platform and its applications.
What are the types of PaaS?
- Public PaaS
A public PaaS allows the user to control software deployment while the cloud provider manages the delivery of all other major IT components necessary to the hosting of applications, including operating systems, databases, servers and storage system networks.
Public PaaS vendors offer middleware that enables developers to set up, configure and control servers and databases without the necessity of setting up the infrastructure side of things. As a result, public PaaS and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) run together, with PaaS operating on top of a vendor's IaaS infrastructure while leveraging the public cloud.
- Private PaaS
A private PaaS is usually delivered as an appliance or software within the user's firewall which is frequently maintained in the company's on-premises data center. A private PaaS software can be developed on any type of infrastructure and can work within the company's specific private cloud. Private PaaS allows an organization to better serve developers, improve the use of internal resources and reduce the costly cloud sprawl that many companies face.
- Hybrid PaaS
Combines public PaaS and private PaaS to provide companies with the flexibility of infinite capacity provided by a public PaaS model and the cost efficiencies of owning an internal infrastructure in private PaaS. Hybrid PaaS utilizes a hybrid cloud.
- Communication PaaS
CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to add real-time communications to their apps without the need for back-end infrastructure and interfaces. Normally, real-time communications occur in apps that are built specifically for these functions. Examples include Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and the traditional phone. CPaaS provides a complete development framework for the creation of real-time communications features without the necessity of a developer building their own framework.
- Mobile PaaS
MPaaS is the use of a paid integrated development environment for the configuration of mobile apps. In an mPaaS, coding skills are not required. MPaaS is delivered through a web browser and typically supports public cloud, private cloud and on-premises storage. The service is usually leased with pricing per month, varying according to the number of included devices and supported features.
- Open PaaS
It is a free, open source, business-oriented collaboration platform that is attractive on all devices and provides useful web apps, including calendar, contacts and mail applications. OpenPaaS was designed to allow users to quickly deploy new applications with the goal of developing a PaaS technology that is committed to enterprise collaborative applications, specifically those deployed on hybrid clouds.