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What is PaaS (Platform as a Service)?


One of the most valuable services that businesses of all sizes can make use of is PaaS (platform as a service). PaaS is a versatile service that can be used in a wide range of applications, multiplying the effectiveness of a business’s IT pursuits without requiring massive upfront investments. 

Below, we’ll take a look at what PaaS is, the benefits that it offers, and common scenarios where PaaS can be an incredibly effective solution. 

 

What is PaaS (Platform as a Service)?

PaaS is a type of cloud computing service that provides developers with a platform and an environment where they can build websites, applications, and other software solutions. Creating such a platform on-site would require large investments in both hardware and software and is typically only a viable solution for companies that are large enough to justify such investments. With PaaS, though, businesses of all sizes and even individual developers can access a state-of-the-art development platform over the internet for an affordable fee without having to invest in their own servers. In most applications, this ability makes PaaS more affordable than other solutions, though there are some instances where a private cloud solution may be more affordable.  

 

PaaS Architecture 

PaaS architecture is the process by which developers create software solutions within a PaaS environment. PaaS enables developers to “rent” virtual space within which they can create all manner of software solutions. That virtual space is kept updated and secure by the PaaS provider, and all of the tools necessary for developers to create solutions within the environment can be uploaded to the PaaS platform.  

Rather than existing in a single physical location, developers using a PaaS build their software solutions on the cloud, meaning that the solutions they create can be accessed and edited from any device that is connected to the internet. Of course, these solutions are kept completely secure and are accessible only to those who are provided with the correct log-in information. 

Developers also have the option to edit the platform that they work within to meet their individual requirements, installing the tools that they need in order to create a fully-customised environment. Multiple team members can access a single environment as well to work on projects that require the attention of more than one developer. 

Once a software solution has been created within a PaaS environment, the solution can then be downloaded to any physical location or transferred to another online location. 

However, one word of caution regarding PaaS is that you should avoid getting locked into specific tools and applications within your platform that make it impossible to transfer an application you create elsewhere. When building a product using PaaS, it’s always better to plan for agnostic deployment of your application into a hosting environment.

 

Common PaaS Scenarios

PaaS offers value in a wide number of applications. Some common scenarios where PaaS is an ideal solution include: 

  • Web Development – PaaS enables web developers to create every aspect of their website within a custom-built environment that is dedicated to website development. In addition to building their website within the PaaS environment, web developers can also test the functionality of the site and even host the site from the PaaS platform where they built it. In this way, PaaS enables web developers to manage every stage of the web development process from a single platform and service. 
  • Developing Internal Business Software – A large number of businesses rely on custom-developed software to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their internal operations. However, many businesses do not develop enough internal software to justify providing their developers with an on-site creation platform. This is where PaaS is ideal since it provides developers within a business an environment which they can use to create internal business software anytime it is needed without necessitating a large upfront investment in hardware.
  •  Software Development – PaaS has been an invaluable gift to software developers who are developing applications to sell. Before PaaS, many software developers were left unable to afford the hardware necessary for them to create top-quality applications. PaaS, however, has leveled the playing field for software developers, enabling developers to access and afford a state-of-the-art development platform regardless of whether they are working for a large company, a small company, or developing applications on their own. Within the PaaS environment, developers can manage every stage of an application’s development so that by the time the developers are ready to move their application beyond the PaaS environment it will be completely market-ready. 

Of course, these represent just a few of the common ways in which businesses and individual developers make use of PaaS. The reality is that PaaS is an incredibly versatile service, and how you make use of it is entirely up to your individual needs and what type of software solutions that you want to build.  

 

Conclusion 

Whether you are an individual developer looking for a way to affordably create more professional applications and websites or you oversee a team of developers at a business that wants to provide that team with an environment to create any number of software solutions, PaaS is an excellent solution to consider. If you would like to learn more about what PaaS is, the benefits that it offers, and how you acquire your own PaaS environment to work within, we invite you to contact us today. 

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