Cloud computing has radically affected the way businesses are created and run. It includes platforms that are built and to run custom applications using the concept of the “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) which is a web-based, on-demand service. Multiple providers such as Amazon.com, Google or iTunes impacted the way data is seen and transmitted through a web browser to successfully drive business.
PaaS promises the vendor using the platform that the “perfect” infrastructure is provided for developing and managing a software application including designing, developing, testing, hosting, deploying a software application as it provides the tools for web service integration, database building, storage and security etc. With this, PaaS drastically reduces upfront cost and includes all services for. Most of the time, it is established on a subscription model where users pay for the use.
PaaS allows developers on a global level to access unlimited computing power and to build powerful applications that can be easily deployed and managed. The development tools can be accessed via the web allowing creating enterprise level applications, without installing additional software on computers. The deployment doesn’t require specific skills since it is mediated through the complex & heterogeneous infrastructure of the platform.
There are several PaaS solutions in the market that include “stand-alone business application platforms”, “social application development platforms”, “web-based application add-on platforms” and “open-computing platforms”.
Stand-alone business application platforms are the development tools to design and deploy business-oriented software. They provide the establishment of security, reliability and scalability without software licensing and additional hardware costs to the customer.
Social application development platforms allow the development of applications for social websites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter by providing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which allow an easy integration with the website’s platforms.
Web-based application add-on platforms use existing Software as a Service (SaaS) and facilitate the modification and addition of features as an add-on or customized application.
Open-computing platforms support the development, deployment and storage of applications that are written in virtually any programming language and using any database, operating system and server.
In summary, PaaS provides the infrastructure required to deliver on-demand web applications quickly by providing the prepackaged frameworks for creating, managing and changing software applications without adding burden of upfront infrastructure cost to the user.