Platform services

Platform Services (PaaS) is a special cloud computing model that allows a third—party provider to provide users with hardware and software over the Internet. Platform service tools are often used in the development of both mobile and cross-platform applications, as well as in DevOps tools.

PaaS allows developers to free themselves from additional installation of their own hardware and software to launch or develop a new application — hardware and software are hosted by the provider in its own infrastructure.

Platform services: advantages and disadvantages

Speaking about the advantages of PaaS, they usually distinguish:

  • simplify the process of developing multiplatform applications;
  • reducing the operational load;
  • expanding development opportunities that do not require additional human resources;
  • improving the efficiency of application management;
  • advanced functionality for remote teamwork.

PaaS services are available, which, despite all the advantages, can also be a disadvantage: when a provider encounters infrastructure failures, this negatively affects customers and entails costly performance degradation.

Another problem may also be internal changes in the PaaS product (for example, in the case when the provider stops supporting a certain programming language). In order to understand how the PaaS provider’s plan will affect the environment and user capabilities, they must follow its roadmap.

PaaS, IaaS and SaaS: what are the differences

Besides PaaS, there are two other main categories of cloud computing services. So, it is important to consider IaaS infrastructure as a service, and SaaS software as a service, in comparison with PaaS.

Like IaaS, PaaS includes:

  • infrastructure (networks, storage and servers);
  • development tools;
  • middleware;
  • business process analytics.

PaaS allows vendors to expand the offering in the application stack, which is not possible in the case of IaaS. This is due to the addition of operating systems to the cloud environment, as well as middleware (databases) and other runtime environments.

The key difference from SaaS is that SaaS offers a ready-made workload, and PaaS, in turn, offers only the tools needed to create and manage a business workload.

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