Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers offer a cloud-based platform for developing and deploying apps.
After reading this article you will be able to:
- Define PaaS
- Explore the advantages and disadvantages of PaaS
- Compare PaaS to serverless computing
What is PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)?
Developers that use the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model rent everything they need to build an app from a cloud provider, including development tools, infrastructure, and operating systems. This is one of the three cloud computing service models. PaaS greatly simplifies web application development because all backend management is done behind the scenes, away from the developer’s view. Although there are some parallels between PaaS and serverless computing, there are many significant distinctions. 3 Main Categories & Services of Cloud Computing – SAAS, IAAS, PAAS.
What are the three service models of cloud computing?
PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) are the three cloud computing paradigms (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). IaaS refers to a cloud vendor‘s management of cloud computing infrastructure, such as servers and storage, whereas SaaS refers to entire applications hosted in the cloud and maintained by the SaaS vendor. If a SaaS client is like someone renting a home, a PaaS customer is like someone renting all of the heavy equipment and power tools needed to quickly build a house, assuming the tools and equipment were maintained and repaired on a regular basis by their owner. Learn more.
How does PaaS compare to development environments that are hosted internally?
PaaS may be accessed through any internet connection, allowing you to create a full application in your browser. Developers may work on the application from anywhere in the globe because the development environment is not hosted locally. This enables teams who are dispersed around the globe to collaborate. It also implies that developers have less control over the development environment, albeit at a far lower cost.
What is included in PaaS?
The main offerings included by PaaS vendors are:
- Development tools
- Operating systems
- Database management
Other services may be included by different vendors, but these are the basic PaaS features.
PaaS suppliers provide a range of software development tools, such as a source code editor, a debugger, a compiler, and other necessary tools. These tools might be used to form a framework. The tools available will vary depending on the provider, but PaaS should contain everything a developer needs to construct their project.
Middleware is generally included in platform-as-a-service offerings so that developers don’t have to create it themselves. Middleware is software that stands between user-facing programmes and the operating system of the machine; for example, middleware allows software to get input from the keyboard and mouse. Although middleware is required to execute an application, end users do not interact with it.
The operating system on which developers work and the application runs will be provided and maintained by a PaaS vendor.
Data bases are managed and maintained by PaaS providers. They will almost always supply a database management system to developers as well.
In the cloud computing service paradigm, PaaS is the next tier up from IaaS, and it includes everything that IaaS does. Servers, storage, and physical data centres are either managed by a PaaS provider or purchased from an IaaS provider.
Why do developers use PaaS?
Time to market is increased.
PaaS allows developers to build applications faster than they could if they had to worry about constructing, configuring, and providing their own platforms and backend infrastructure. All they have to do with PaaS is develop the code and test the application, and the vendor will take care of the rest.
From beginning to end, there is just one environment.
PaaS allows developers to create, test, debug, deploy, host, and update their apps all in the same place. This allows developers to ensure that a web application will work effectively as a hosted application before releasing it, as well as simplifying the application development process.
In many situations, PaaS is more cost-effective than using IaaS. PaaS clients save money since they don’t have to manage or provide virtual machines. Furthermore, some vendors provide a pay-as-you-go pricing model, in which the vendor only charges for the computer resources used by the programme, saving clients money. However, each vendor’s pricing structure varies significantly, and some platform providers charge a monthly fixed cost. See details on how to choose a reliable cloud vendor.
Licensing is simple.
All licencing for operating systems, development tools, and everything else contained in the PaaS platform is handled by the PaaS provider.
What are the potential drawbacks of using PaaS?
Because the application is created using the vendor’s tools and particularly for their platform, switching PaaS providers may be difficult. Each vendor’s architectural requirements may differ. Languages, libraries, APIs, architecture, and operating systems used to create and run the application may not be supported by all suppliers. Switching suppliers may need rebuilding or significantly altering a programme.
Companies may become more reliant on their existing PaaS vendor due to the time and resources required to switch vendors. A little change in the vendor’s internal procedures or infrastructure might have a significant impact on the performance of an application that was meant to function smoothly on the previous setup. Furthermore, if the vendor’s pricing strategy changes, an application’s operating costs may increase dramatically.
Security and compliance challenges
In a PaaS architecture, a third-party vendor stores most or all of an application’s data while also hosting its code. In certain situations, the vendor may store the databases through a third-party source, such as an IaaS provider. Despite the fact that most PaaS suppliers are major corporations with robust security, it is impossible to thoroughly analyse and verify the security measures safeguarding the application and its data. Furthermore, for businesses that must adhere to stringent data security requirements, checking the compliance of extra external vendors would add to the time it takes to get to market.
How is Platform-as-a-Service different from serverless computing?
In both PaaS and serverless computing, all a developer needs to worry about is creating and uploading code, while the vendor handles all backend procedures. When utilising the two models, however, the scaling is significantly different. Serverless computing, or FaaS, apps grow automatically, but PaaS applications do not unless they are configured to do so. Serverless apps may be up and running nearly instantaneously, but PaaS applications are more like conventional programmes and must be operating most of the time or all of the time in order to be available to users right away.
Another feature is that, unlike PaaS suppliers, serverless vendors do not supply development tools or frameworks. Finally, price distinguishes the two versions. PaaS pricing isn’t as accurate as serverless computing billing, which breaks out charges by the number of seconds or fractions of a second that each instance of a function operates.