Platform as a Service in Cloud Computing

Platform as a Service in Cloud Computing

In this article, I will discuss Platform as a Service, also called PaaS, in Cloud Computing. Please read our previous article discussing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing. At the end of this article, you will understand Platform as a Service (PaaS) in Cloud Computing. Who uses this service, and what are the advantages it provides?

What is Platform as a Service (PaaS) in Cloud Computing?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides a platform and environment for customers to develop, run, and manage applications without dealing with the underlying infrastructure. PaaS can be thought of as a layer on top of infrastructure services (such as IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service), adding more features higher up the stack and abstracting much of the system administration away from the user.

If you have read our previous article about Infrastructure as a Service, understanding Platform as a Service is very easy. It boils down to what we (i.e., our organization) manage versus what the cloud service provider manages. With Infrastructure as a Service, the cloud service provider manages the infrastructure (i.e., Networking, Servers, Storage, and Virtualization). We manage everything else (i.e., the Operating System, Runtime, Data, and Application).

Compared with Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS) in Cloud Computing provides an even higher level of abstraction. You can think of it as a layer on top of Infrastructure as a Service. It shifts more responsibility to the cloud service provider. As you can see in the diagram below, we manage only our business applications or services and the underlying data. The rest is managed by the cloud service provider. We don’t have to worry about managing the network or underlying infrastructure. Installing the operating system updates, critical patches, runtime, etc. All these are taken care of by the cloud service provider. 

Platform as a Service (PaaS) in Cloud Computing

Who uses Platform as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing?

Well, it is primarily used by software development teams. As the name implies, it provides a platform for developing software applications. It is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. It enables us to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, enterprise-class cloud-enabled apps.

For example, let’s say you want to develop data-driven web applications. For this, we need a framework like ASP.NET Core or Java. To store data, we need a database like SQL Server or Oracle, for example. We need a web server to host and run a web application. Purchasing and installing these softwares, setting up the development environment, and maintaining it are not only expensive but also time-consuming.

With Platform as a Service (PaaS), the cloud service provider provides software, and you can install and configure them with a few clicks in just a few minutes. You pay for the service on a pay-as-you-go basis and access it over a secure Internet connection. When you no longer need the service, you shut things down and stop paying.

Common Uses of PaaS in Cloud Computing:
  • Software Development: It offers a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable developers to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications.
  • Business Analysis: Allows businesses to analyze their data efficiently, often providing tools to help create insightful dashboards and reports.
  • API Development and Management: Streamlines the development of APIs and improves their management by providing scalable environments.
Advantages of Platform as a Service (PaaS) in Cloud Computing

Platform as a service is a layer on top of Infrastructure as a Service. So, it has all the benefits of IaaS plus the benefits specific to PaaS. IaaS provides many benefits, like

  • Reduced financial risk
  • Deployment Speed
  • Provision resources from geographically closer locations
  • Auto-scaling resources (i.e., the underlying virtual infrastructure) up and down depending on demand

We discussed the benefits of IaaS in detail in our previous article. The following are the benefits specific to the platform as a service.

Reduces Development Time.

Platform as a Service greatly reduces development time. Just imagine the amount of time it takes to procure your own infrastructure, purchase all the software, install, configure, and set up your own development environment. With Platform as a Service, you gain instant access to a complete software development environment in just a few minutes and with a few simple clicks. It also provides templates and reusable application components and features such as search, directory services, security features, and so on.

Great Support for Global Teams

Platform as a Service supports global teams. To access the development environment, all you need is an internet connection. So, your development team members can be located anywhere in the world, in any remote location. It doesn’t matter. As long as they have an internet connection, they can connect and work together on projects.

Develop for Multiple Platforms

PaaS provides options for developing cross-platform apps on computers, mobile devices, and browsers. In short, it makes developing cross-platform apps quicker and easier.


Affordability is another great benefit. Cloud supports a pay-as-you-go model. So, with it, organizations of all sizes, including small organizations and even individuals, are able to use sophisticated development software, business intelligence, and analytics tools that they could not afford to purchase outright. So, with the pay-as-you-go model, you pay a monthly fee for as long as you want to use them.

Multi-Tenant Architecture:

Multiple users can manage and develop applications independently on the same development platform. That means the PaaS platforms use a multi-tenant architecture, where multiple users share the same resources while keeping their data and applications isolated. This approach helps in efficient resource utilization and cost reduction.

PaaS Cloud Providers:

The following are some of the popular PaaS Cloud Providers:

  • Microsoft Azure: Offers a platform for building, deploying, and scaling web apps and APIs. Offers PaaS capabilities as part of its cloud offerings, including app services, Azure SQL Database, and Azure DevOps.
  • Google App Engine: Provides a platform for building and deploying scalable web applications and mobile backends in any language.
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Provides an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services.
  • IBM Cloud Foundry: Offers an open-source cloud platform that allows developers to build, deploy, and run applications easily.

In the next article, I will discuss Software as a Service, also called SaaS, in Cloud Computing. In this article, I will explain Platform as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing. I hope you understand the need and use of Platform as a Service (IaaS) in Cloud Computing.

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