Platform as a Service (PaaS)
At a glance
Platform as a Service is, along with Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service, one of the three service models for cloud computing. It is a cloud-based environment that is particularly interesting for the development and delivery of new web applications. The offer goes beyond the pure services of Infrastructure as a Service: In addition to hardware, PaaS also provides the user with an operating system and the desired middleware and runtime environment or development environment. The user merely manages the data and applications that he would like to use on this platform.
Developers only need an Internet-capable computer and access to the Internet in order to use the platform offered. The work is done entirely on the cloud-based platform - in other words, any computer is sufficient, whether laptop or thin client.
Platform as a Service offers advantages for small and large companies. It relieves the developer of many tasks and thus frees more time for the actual work, the programming of new software. Some of the advantages are:
Low hardware costs
Providing your own server for the development and delivery of web applications is cost-intensive and not worthwhile, especially for smaller companies. Platform as a Service outsources these tasks so that no expensive in-house hardware is necessary.
No maintenance effort
Hardware must be serviced. Updating middleware and operating systems also involves a lot of effort. With PaaS, the provider takes over the maintenance and servicing of all associated components. This allows the developer to concentrate on his actual work and still receive important security updates etc. automatically.
The platform provided is accessible via the Internet and can therefore also be used cooperatively by distributed teams. Some platforms therefore offer additional tools to facilitate communication for the team, e.g. video chat.
Especially when providing web applications, it is important that the server is optimally suited to the number of accesses. On- or off-premise solutions work with a fixed hardware configuration. PaaS, on the other hand, can scale flexibly with the requirements so that, for example, performance peaks or complex test scenarios can be spontaneously covered.
Platform as a Service is a popular alternative for web application development. This also applies to scenarios from the IoT environment: There are already numerous offers especially for the cloud-based development of IoT applications. Manufacturers of IoT devices publish their own PaaS services, e.g. the Bosch IoT Suite, which are specially tailored to work with the devices of the respective brand.