Platform-as-a-Service is the talk of town in software industry these days. And make no mistake about it; almost every ITES company is keeping a keen eye on the developments in the PaaS domain. And why wouldn’t they? PaaS on the verge of becoming the most popular option among software services delivery models. More specifically, PaaS comes under the domain of cloud computing. It is one of the service delivery models of cloud computing.
Let us now see what PaaS really is. PaaS (Platform as a Service) is exactly what it name suggests. It does not provide you with traditional software (a standalone & definite computer application) that suits your needs. Instead, it provides the client with Tools & Libraries to build their own softwares. Ultimately, the user creates his/her own software by making use of the tools & libraries provided under PaaS contract. As per this thread from stackoverflow.com - http://bit.ly/1iyA6gs, in PaaS the service provider provides you with computing platforms which may include an operating system, programming language execution environment, database & web server.
A PaaS user is not provided with a rigid application; instead he/she has great flexibility & control over building of the apps as well as their deployment. PaaS providers essentially rent their platform to let users play with the given tools, environments & libraries, thus enabling them to create their own applications. Some examples are Google App Engine, Heroku etc. - which provide users with fantastic development tools including compilers, execution environments & version control systems. These platforms take care of application deployment side, too. Because of all these facilities, PaaS is already changing the manner in which softwares are developed & deployed, as illustrated in this article -
http://www.infoworld.com/t/paas/how-paas-changing-enterprise-app-dev-237985. Developers are curious & enthusiastic about trying out PaaS-based development because it could save them from a bunch of cumbersome tasks, as Rourke McNamara succinctly explains in this article - http://bit.ly/1iZNxUU.
There are many types of PaaS. First is Add-on Development which renders platform for developing add-ons for specific softwares. Next is Stand-alone Development Environments which provide users with a generalized development platform. Furthermore, there are Application Delivery-only platforms which do not include code compilation & debugging capabilities but instead facilitate application deployment aspects such as security & scalability. There are many more types emerging at a rapid speed.
While reading about PaaS, I came across an interesting presentation on slideshare. Here’s the link - http://slidesha.re/1efOeJZ. This presentation talks about SPHERE platform by commercetools which claims to be the first PaaS-based solution to develop E-commerce apps. It provides an extensive set of tools to facilitate app development for - customer profile management, merchant integration, payments & the like. All in all, Platform-as-a-Service has made the businesses seriously rethink their App Development, Deployment & Software License Purchase strategies. Barring an incredible collapse, it seems to be the way to go for businesses, whether they are on provider-side or receiver-side of IT services. World is ready for a walk in the clouds...... are you?