Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) or platform-based service is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
- As a public cloud service from a provider, where the consumer controls software deployment with minimal configuration options, and the provider provides the networks, servers, storage, operating system (OS), middleware (e.g. Java runtime, .NET runtime, integration, etc.), database and other services to host the consumer’s application.
- As a private service (software or appliance) behind a firewall.
- As software deployed on a public infrastructure as a service.
Public, Private and Hybrid (PAAS)
There are several types of PaaS, including public, private and hybrid. PaaS was originally intended for applications on public cloud services, before expanding to include private and hybrid options.
Public PaaS is derived from software as a service (SaaS), and is situated in cloud computing between SaaS and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). SaaS is software that is hosted in the cloud, so that it doesn’t take up hard drive from the computer of the user or the servers of a company. IaaS provides virtual hardware from a provider with adjustable scalability. With IaaS, the user still has to manage the server, whereas with PaaS the server management is done by the provider.
A private PaaS can typically be downloaded and installed either in a company’s on-premises data center, or in a public cloud. Once the software is installed on one or more machines, the private PaaS arranges the application and database components into a single hosting platform.
Hybrid PaaS is typically a deployment consisting of a mix of public and private deployments.
Communications Platform As A Service (CPaaS)
A CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that enables developers to add real-time communications features (voice, video, and messaging) in their own applications without needing to build backend infrastructure and interfaces. In addition, the CPaaS architecture, and hard and software specifications are specifically designed to support (tele)communications applications. These applications and their usage are much more sensitive to jitter, latency and packet losses. Hosted PABX, cellular networks, (near real time) applications typically are deployed on CPaaS platforms.
Mobile Platform As A service
Initiated in 2012, mobile PaaS (mPaaS) provides development capabilities for mobile app designers and developers. The Yankee Group identified mPaaS as one of its themes for 2014.
Open PaaS does not include hosting, but rather it provides open source software allowing a PaaS provider to run applications in an open source environment, such as Google App Engine. Some open platforms let the developer use any programming language, database, operating system or server to deploy their applications