PaaS Overview (Platform as a Service)
PaaS is a service providing remote utilization of an application development platform utilizing cloud computing. This includes not only the remote use of software (as in Software-as-a-Service) but a complete application development and distribution platform. This allows the developer to design, test and implement their software on the same platform that their end-user clients will be utilizing to run the application. This one platform technique streamlines development by eliminating the need to customize the code to run on different platforms. Additionally, the developer can make changes to the product on the PaaS directly, avoiding the need to distribute updates.
Typical PaaS services offered include Add-On Development Facilities, Stand-alone Development Environments, Application Delivery-only Environments and Open Platform-as-a-service. These environments are typically web-accessible allowing end-users ease of access to the system from remote locations. User accessibility can be controlled and monitored through the service, allowing for the collection of user-specific data and usage statistics. This control facilitates user customization and per-use billing. Specific features of an application can also be monitored to help the developer allocate their efforts to those which receive the most use.
Another benefit of PaaS technology is the ability it gives developers to develop, test and deploy their software in one comprehensive environment. Distribution takes place on the same platform on which it is developed, avoiding software and hardware conflicts for clients. Also, this single platform environment frees the developer from the need to tailor their applications to work on various OS and hardware.