- Platform as a service
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is an outgrowth of the
Software as a Serviceapplication delivery model. The PaaS model makes all of the facilities required to support the end-to-end life cycle of building and delivering web applications and services entirely available from the Internet [ [http://blogs.zdnet.com/Hinchcliffe/?p=166&tag=btxcsim Comparing Amazon’s and Google’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Offerings | Enterprise Web 2.0 | ZDNet.com ] ] —with no software downloads or installation for developers, IT managers or end-users. It's also known as cloudware.
PaaS offerings include workflow facilities for application design, application development, testing, deployment and hosting as well as application services such as team collaboration, web service integration and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation and developer community facilitation. These services are provisioned as an integrated solution over the web
Key Characteristics of PaaS offerings [ [http://bungeeconnect.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/defining-platform-as-a-service-or-paas Defining Platform-As-A-Service, or PaaS « Bungee Connect Developer Network ] ]
Services to Develop, Test, Deploy, Host and Maintain Applications
Different PaaS offerings provide different combinations of services to support the application development lifecycle.
Web Based User Interface Creation Tools
PaaS offerings typically attempt to remove developer concerns regarding the use of the application by many concurrent users. This may include providing automatic facilities for concurrency management, scalability, failover and security.
Integration with Web Services and Databases
Support for SOAP and REST interfaces allow PaaS offerings to create compositions of multiple Web services, sometimes called "
Mashups" as well as access databases and re-use services maintained inside private networks.
Support for Development Team Collaboration
The ability to form and share code with ad-hoc or pre-defined or distributed teams greatly enhances the productivity of PaaS offerings.
Integrated PaaS offerings provide an opportunity for developers to have much greater insight into the inner workings of their applications and the behavior of their users. Certain PaaS offerings leverage this instrumentation to enable pay-per-use billing models.
Different Types of PaaS
Add-on Development Facilities
These facilities allow customization of existing SaaS applications, and in some ways are the equivalent of macro language customization facilities provided with packaged software applications such as
Lotus Notes, or Microsoft Word. Often these require PaaS developers and their users to purchase subscriptions to the co-resident SaaS application.
Stand Alone Development Environments
Stand-alone PaaS environments do not include technical, licensing or financial dependencies on specific SaaS applications or web services, and are intended to provide a generalized development environment.
Application Delivery-Only Environments
Some PaaS offerings lack development, debugging and test capabilities, and provide only hosting-level services such as security and on-demand scalability.
Factors Driving PaaS Adoption
PaaS is in its early stages, and adoption is driven by many of the same features driving SaaS adoption. Additional, platform-specific factors include [ [http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/article.php/3663266 Repealing the SaaS Tax ] ]
* The benefits of ad hoc, geographically distributed development teams working together on projects
* The ability to incorporate web services from multiple sources
* The cost reductions derived from using built-in infrastructure services for security, scalability, failover etc, rather than obtaining and testing and integrating these separately
* The cost reductions derived from using higher level programming abstractions for creating services, user interfaces and other application elements.
Factors Inhibiting PaaS Adoption
* Fear of
Vendor lock-inPaaS offerings provide either proprietary service interfaces or proprietary development languages both of which tie a created application to that provider by raising switching costs [ [http://onstartups.com/home/tabid/3339/bid/2421/force-com-The-Perils-of-Platform-As-A-Service.aspx force.com: The Perils of Platform As A Service ] ] , relative to the switching costs of conventional hosting.
* Limits on GrowthThe flexibility of PaaS offerings may not be compatible with the requirements of quickly growing sites, both in terms of scalability for many users, and addition of new complex features that may be difficult to implement on a web-based platform.
* [http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=472 A Plethora of PaaS Options]
* [http://blogs.zdnet.com/Hinchcliffe/?p=166&tag=btxcsim Comparing Amazon's and Google's PaaS Offerings]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/apr/17/google.software Google angles for business users with 'platform as a service']
* [http://directorio-paas.buensitio.info Paas directory]
Examples of PaaS
* [http://bungeeconnect.com Bungee Connect]
* [http://www.is-tools.se IS Tools]
* [http://www.longjump.com LongJump]
* [http://www.unidapsolutions.com/services/platform/saas.php uniDap Platform]
Google App Engine
* [http://www.wolfframeworks.com Wolf Platform-as-a-Service]
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