Developers with experience in application development know that platform-specific applications outperform others and are fairly easy to manage. Similarly, cloud application development for public or private cloud is best carried out in cloud environment. The most efficient way to build a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) application is using PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service).
PaaS allows you to develop and manage SaaS application within the cloud. It promises faster development by quickly putting applications into production without having to set up the corresponding hardware and software. Not surprisingly, PaaS is registering a phenomenal growth and is expected to hit $34 billion by 2018.
Here is why you should draw on PaaS to build your next SaaS application.
What is PaaS?
Platform as a Service is a cloud service that provides computing platform for creation of web applications. As a result, users don’t need to invest in underlying software and hardware to build a new application. PaaS is in contrast with SaaS where instead of computing platform on-demand software is delivered over the web.
How does PaaS help to build a SaaS application?
PaaS offers you the ability to self-provision development and testing environments that enables you to start application development instantly. It makes it easier for developers to collaborate with other developers and architects. It simplifies the deployment and management of web applications besides making the applications more resilient.
Salient features offered by PaaS
A number of web servers happen to sit idle in your data center when you are running only a few applications. As a result, resource utilization is poor coupled with low software security and wasted energy. You end up using multiple servers to host various individual sites.
PaaS optimizes server space utilized by various applications by offering a centralized host that can be optimized for loads of internal or external web applications. You can exploit centralized hardware for various needs like application development, staging, QA and production. Consequently, PaaS helps in the reduction of server sprawl.
PaaS allows you to add computing resources as and when you require them. Leading PaaS providers offer automatic scaling or user-driven resizing to adapt to fluctuating demands. Therefore, memory allocation to deploy a web application can be instantly increased or decreased.
Previously, organizations had to resize their computing infrastructure to meet peak demands that was left underutilized for prolonged durations. Thus, PaaS helps you to save significant amount of money. Moreover, the entire computing environment is under your control.
PaaS offers you an excellent opportunity to focus solely on your application. Instead of deploying to a server, applications are deployed to a PaaS fabric. This means as a developer you just have to push applications to the existing PaaS environment and all other steps are taken care of. PaaS infrastructure is designed to deliver automatic patching, scaling and monitoring.
PaaS products are designed in such a manner that they can host multiple applications or tenants simultaneously. Apart from providing significant computing capacity, PaaS platform offers built-in load balancing services and failover in the event of server failure. Multi-tenancy ensures that code updates are deployed across the board thereby boosting reliability and performance of each application hosted in the cloud.
PaaS is not limited to hosting web applications. It offers many add-on services like database, storage, identity management, caching etc. API management and service catalogs are some other complimentary services offered. All these services can be used along with hosting without provisioning for additional hardware thus saving you from a lot of hassle.
PaaS offers drag and drop method that allows you to create and configure UI components. Pre-defined standard UI elements can be used in building applications. Reusable UI components like grids, tree-like hierarchies can be used with the help of simple html code with minimal coding requirements. This PaaS offering gives UI designers control over application interface and allows them to add new designing layers faster.
A key aspect of PaaS offering is database customization. Objects are fundamentally used to store data in cloud applications. A declarative web interface provides visual control at meta-data level. Declarative web-based interface facilitates developers to define objects and specify relationship between objects.
PaaS leverages Service Oriented Architecture to enable seamless integration of cloud app data and functionalities to amalgamate with other applications. Therefore, SaaS integration is an important feature offered by many PaaS products. Integration between cloud-applications and on-premise systems is enabled through a range of pre-built connectors.
Leading PaaS providers
The core components include computing power, storage and database services.