One cloud computing model that has become popular with web developers is Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS. It essentially allows application developers to create and test their products and get them to market faster without having to set up their own IT infrastructure and incur large overheads associated with it.
Using PaaS all a web developer needs to focus on is coding their app and debugging, because they're renting the platform they need to create and run their app from a cloud computing service, such as Azure from Microsoft. It drastically reduces the costs traditionally associated with developing programs and apps and allows companies of all sizes, especially startups, to get their ideas from the drawing board to the sales stage with ease. Let's look at PaaS in a bit more detail.
What Is PaaS?
Under the PaaS structure of cloud computing, customers have little to manage, because the hardware and software they require to build their programs are provided for them, and managed by the cloud computing service too. PaaS includes the servers and storage at datacentres, as well as an operating system and firewalls and security to protect it all. It may also include analytics, database management tools and various development tools that programmers require.
So straight away, developers have no need to set up their own IT network with servers, programs and apps because it's provided for them. It simplifies the entire process and makes life easy for programmers and developers, so they can purely focus on their apps while letting the cloud provider run the hardware and software environment they need to operate in. All developers need is good broadband internet for connection to the PaaS services, and they can do so from wherever they happen to be in the world.
Benefits of PaaS
One of the key benefits of PaaS is the ability to pay as you go, using only the hardware and software you need instead of having to purchase them outright. This dramatically lowers the cost of entry when creating products and allows companies to get their programs and enterprise apps developed with relative ease. As a result, the time it takes to code is slashed and there's also no need to hire additional staff to further develop a solution - you can simply tap into the capabilities of the PaaS cloud to get the work done. In addition, because it's accessed via the internet, development teams that may be spread around the world can collaborate and work together using a PaaS service to create their apps and programs.
Disadvantages of PaaS
A possible downside to using PaaS is that vendors may become "locked in" to this model and find it no longer meets their needs because they've outgrown the interface, tools and perhaps also the language they've been using. There might also be compatibility issues if developers try to use other development platforms with PaaS services, which are generally customised by the provider, and so vendors may run into difficulties with various default settings not to their liking.
Security is also a concern for some web developers and coders using PaaS, as they are trusting the cloud provider to protect their product in development and its related data. If something happens and the data is corrupted or the product or idea stolen by hackers, it could be catastrophic for the vendor. Generally, however, cloud providers have the latest in security protections and they’re usually far more robust than companies might have with on-site networks.