Platform-as-a-Service is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud for building and running applications. 

What is Platform-as-a-Service? 

In the PaaS model, developers essentially rent everything they need to build an application — development tools, infrastructure, and operating systems. It is one of the three service models of cloud computing that vastly simplifies web application development. 

What is Included in PaaS? 

The main services offered by PaaS vendors are: 

1. Development Tools 

PaaS Vendors offer a variety of tools used for software development including a source code editor, a debugger, a compiler, and more. The specific tools that are offered depend on the vendor but should include every tool a developer needs to build an application. 

2. Middleware

Platforms offered as a service usually include middleware, so developers don’t feel the need to build one themselves. Simply defined, middleware is software that sits in between the user-facing application and the machine’s operating system. it is a necessary component for running an application, but end users don’t interact with it. 

3. Operating system

The main component of operations where the developer works on and the application runs on. 

4. Database 

The PaaS vendor maintains and administers the database. this means the developers are provided with a database management system as well. 

5. Infrastructure 

PaaS is a layer up from the IaaS in cloud computing, meaning it contains all the features included in the IaaS service model. A PaaS service provider either manages the servers, storage or physical data centers or purchases them from an IaaS provider. 

Why Do Developers Use PaaS? 


  • Faster Time To Market

With PaaS, applications can be built more quickly as developers don’t have to worry about building, provisioning, and configuring their own platforms and backend infrastructure. With PaaS, they need only write the code, and test the application, the vendor will handle the rest. 

  • One Environment from the Beginning to the End

PaaS enables developers to build, test, debug, deploy, and host their applications in the same environment. This enables the developers to be sure that the web application will function properly before the release and further simplifies application development lifecycles. 

  • Ease of Licensing

PaaS vendors handle all the licensing for the operating systems, development tools, and everything else included in their platform. 

Potential Drawbacks

  • Vendor Lock-in

It is hard to switch from one PaaS provider to another as the applications used are specifically for their platforms. Not only that, each vendor may have different architecture requirements. Different vendors may not support the same languages, libraries, APIs, or even operating systems. 

  • Vendor Dependency 

A small change in the vendor’s internal processes or infrastructure could have a huge impact on the performance of an application. Additionally, if the platform changes the prices, the application may become more expensive to operate.