Platform as a Service (PaaS): detailed exploration

Platform as a Service is one of the most popular cloud technologies used today. Let’s delve into its details in this article.

Need for Platform as a Service

Modern times like now, one of the most use application is web application, even way more than just a desktop application. Web Applications are built by web developers/ programmers. One thing they excel at is writing excellent web applications. Yet, most of the programmers are unaware of the fact that a web application, to serve its purpose requires lot more than just coding the application from ground up.

A web application requires in addition to coding the application, bunch of people to manage the infrastructure. For instance, system administrators, database administrators, general network support and so on, so forth. Also, the application’s lifespan and use cycle demands more than just hardware and operating system. It needs tools like development tools, monitoring tools, database tools and numerous of other kind of tools and services. Building a web application from ground up, rolling it on is one of the most challenging thing.

The possibilities offered by Platform as a Service

In this scenario, Platform as a Service, commonly known as PaaS, provider exposes all of these necessary tools and services to the web developers/ programmers. The PaaS provider generally start off with some kind of infrastructure, which could be provided by an IaaS. On top of the infrastructure, the provider builds the platform with the complete deployment, management system that handles every aspect of the web application.

Structure of Platform as a Service

The complexity of the PaaS is abstracted away from the developers, so that they just worry about developing the application rather than worrying about the gritty details of the PaaS and its infrastructure. One of the most popular platform that is out there, Heroku. Heroku is also one of the earliest PaaS providers. They created a simple interface on top of the IaaS offerings of AWS, which further reduces the complexity of developing and scaling web applications.

Heroku has management console which allows developers to adjust the capacity of the application with just the slide of the slider, database add-ons and lot other necessary tools that makes and maintaining web application lot easier than to install and setup all of these from ground up. Which could take weeks or months.