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Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations. –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing.  Version 15

PaaS is a development environment, providing storage (database), compute and the building blocks to develop cloud applications and deliver them in private or public clouds with consistent identity, management and application architecture.

Pricing models

  • Usage.  Rates vary based on the actual usage of the resources (storage, compute, data transfers, connections and/or transactions).
  • Flat Rate.  Pay a one-time flat rate or annual rate for a prescribed level of access.

Examples:  Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Microsoft Azure, Force.com

Benefits are the same as the benefits identified in the Cloud Value Proposition.  In addition, developers can

  • Create applications more quickly with PaaS. Because it provides a higher level of service than platform styles such as IaaS.  Developers can focus on creating business logic rather than worrying about infrastructure.
  • Deploy applications more quickly with PaaS. Unlike IaaS, which relies on administrators to do some set up, PaaS requires essentially no administrative intervention.
  • Update new applications more effectively. The Windows Azure platform automates updates, letting a new version of an application be deployed with the click of a mouse. Making updates easier also makes them safer, letting applications adapt more quickly as business needs change.
  • Create more reliable applications. The platform handles routine tasks such as patching system software without taking down a running application. This lets applications provide a much higher level of reliability than is possible with non-PaaS platforms.  – IT as a Service  

Additional Considerations:  Management, Security, Disaster Recovery, Data Location and Security 

Key characteristics

  • Services to develop, test, deploy, collaborate, host and maintain applications in the same integrated development environment
  • Web based user interface creation tools ease the creation of user interfaces
  • Multi-tenant architecture with concurrency management, scalability, failover and security.
  • Integration with web services and databases allows compositions and re-use of services
  • Provide insight into the inner workings of their applications, and the behavior of their users.

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