Platform as a Service (PAAS)

Platform as a service (PaaS) provides a computing platform and a solution package as a service. Together with software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), it is a complete service model of cloud computing. With this the consumer can create the ideal package of applications and services relative to its business using the tools and/or libraries from the provider. The consumer also controls software deployment and configuration settings. The provider provides the networks, servers, storage, and other services.

PaaS facilitates the deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software and provisioning hosting capabilities.

PaaS may also include facilities for application design, application development, testing, and deployment as well as services such as team collaboration, web service integration, and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation, and developer community facilitation.

Add-on development facilities

These facilities allow customization of existing software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and in some ways are the equivalents of macro language customization facilities provided with packaged software applications such as Microsoft Word. Quest can offer specific alterations and adjustments for their users as an added subscription pack to the co-resident SaaS application.

Key Points to Consider

Ease of use

PaaS platforms are commonly designed around developer ergonomics to maximise developer productivity.

Simplicity

PaaS allows resources to be focused on value add development effort by removing the need for most non-differentiating project tasks associated such as provisioning and managing environments.

Automation

PaaS platforms make advantageous use of automation to eliminate repetitive tasks that add no value, streamlining the business operations and allowing developers to focus on high-value differentiating features.

Multi-tenant architecture

PaaS typically supports the use of the application by many concurrent users, by providing concurrency management, scalability, fail-over and security. This defines the "trust relationship" between users in security, access, distribution of source code, navigation history, user (people and device) profiles, interaction history, and application usage.

Integration with web services and databases

PaaS allows users to create compositions of multiple web services, sometimes called "mashups", as well as access databases and re-use services maintained inside private networks. It has support for keeping the user/relationships (if multiple users)/device context and profile through the mashup across web services, databases and networks.

Web-based user-interface creation tools

With a PaaS system, Quest can provide a level of support to ease the creation of user interfaces, either based on standards such as HTML and JavaScript or other Rich Internet Application technologies like Adobe Flex, Flash and AIR. This can  allow rich, interactive, multi-user environments and scenarios can be defined, tried out by real people (non-programmers), with the tools that make it easy to log or single out features that annoy or frustrate either novices or experts. Quest can create tools that will allow interfaces to be defined for different user profiles by function or expertise.

Support for development team collaboration

Here at Quest we have the ability to form and share code with ad-hoc or pre-defined or distributed teams that will potentially enhance the productivity of a PaaS system. In some cases, schedules, objectives, teams, action items, owners of different areas of responsibilities, roles (designers, developers, tester, QC) can be defined, updated and tracked based on access rights.

Utility-grade instrumentation

With a Quest PaaS system we can provide developers an insight into the inner workings of their applications, and the behaviour of their users. By Using a PaaS system information about user behaviour and the opportunity to enable pay-per-use billing may add an additional income stream.

  • It can determine whether services are of value to users/customers
  • It can compare the value of different services
  • It can track activity based costs and revenues

Visualization tools could show usage patterns, exposing functional or correlational relationships between:

  • Services and/or user interactions
  • The value to the user or users
  • The cost of alternative service paths such as web, mobile browser or mobile applications

Business benefits of PaaS

Cost savings

PaaS platforms help improve the efficiency of core IT processes that form part of application delivery in an organisation. They facilitate creation of applications and services without the cost and complexity of provisioning and managing a traditional application platform package.

Shortened application delivery

PaaS supports and amplifies the benefits of agile software development. When used in combination with an proactive development focus PaaS can help significantly reduce the time to value of software application projects.

Increased adaptability

PaaS reduces environmental complexity and therefore enables businesses to more rapidly adapt their applications and IT services to respond to changing market conditions and organisational needs.

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