Picture Credit: http://opensourceforu.efytimes.com/2013/12/app-development-cloud-made-easy-paas/
What is PaaS?
It is a category of cloud computing services. PaaS provides a platform where customers can develop, run and manage web-based (cloud) applications, without the need to build infrastructure components such as databases, servers, or networks.
We may categorize PaaS into two major categories:
PaaS anchored to a Software as a Service (SaaS)
Where cloud solution providers allow their partners to build cloud applications on top of the provider’s main cloud application. Salesforce.com and Intuite are examples of many companies providing this service.
Where the providers grant access to developers to access an open source software in an open source environment. This environment isn’t tied to a single cloud implementation. Usually PaaS vendors allow developers to bring their own platform to the cloud. Some Open Platforms support a specific language, and some other supports many languages, which offers developers the flexibility in using their own tools. Zoho Creator, Cloud Foundry, and Open Shift are examples for Open-Platform PaaS products.
Pros & Cos
- High level programming with minimum complexity
- Low start up and operational cost
- Hiring virtual teams all over the globe leads to a competitive environment (lower in cost and higher in quality)
- Allow customers to focus on the solution and the final product
- Flexibility in changing the platform or stop using it anytime, without long term engagements, or a high capitalized investment
- Most of the PaaS platforms are lock-in free, however, the customer Lock-In is still high when customers become very dependent on the platform, that increases the customers change resistance
- In case the customer business grows dramatically, some of the PaaS platforms may not be recommended, because of their limited scalability
Although there are many PaaS companies providing their services and products over the cloud. However, I recommend Zoho Creator for small and medium size businesses for the following reasons:
- Absolutely easy to use (no need for any programing background)
- Lots of online materials and help to support you build you application in a minute
- In its free plan you can do a lot, and get 24/7 support too
- Flexible in using Agile development process
- You can hire an expert to help you reach your goal when needed, by a single click.
- You can build – out of the box – workflows, business rules, reminders, reports, and more
- Multi Language
- API enabled, so you can easily integrate it with any other cloud application
The following video will show you how to build your own free application in a minute.