Platform as a service – Choosing the best platform provider
Platform as a Service is a delivery method of computing offered on a cloud that helps in the deployment of applications and programs without actually purchasing the software. The interface helps in developing / testing new applications while still providing support for existing software.
This service helps a user or an organisation in installing applications of their choice without worrying much about the cost or intricacies of managing software, hardware and hosting. The user controls only the installed applications and its configurations but not the network, infrastructure or storage.
Key features of PaaS
As PaaS provides an interface for a user’s software to run there are certain key attributes it should provide, they are –
3) Multi-user Design
4) Limitless Database Customization
5) Flexible Model
Customization – The programmable interface offered by the PaaS provider should be easy to use and provide a customisable UI (user interface). The UI component must have normal ‘drag and drop’ features with minimal coding and should accommodate all requirements of users. PaaS providers should offer a pool of UI components that can be reused to create new components, such as grids and tree structures, easily with very little coding.
Workflow Robustness – Cloud computing companies should provide proper workflow processes to help businesses in every niche. Workflow process charts show how a business flows through its life cycle with actions that should be taken from time to time. The PaaS provider should understand these business objects to help you build robust triggers that can be structured and programmed easily.
Multi-user Design – Multi-user platform is one where the resources like OS, Server, software and hardware supports multiple users on a single primary database unlike regular Client-Server models. Each user tries to improve the cloud and this eventually helps the provider to enhance functionality for every business running on that cloud. Constant evolution of cloud security, applications, and infrastructure will help the provider to evolve and provide better service.
Limitless Database Customisation – Database is the data storehouse of any cloud and is an essential building block for cloud applications. The PaaS provider should offer a UI with complete control to the users so that they can define the kind of data that should be stored in these databases. The database should be customisable and provide persistent data structure, which is the core of many applications. The database should be robust enough for the user to provide permissions, validation rules and auditing activities with minimal programming knowledge.
Flexible Model – A flexible model for service integration, which supports fundamental features of workflow to create easy business models, is necessary. The models offered should provide powerful integration of Service oriented Architecture principles (SOAP) with the cloud platform. The provider should also offer a user to create web based API’s with proper access and controls.
Major providers of PaaS:
- Windows Azure by Microsoft
- OpenShift by RedHat
- Elastic Beanstalk by Amazon
- Google App Engine
There are tons of companies offering PaaS services but there are some major companies that are reliable and have been in this business for a long time. Although, all the major providers will fulfil the above stated features, there are few intricacies that are specific to every business. Users should look at all their requirements in detail before choosing a PaaS service.
Please contact us if you would like help and advice on choosing a suitable PaaS provider.