What is PaaS and how it works?

Published on 04th Jan, 2023 5 min read


Platform as a service i.e PaaS is one of the types of cloud computing models. In this concept, a third party provides hardware and software tools to various internet users. These tools are usually needed for the purpose of developing applications. PaaS providers host the hardware and software technologies in their own infrastructure. This helps developers to be free from installing in house software and hardware technologies needed to run or develop new applications. PaaS happens to be one of the 3 main categories under cloud computing services. The other two main categories are IaaS and SaaS- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

In the IaaS concept, a provider gives the client a basic computer storage and networking facilities along with a hypervisor i.e the layer of virtualization. With this facility, the users then create virtual instances like containers and VMs, install operating systems along with support apps and data and then handle all the management and configuration of these tasks. In the concept of PaaS, a provider gives more than just the application stacks associated with IaaS- he adds more operating systems and middleware like databases and also runtimes into the cloud environment. Examples of PaaS products include the Google App and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. In the concept of SaaS, a provider puts on offer a whole stack of applications, where users simply need to login and use the app that will run completely on the infrastructure of the provider. Usually, SaaS apps are fully accessible via internet browsers.


How Does PaaS Work?

PaaS does not entirely replace a company’s IT structure for software development. PaaS is delivered through a cloud service provider’s host infrastructure. Users frequently access the services through a web browser. This service can be provided through private, public and hybrid cloud systems and used to deliver services like app hosting or Java development.

PaaS provides many other services including but not limited to the following-

  • Collaboration among development teams

  • Design and development of applications

  • Testing and deployment of applications

  • Integration of web services

  • Security of information

  • Integration of different databases

Normally, the charges for PaaS are on a per-use basis, but some providers do offer monthly fees for complete access to the platform and its services and applications.


The main services and features of the PaaS model include the following-

Development Tools

PaaS providers deliver various software tools for product development such as compilers, debuggers and source code management. The providers usually make these tools available within a framework. So the consumers just needs to purchase access to the framework to make use of all the tools. The available tools and their specifications depends on the provider.

Operating Systems

PaaS providers also deliver and maintain the main operating systems based on which developers create their products. The applications of the products also run on the PaaS operating systems the developer uses to create them. Normally, the OS comes as a part of the whole PaaS framework along with the other tools.Sometimes the operating system can also come in a separate package.


Middleware software systems act as a bridge between the computer’s operating system and user applications. A cloud computing middleware system thus acts as a connecting interface between the cloud and user interfaces. It also conveys inputs to the software from the hardware, for example from the keyboard to the app software.

Database Management

PaaS happens to be an on-demand and adaptable self-service platform that simplifies the administration, management, maintenance and preparation of databases for software developers. PaaS providers deliver maintenance service and database management and administration services. They enable developers and non-tech staff to manage a platform efficiently.

The Benefits of PaaS

Paas holds a number of great benefits, especially when compared to an on premises platform. Some of the benefits include the following-

Faster Marketing

PaaS aids faster marketing by saving you the time used in purchasing and installing hardware and software needed to build and maintain an application development platform. It also saves the effort of waiting for development teams- you can simply tap into the cloud service vendor’s PaaS and start developing and provisioning your resources immediately and effectively.

Economic access to a wider variety of choices

PaaS platforms also offer access to a bigger and wider range of resources and choices along the application stack, which includes operating systems, databases and middleware. These are way more in number than most organizations can maintain or afford themselves.

Freedom for innovation with lesser risk

PaaS systems allows you to try and test new operating systems, languages and different tools without investing too much time, economic resources or infrastructure on them, and thus facilitates freedom of innovation with lesser risk.

Cost-effective Scalability

Scaling can often become expensive, wasteful or inadequate on an on premises platform. On these platforms, you might have to purchase additional storage, computers and networking capacity. A lot of this networking capacity is idle during periods of low traffic, and cannot be increased in time to fit in unpredicted surges. With PaaS, this risk is eliminated as you can purchase extra capacity and use it immediately in need.

Thus, this sums up the main concept of PaaS and how it functions.


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