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What is Platform as a Service?

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Platform as a Service, or PaaS, is a comprehensive toolset for building services offered on top of a managed cloud environment. Platforms include APIs and user interfaces for building highly scalable information technology services.


PaaS typically offers an autoscaling cloud environment with fully managed features such as infrastructure, network, databases, storage, middleware, web servers and frameworks for building, deploying, operating and managing a service.


Platform as a Service offers a fully managed cloud platform. This can be expensive to do yourself, particularly if you include operating data centers and the technology stack related to the platform. PaaS is typically priced on a usage-based model that allows for low upfront capital requirements. Many PaaS providers may offer volume discounts that allow your costs to fall as you scale.


Running your business from a PaaS potentially represents both vendor and platform lock-in. If the vendor suddenly changes an API, your code may stop working. If they discontinue the PaaS altogether, you may face operational disruptions. Such risks can potentially be mitigated. For example, a PaaS may be based on open source technologies that are somewhat portable.
Overview: Platform As A Service
Definition (1)
A comprehensive managed toolset for building cloud services.
Definition (2)
A service that offers a complete toolset and environment for building cloud services potentially including managed infrastructure, network, database, storage, programming environments, middleware, web servers and cloud frameworks.
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