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PaaS services include application design, development, testing, deployment, and hosting. Other services include team collaboration, web service integration, database integration, security, scalability, storage, state management, and versioning.
A downfall to PaaS is a lack of interoperability and portability among providers. That is, if you create an application with one cloud provider and decide to move to another provider, you may not be able to do so—or you’ll have to pay a high price. Also, if the provider goes out of business, your applications and your data will be lost.
This was the case with the provider Zimki. The company started in 2006 and by mid-2007 was out of business, causing applications and client data they hosted to be lost.
Because PaaS is expected to be used by many users simultaneously, it is designed with that sort of use in mind, and generally provides automatic facilities for concurrency management, scalability, failover, and security.
PaaS also supports web development interfaces such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST), which allow the construction of multiple web services, sometimes called mashups. The interfaces are also able to access databases and reuse services that are within a private network.
PaaS is found in one of three different types of systems:
Add-on development facilities These allow existing SaaS applications to be customized. Often, PaaS developers and users are required to purchase subscriptions to the add-on SaaS application.
Stand-alone environments These environments do not include licensing, technical, or financial dependencies on specific SaaS applications and are used for general developments.
PaaS faces the same sorts of factors in its adoption as SaaS did, as it is in its early phase. Some other factors influencing adoption include
The ability of geographically isolated development teams to work together
The ability to merge web services from multiple sources
The ability to realize cost savings from using built-in infrastructure services for security, scalability, and failover, rather than having to obtain and test them separately
The ability to realize cost savings from using higher-level programming abstractions
There are two main obstacles that developers face when considering PaaS.
Because vendors use proprietary services or development languages, some developers are afraid of being locked into a single provider. The vendor may allow the application to be brought to a different provider; however, the costs are typically higher as compared to moving applications between conventional hosts.