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15 Popular Platform as a Service (PaaS) Examples

What is PaaS?

PaaS allows developers to create their own apps without having to maintain the infrastructure. (source).

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) fits the profile of modern business – fast paced and highly agile. It offers companies the ability to rapidly build customized solutions with the help of advanced tools. A major benefit lies in the theory of avoiding the reinvention of the wheel.

Rather than code everything from the ground up, PaaS providers often have pre-built blocks that developers can just plug and play to build better apps quickly.

The scalability of the Cloud also means that there isn’t much need for self-provisioning – and all of this at lower prices.

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1. Kinsta


Kinsta has been a managed WordPress hosting provider well known for its high-performance hosting platform and top-notch customer support. The company has recently introduced Application Hosting, providing customers with a comprehensive Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution.

With this new offering, Kinsta takes care of complex tasks such as infrastructure setup, container orchestration, custom domain integration, and server management, allowing customers to focus on developing and growing their applications. By entrusting these time-consuming responsibilities to Kinsta's expert team, customers can rely on a reliable, one-stop-shop solution for their hosting needs.

2. SAP Cloud

SAP Cloud - example of PaaS

SAP is a really big company, so much so that its offerings span multiple service models. Among them is their Cloud PaaS which is an open business platform. It was designed to help developers build applications more easily, offering both breadth and depth of service.

The platform also opens up the possibility of integrating Cloud and on-premise apps and provides many supporting services. Part of this is thanks to SAP’s immense partner ecosystem which delivers a stunning library of over 1,300 apps built on the same platform.

3. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure - example of PaaS

Microsoft Azure is a deployment and development environment using the PaaS concept. Because of its nature, Azure is able to support the entire web app development life cycle, from build to deploy and thereafter.

Azure also supports a wide range of tools, languages, and frameworks. Developers using it can access over a hundred associated services a cloud computing service from Microsoft. Because of the sheer size of Azure, it encompasses all three Cloud models – SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

4. Heroku

Heroku belongs to Salesforce and is PaaS based.

Heroku now belongs to Salesforce and is an example of PaaS based on the managed container concept. As with many PaaS environments, it is highly self-contained and integrates data services as well as a complete ecosystem of its own.

Because of its app-centricity, Heroku has gained a reputation as less of an enterprise solution. Instead, it has gained a following among the hobbyist and production development crowd. It also helps that Heroku is pretty user-friendly, allowing it to offer a more streamlined experience. 

For those keen to build on Heroku, I’ve seen apps built on this platform that has managed to go for respectable prices. For example, The Regular, built to sell food and drinks, is being listed on Flippa for around $25,000.

5. AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a part of Amazon cloud

Part of the Amazon Cloud, AWS Lambda is actually intended to work as part of the whole. Essentially, it is meant to support the efficient management of AWS resources. This means that users can run code without the need to provision for resources or server management.

The nature of Lambda makes it good for any kind of development – the environment is multi-code capable since those are provisioned for. Users have lauded it for its serverless architecture and the ability to easily handle micro-service architecture.

6. Google App Engine

Google App Engine - PaaS example

Google offers their App Engine as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem. It’s intended to be a highly scalable serverless PaaS used for rapid deployment. Google, being the giant it is, can provision highly capable servers capable of coping with almost any volume of query.

There have, however, been some issues raised by developers about the service. These include a slight lack of support in some language environments, a shortage of development tools, an inability to plug-and-play some applications, plus a lock-in to Google as the vendor.

7. Dokku

Dokku - PaaS example

Lauding itself as the “smallest PaaS implementation you've ever seen”, Dokku – a PaaS example that isn’t quite as capable as the big players like AWS. What it lacks for in depth however, it makes up for in cost – Dokku is open source and completely free. 

Based on container technology from Docker, this minute PaaS essentially lets you deploy on any infrastructure. The serious advantage of this is that there is a much lower chance of vendor lock-in so you’ll be able to take your business model in any direction you want.

8. Apprenda Cloud Platform

Apprenda Cloud Platform - PaaS example

Apprenda considers itself more towards the enterprise scale of the Cloud application building and deployment industry. It’s platform is based on Kubernetes and takes advantage of open source technologies. One of its defining characteristics is the ability to support users in moving legacy dot net applications to a PaaS environment.

Unfortunately, there have been issues raised among Apprenda users that slightly shades its capabilities. For example, some users have reported environments that are not well optimized in efficiency of memory usage.

9. Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce Lightning - PaaS example

Lightning is what Salesforce considers the next generation of their platform. It’s separate from Salesforce classic (which is SaaS) and will be the target of all future Salesforce developments in future.

Lightning offers a much-improved user interface and has improvements that will boost the experience of both business users as well as on the IT team side. An important part of the rapid development feature is the inclusion of reusable building blocks and a new delivery system.

10. IBM Cloud Foundry

IBM Cloud Foundry - PaaS example

With most major IT vendors having their own PaaS platforms, it comes as no surprise that IBM has their own version as well. Surprisingly, IBM Cloud opted for an open source version of their PaaS that has proven to be both powerful and agile.

Despite that, it hasn’t been able to resist advertising the platform as a way for businesses to solve complex problems, which is more marketing hype than reality. Still, it has been tested with a wide variety of applications and despite slight underperformance with large deployments, is still scaling up.

11. Red Hat OpenShift

OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS)

OpenShift is in a way similar to Cloudways and offers users an easier way to build and deploy applications on. It also has extensive API support so you aren’t limited only to what the platform has to offer.

Coming from Red Hat, OpenShift has also been known to be incredibly secure. There are multiple safeguards built into the environment which will step in should users try to perform unexpected actions (such as attempting to run containers with incorrect permissions).

12. Oracle Cloud Platform

Oracle Cloud Platform - Example of PaaS

Oracle is another of the industry big boys that has a finger in all aspects of the Cloud. Their PaaS offering is one of their four Cloud pillar product lines. It was designed to work primarily with Oracle SaaS applications but does work with others as well.

Having said that, it has gotten somewhat mixed reviews to date, with users finding there seems to be a balance of pros and cons depending on what they use it for. Among issues raised on a more generic level are the inadequacies of the control panel, complexity, and time taken for instance provisioning.

13. Zoho Creator

Zogo Creator - Example of PaaS

Compared to many enterprise-scale PaaS platforms, Zoho Creator is an incredible simple building-block-style offering. It essentially functions like a turbocharged app builder which allows users to simply drag and drop reusable containers to create functionality. It’s able to build multiple deployment targets as well.

The very low cost of entry makes it a strong choice for smaller organizations looking to build and deliver. Alternatively, larger companies can also take it as a stepping stone towards digitization. Users have commented that using it can be as simple as learning from a Youtube video.

14. Wasabi

Wasabi may not be the size of Google, Amazon, or Oracle but it is one of the larger independent PaaS providers in the market. Their very impressive pricing has made them popular for a much wider variety of use cases such as Cloud storage

It has a simple interface and is easy to use and set up as well. This makes it a good choice for both personal use and small to medium-sized businesses. The convenience in these situations makes up for those having more limited access to strong technical support teams.

15. Cloudways

Cloudways is perhaps unique on this list because it is extremely deeply rooted in the web hosting industry. Although it is just like many other PaaS platforms and offers users high configurability for rapid deployment, many have used it to instead build custom virtual servers for hosting.

Part of the reason is its provision for managed hosting, which combines the power of Cloud PaaS without the overly technical portion of environment management. Pricing models are as transparent as many others as well.

You can also learn more about Cloudways in Jerry's review.

Frequent Asked Questions

What is Platform as a Service (PaaS), and how does it work?

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides developers with a ready-to-use platform for building, deploying, and managing applications. It eliminates the need to manage underlying infrastructure, such as servers, storage, and networking, by offering a suite of tools, services, and APIs that streamline the development process.

What are the main benefits of using PaaS?

PaaS offers numerous benefits, such as faster time to market, reduced infrastructure management, lower upfront costs, and easier scaling. By providing pre-built tools and frameworks, PaaS enables developers to focus on creating applications instead of managing infrastructure. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go pricing model allows businesses to only pay for the resources they use, making it a cost-effective solution.

How does PaaS differ from other cloud computing models like IaaS and SaaS?

PaaS sits between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud computing spectrum. IaaS provides basic computing resources, such as virtual machines and storage, while SaaS offers complete, ready-to-use applications. PaaS delivers a platform that enables developers to build and deploy custom applications without managing the underlying infrastructure.

Is PaaS suitable for all types of businesses and applications?

PaaS is well-suited for businesses looking to develop and deploy custom applications quickly and cost-effectively. It is particularly useful for startups, small and medium-sized businesses, and organizations with limited IT resources. However, it may not be the best choice for companies requiring complete control over their infrastructure or those with specific compliance or regulatory requirements that cannot be met by a PaaS provider.

What are some common PaaS use cases?

Common use cases for PaaS include developing and hosting web applications, creating and deploying APIs, developing mobile applications, and implementing data analytics solutions. PaaS is especially useful for startups and small businesses that may not have the resources to set up and manage their own infrastructure, as well as for organizations looking to quickly prototype and test new applications.

Which are some popular PaaS providers?

Some popular PaaS providers, as mentioned in our article, include Microsoft Azure App Service, Heroku, IBM Cloud Foundry, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Beanstalk. Each provider offers a range of tools, frameworks, and features to support application development and management.

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Article by Timothy Shim

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