ne of the hot topics in
is software as a ser-
vice, in which vendors
host applications on
the Internet and provide them via a
browser to users, who perform and
store their work online. Users thus
don’t have to worry about develop-
ing, hosting, updating, or maintain-
ing applications or storing data.
Several vendors have taken the SaaS
concept a big step further and now
offer platform as a service systems.
PaaS systems are generally hosted,
platforms, providing end-to-end or,
in some cases, partial environments
for developing full programs online.
They handle tasks from editing code
to debugging, deployment, runtime,
In PaaS, the system’s provider
makes most of the choices that deter-
mine how the application infrastruc-
ture operates, such as the type of OS
used, the APIs, the programming
language, and the management capa-
bilities. Users build their applica-
tions with the provider’s on-demand
tools and collaborative development
“PaaS typically provides a com-
plete set of tools and technology,
from the interface design, to pro-
cess logic, to persistence, to integra-
tion,” noted David Linthicum, CEO
of the Linthicum Group software
In some cases, developers can use
a PaaS provider’s online resources
to build applications offline.
Mostly, software developed with
the technique runs online and is
hosted by the PaaS service provider.
However, users can sometimes cache
part of a program, work with it
offline, and synchronize it later with
the online application.
Proponents say the approach has
numerous benefits such as increasing
programmer productivity, enabling
companies to build and release prod-
ucts more quickly, and reducing
PaaS vendors include Bungee
Labs, Coghead, Etelos, Google,
LongJump, Rollbase, and Salesforce.
com. Industry observers expect more
big companies to jo