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Platform as a Service

Ana Canteli

Written by Ana Canteli, on 23 January 2023

Technological needs for security and efficiency are today's economy's order of the day. It is, therefore, normal for business leaders to be interested in the market's new cloud solutions. 

Platforms as a Service (PaaS) are offered by a vendor that provides a cloud platform for software development as a service. The customer purchases the resources from the PaaS provider, accessible through a secure Internet connection. The main advantage for customers is that they can use the platform without investing in their own IT infrastructure. Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment designed to support the entire lifecycle of web applications: build, test, deploy, manage and update. Developers can work on the application from anywhere worldwide, facilitating cross-team collaboration.

Components of a Platform as a Service PaaS

The configuration of a PaaS is very flexible. However, they all have elements in common:

  • Development tools: such as a source code editor, a debugger, a compiler, and other essential tools, can be offered together in a pack. The specific tools will depend on the vendor, but PaaS offerings should include everything developers need to build their applications.
  • Middleware: Platforms often include middleware, so developers do not have to create it. Middleware is the software that sits between the user-facing applications and the machine's operating system; middleware allows the software to access keyboard and mouse input. Middleware is necessary to run an application, but end users do not have to interact with it.
  • Operating systems: A PaaS provider will provide and maintain the operating system on which developers work and the application runs.
  • Database management: PaaS providers manage and maintain the databases. Typically, they also provide developers with a database management system.
  • Infrastructure: A PaaS provider manages servers, storage, and physical data centers.

What are the differences between PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS?

These services, PaaS - Platform as a Service, IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service, and SaaS - Software as a Service, include the service layer in cloud computing. This layer is a set of programs provided by the software infrastructure of a computer or server. These cloud services work together to support a business, manage configurations and provide adequate resources on demand.

  • IaaS: Building on the base layer of cloud services, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides basic computing operations, including operating systems, networking, virtual machines, and storage. Users can "rent" space to free up their hardware for proprietary or resource-intensive computing.
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service (PaaS) occupies the middle layer and provides development and deployment services. A PaaS platform performs application development testing, deployment, management, and maintenance. It also allows multiple users to run copies simultaneously and independently of each other.
  • SaaS: Software as a Service (SaaS) is at the top of the software services layer and consists of the applications offered to end users. The services typically provide many share characteristics, and the applications usually include general business services; OpenKM Cloud responds to this approach. The navigation of these applications should also be easy to use. And the applications must be modular, easily customizable, continuously updated, and securely separated from other users' data.

Why do companies choose platforms as a service?

Earlier, we mentioned some reasons businesses consider new technology alternatives. The Paas approach stands out because it allows organizations to more easily migrate internal applications to the cloud while speeding up and facilitating the scaling of resources as their user base grows. It also makes it easier for an organization to develop and deploy customized applications at a lower cost.

How does PaaS work?

PaaS does not replace an enterprise's entire IT infrastructure for software development; it can be delivered through public, private, and hybrid clouds to provide services such as application hosting and Java development.

Typically users will have to pay on a pay-per-use basis. However, OpenKM PaaS charges a flat monthly fee for access and usage, so the organization knows how much it will cost to operate the service.

Pros and cons of PaaS

Advantages

  • Simplicity: OpenKM PaaS provides much of the Infrastructure and other IT services that users access from anywhere via a web browser. Companies eliminate the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining on-premise hardware and software by paying on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Availability: OpenKM PaaS is committed to providing the platform on a high availability basis; potential productivity interruptions are categorized, priced, and high uptime will be provided.
  • Shorter payback time: The platform offers access to code tools that can simplify processes and reduce development time. In addition, developers can focus on coding tasks as activities such as configuration and provisioning of the IT infrastructure are the responsibility of the PaaS provider.
  • Scalability: Platform-as-a-Service most often means paying only for what you use. When the platform needs to be expanded, the provider adapts the offer to the client's new situation. The platforms usually incorporate analysis functionalities that help control costs and optimize developments.
  • Accessibility: organizations that benefit from PaaS can have their staff distributed in different locations and still work in a coordinated way and with the best collaborative tools in the platform.
  • Security and control: PaaS providers allow the implementation of an advanced security policy. OpenKM PaaS includes a multi-layered and granular approach to safety. It is helpful for quickly configuring staff access and helps prevent leaks and other security breaches,

Disadvantages

  • Dependency: if the PaaS provider experiences an interruption in service, this can negatively affect its customers, resulting in productivity costs for the PaaS beneficiary. In PaaS mode, the provider keeps its underlying Infrastructure hidden. As a result, the service model is similar to the SaaS format, which means that the provider manages and runs the server and controls the allocation of resources, which means that developers have less control over the development environment. However, this leads to much lower overheads. Lock-in is often another concern; customers may experience difficulties migrating their data to off-platform environments. In this respect, with OpenKM PaaS, the customer is not just the possessor but the owner of all their data.
  • Changes in the service: changes in the service conditions or characteristics of the platform are contingencies to be considered. For example, when a PaaS provider stops supporting a particular programming language or decides to use a different set of development tools. In these cases, providers usually communicate these changes sufficiently in advance.

Critical aspects for choosing a PaaS provider

  • What features does it include, and can your application environment integrate well with them? As your software suite develops, grows, and adds more and more users, you need to check that you can easily configure it with your PaaS provider and that it has the tools you need. OpenKM PaaS includes access to software documentation and development tools, web services, and a full API to make it easy to integrate transparently with the user.
  • Is it optimized for the language and framework you use? If not, it would be necessary to adapt the runtimes.
  • What are the terms of service in case of an incident? Make sure your provider has a good reputation with your customers and will be available.
  • What is the estimated size of the platform? It is advisable to consider the number of users, as the more specific the code and the more users the application has, the more performance may be negatively affected and the more complex the migration, if necessary.

Who should use a platform as a service?

  • Developers: Many PaaS products are geared towards software development. These platforms offer hardware and software infrastructures, text editing, version management, and build and test services that help developers create new software quickly and efficiently.
  • Startups: For early-stage companies, PaaS platforms greatly help them gain access to servers, databases, networking, BI, analytics, OS, and other storage functions that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible due to price.
  • SMBs: Small and medium-sized companies, especially those starting in software development and cloud services or that cannot cope with local Infrastructure, can also opt for PaaS. PaaS products reduce capital expenditure, technical staff, and energy costs in this scenario.

If you want to know the features of OpenKM Paas in detail, you can contact us via the form.

 

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