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Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a popular term to describe application development and deployment functionality available as a service. A complete PaaS offers the entire web application lifecycle as a service, on a single platform. The web application lifecycle can be broken into two main phases: development and delivery.


Comprehensive IDE
Within a PaaS, the integrated development environment (IDE) is built specifically for the development of applications that leverage and present data via leading-edge user experiences. The top PaaS solutions include comprehensive development, debugging and testing tools presented in an IDE familiar to the majority of today’s developers. A PaaS joins the IDE with both the testing and hosting environments, eliminating complexity, time and cost requirements from the end-to-end lifecycle of creating and delivering rich web applications.

Interactive End-User UI
End-users have become accustomed to more interactivity and functionality in web applications. Top PaaS offerings deliver applications that meet or exceed these end-user expectations. Making rich interactivity an intrinsic part of the platform frees developers from the challenge of pushing interactivity in after adding the functionality. Top PaaS offerings deliver this interactivity with portability between browser clients so end-users may use the browser of their choice without browser-specific programming by the application developer.

Web Service and DB Connectivity
Tremendous value can be derived through the connection of multiple types and sources of data. PaaS enables connectivity to multiple data sources while abstracting the tedious task of writing the “glue” code to bring the sources together. Applications need to leverage existing software investments in databases, and internal or external web services, requiring that the platform offer a wide variety of connectivity options. Many applications require external services with “live” data from multiple sources, (i.e., updated at sub-second intervals) so automatically updated connections between applications and services must be the default (i.e., rich, multiplexed state management capabilities) without requiring additional engineering work.

Developer Collaboration
Development projects are delivered by individuals and teams, both large and small. PaaS supports both formal and on-demand collaboration throughout the entire software lifecycle (development, testing, documentation and operations), while maintaining security of source code and associated intellectual property. Facilities to package, share, and obtain reusable source code and software components can dramatically increase productivity and reduce project risk and costs. Collaboration with other developers to solicit advice, share information and form ad-hoc teams, while maintaining privacy and security materially impacts the success of web application development. Naturally, this collaboration is a feature of the platform and does not require additional software or configuration.

Community Ecosystem
As evidenced in the open source community, great progress can be seen through the gathering of like-minded individuals working to solve similar problems. PaaS enables the sharing of applications, code and knowledge by lowering communication barriers and providing the facilities for the community to engage with each other.


Application Hosting
With a PaaS, once an application is ready for deployment it can be made instantly available to end-users without building, provisioning or maintaining hardware or software, or managing bandwidth and quality-of-service contracts. Applications hosted on a PaaS can reach any number of users, from any locale with the speed, responsiveness and security expected by both the user and the business.

Deployment management
As applications incrementally improve and are enhanced, versions can be easily rolled out to end-users. With a straight-forward management console, businesses can easily control which version of an application is available without disrupting the access for end-users.

Scalability, Reliability and Security
Scalability, reliability and security should be built-in to a PaaS without requiring additional development, configuration or other costs. The ability of an application to automatically partition state and data to service an arbitrary number of users must be assumed, again without additional work of any sort by the developer. Applications delivered on a Platform-as-a-Service automatically and reliably support web-scale use, allow the secure exchange of confidential information and the secure execution of monetary transactions. Developers are free to build applications with the comfort that the security of customer data, network traffic, source code (intellectual property) and even server hardware is maintained automatically by the platform through-out application development and delivery.

Application Instrumentation
PaaS provides comprehensive instrumentation of application and user activity to provide greater insight into application usage and effect improvements. This deep instrumentation opens up many new opportunities from understanding the user experience to whole new business models. With instrumentation, organizations can see exactly how users are using the application, the type of performance they are experiencing and any application crashes. This information can also be leveraged to create new business models where costs are tied to actual utilities, rather than flat-rate subscriptions or licenses.

Bungee Connect is a complete Platform-as-a-Service. Click here to find out more about how Bungee Connect delivers on each of these components.

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