Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions Overview

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provide a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. PaaS is a set of tools and services designed to make coding and deploying applications much more efficient. In essence, PaaS is a platform for building software delivered over the web. A PaaS platform can be a very good way to develop a scalable web application with modest up-front investment.

Developers of SaaS applications are now responsible for operational work like provisioning, configuring, managing, and updating hardware resources, which are skills they would not have needed in the traditional on-premise world. The overlap between provisioning IT services and developing applications is a much-discussed area that has come to be known as DevOps.

The emergence of PaaS is designed to release application developers from complexity by providing them with the operational components underlying application development, such as operating systems, databases, and middleware, etc. Developers of business applications using Platform as a Service technology are released from the overhead of worrying about scalability and security issues and are free to focus on developing applications.

The PaaS layer also integrates automatically with the even more fundamental Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) layer, so that developers don’t have to worry about infrastructure components like hardware.

PaaS systems execute a developer’s source code by retrieving all necessary dependencies that are specific to the frameworks and languages used in the application. The platform also manages things like configuration and release management.

The value proposition for purchasing a PaaS solution is that these tools typically result in a faster time to market for emerging applications, provide streamlined management of applications, and reduce the complexity associated with the development process. Of course, one of the biggest selling points of PaaS is that it significantly lowers the high costs historically associated with application development. As such, PaaS solutions should typically manage the following components for users:

  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S
  • Virtualization

Top Rated Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2022

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Category Videos

What is IaaS and PaaS - An Introduction to Cloud Computing Servicing
05:57
Learn more about the worlds of IaaS and PaaS (Infrastructure as a service and platform as a service) in this short video.
PaaS Explained
06:38
In this lightboard video, Tessa Rodes with IBM Cloud explains what Platform as a Service, or PaaS, is while also using multiple analogies to illustrate how PaaS can be a more cost-efficient solution by enabling developers to focus on code and not the server and software configuration.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Products

(1-25 of 85) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.

Key Features

  • Service-level Agreement (SLA) uptime (14)
    86%
    8.6
  • Dynamic scaling (14)
    84%
    8.4
  • Elastic load balancing (14)
    82%
    8.2
AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless computing platform that lets users run code without provisioning or managing servers. With Lambda, users can run code for virtually any type of app or backend service—all with zero administration. It takes of requirements to run and scale code with high…

Key Features

  • Scalability (48)
    93%
    9.3
  • Services-enabled integration (47)
    89%
    8.9
  • Platform management overhead (44)
    87%
    8.7
Heroku Platform

The Heroku Platform, now from Salesforce, is a platform-as-a-service based on a managed container system, with integrated data services and ecosystem for deploying modern apps. It takes an app-centric approach for software delivery, integrated with developer tools and workflows.…

Key Features

  • Platform management overhead (43)
    81%
    8.1
  • Upgrades and platform fixes (44)
    80%
    8.0
  • Scalability (44)
    69%
    6.9
Salesforce Lightning Platform

Salesforce Platform is designed for building and deploying scalable cloud applications with managed hardware provisioning and app stacks. It provides out-of-the-box tools and services to automate business processes, integrate with external apps, and provide responsive layouts and…

Key Features

  • Scalability (33)
    84%
    8.4
  • Ease of building user interfaces (35)
    78%
    7.8
  • Services-enabled integration (33)
    76%
    7.6
Google App Engine

Google App Engine is Google Cloud's platform-as-a-service offering. It features pay-per-use pricing and support for a broad array of programming languages.

Key Features

  • Scalability (30)
    88%
    8.8
  • Platform access control (29)
    81%
    8.1
  • Platform management overhead (30)
    71%
    7.1
Red Hat OpenShift

OpenShift is Red Hat's Cloud Computing Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud where application developers and teams can build, test, deploy, and run their applications.

Key Features

  • Scalability (26)
    87%
    8.7
  • Development environment creation (25)
    84%
    8.4
  • Platform access control (24)
    80%
    8.0
IBM Cloud Foundry

IBM Cloud Foundry is an IBM version of the open-source platform designed for building, testing, deploying, and scaling applications. Enterprises can run Cloud Foundry in a public isolated environment, while natively integrating with other IBM Cloud services, such as AI, Blockchain,…

Key Features

  • Scalability (21)
    89%
    8.9
  • Development environment creation (19)
    84%
    8.4
  • Services-enabled integration (20)
    78%
    7.8
AWS Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is the platform-as-a-service offering provided by Amazon and designed to leverage AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Key Features

  • Scalability (29)
    89%
    8.9
  • Platform management overhead (28)
    89%
    8.9
  • Development environment replication (29)
    83%
    8.3
Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) product from Google Cloud. It provides virtual machines with carbon-neutral infrastructure which run on the same data centers that Google itself uses.

Key Features

  • Operating system support (27)
    86%
    8.6
  • Pre-defined machine images (27)
    60%
    6.0
  • Monitoring tools (27)
    57%
    5.7
Workday Cloud Platform

Workday Cloud Platform is a PaaS designed to help developers extend the Workday platform.

Key Features

  • Scalability (14)
    89%
    8.9
  • Platform access control (13)
    89%
    8.9
  • Ease of building user interfaces (14)
    79%
    7.9
Oracle Cloud Platform

The Oracle Cloud Platform is Oracle's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering. It is designed to help developers rapidly build and deploy applications or extend Oracle Cloud SaaS apps.

Key Features

  • Scalability (14)
    91%
    9.1
  • Platform access control (14)
    91%
    9.1
  • Platform management overhead (14)
    84%
    8.4
Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is a low-code application development platform for building enterprise-class applications that run on mobile, tablet, and web. It is designed to allow users to create custom forms, configure workflows, build pages, and deploy apps quickly.

Key Features

  • Platform User Management (5)
    84%
    8.4
  • Platform Security (5)
    81%
    8.1
  • Visual Modeling (5)
    75%
    7.5
Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud

Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud is a comprehensive service that offers fully managed OpenShift clusters, on IBM Cloud platform. It is directly integrated into the same Kubernetes service that maintains 25 billion on-demand forecasts daily at The Weather Company.

IBM Cloud Functions

IBM Cloud Functions is a PaaS platform based on Apache OpenWhisk. With it, developers write code (“actions”) that respond to external events. Actions are hosted, executed, and scaled on demand based on the number of events coming in. No servers or infrastructure to provision and…

Key Features

  • Scalability (7)
    40%
    4.0
IBM Cloud Code Engine

IBM Cloud Code Engine is a fully managed, serverless platform that unifies the deployment of containers and applications including web apps, microservices, event-driven functions, or batch jobs. This serverless compute service aims to remove the burden of building, deploying, and…

Key Features

  • Scalability (7)
    84%
    8.4
  • Services-enabled integration (7)
    81%
    8.1
IBM Cloud Private

IBM Cloud Private is a Kubernetes-based container platform allowing users to build cloud-native applications on their own infrastructure. In addition, it offers common services for self-service deployment, monitoring, logging and security, as well as middleware, data and analytics.…

Key Features

  • Scalability (5)
    100%
    10.0
SAP Business Technology Platform

SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is the company's Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, that brings together intelligent enterprise applications with database and data management, analytics, integration and extension capabilities into one platform for both cloud and hybrid…

Key Features

  • Platform management overhead (6)
    76%
    7.6
  • Scalability (6)
    74%
    7.4
  • Ease of building user interfaces (6)
    68%
    6.8
Azure App Service

The Microsoft Azure App Service is a PaaS that enables users to build, deploy, and scale web apps and APIs, a fully managed service with built-in infrastructure maintenance, security patching, and scaling. Includes Azure Web Apps, Azure Mobile Apps, Azure API Apps, allowing developers…

IBM Cloud Managed Istio

The IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service provides the Managed Istio installation add on, designed to provide additonal control over clusters and the microservices they comprise via automatic updates and lifecycle management of control plane components, and integration with platform logging…

Key Features

  • Scalability (5)
    77%
    7.7
  • Platform management overhead (5)
    75%
    7.5
  • Ease of building user interfaces (5)
    67%
    6.7
PeopleSpheres

PeopleSpheres is an open HR platform that allows orchestrating all HR SaaS software, in a unified and interconnected way.PeopleSpheres is an Employee Experience Platform (EXP) that connects a company's HR management tools over time to provide a single access portal for employees.…

Jelastic

Jelastic is a cloud services platform that offers PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS tools alongside additional features such as monitoring, networking, DevOps, containers, billing, and storage. The platform is available as public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud.

Quali CloudShell

CloudShell, from Quali headquartered in Austin, is an infrastructure automation solution for cloud, on-premise, or hybrid environments.

Oracle Big Data Cloud Service

The Oracle Big Data Cloud Services features managed and secure platform cloud service for Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark delivered as an elastic, integrated platform. It provides support for streaming, batch, and interactive analysis.

Dokku

Dokku is an extensible, open-source Platform-as -a -Service that runs on a single server of your choice.

DigitalOcean App Platform (Nanobox)

The DigitalOcean App Platform enables developers to build, deploy, and scale apps on what they describe as a simple, fully managed PaaS. Users of the former Nanobox, acquired by DigitalOcean in 2019, have been migrated to the App Platform upon Nanobox's end of life in March 2021.…

Learn More About Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions

What is Platform as a Service Software?

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provide a computing platform and a solution stack as a service. PaaS is a set of tools and services designed to make coding and deploying applications much more efficient. In essence, PaaS is a platform for building software delivered over the web. A PaaS platform can be a very good way to develop a scalable web application with modest up-front investment.

Developers of SaaS applications are now responsible for operational work like provisioning, configuring, managing, and updating hardware resources, which are skills they would not have needed in the traditional on-premise world. The overlap between provisioning IT services and developing applications is a much-discussed area that has come to be known as DevOps.

The emergence of PaaS is designed to release application developers from complexity by providing them with the operational components underlying application development, such as operating systems, databases, and middleware, etc. Developers of business applications using Platform as a Service technology are released from the overhead of worrying about scalability and security issues and are free to focus on developing applications.

The PaaS layer also integrates automatically with the even more fundamental Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) layer, so that developers don’t have to worry about infrastructure components like hardware.

PaaS systems execute a developer’s source code by retrieving all necessary dependencies that are specific to the frameworks and languages used in the application. The platform also manages things like configuration and release management.

The value proposition for purchasing a PaaS solution is that these tools typically result in a faster time to market for emerging applications, provide streamlined management of applications, and reduce the complexity associated with the development process. Of course, one of the biggest selling points of PaaS is that it significantly lowers the high costs historically associated with application development. As such, PaaS solutions should typically manage the following components for users:

  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S
  • Virtualization

Platform as a Service (PaaS) Features & Capabilities

  • Ease-of-building user interfaces
  • Scalability
  • Platform management overhead
  • Workflow engine capability
  • Platform access control
  • Services-enabled integration
  • Development environment creation
  • Development environment replication
  • Issue monitoring and notification
  • Issue recovery
  • Upgrades and platform fixes

Platform as a Service Software Comparison

When considering different PaaS solutions, consider the following aspects of each product offering.

  1. Compatibility: PaaS solutions can function alongside Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) solutions. When doing so, it is necessary to consider compatibility. Some vendors offer solutions that include both IaaS and PaaS solutions, while others have a separate offering for each. Some PaaS solutions can even integrate with IaaS solutions from different vendors. When purchasing a PaaS solution, it is crucial to discuss compatibility with vendors.
  2. Type of PaaS: There are three different types of PaaS. PaaS software tied to a specific Software as a Service (SaaS) works with a particular SaaS application, providing it with additional features. PaaS solutions related to a particular operating environment work with specific operating environments, such as IaaS solutions that include PaaS features. Lastly, open-cloud PaaS acts as a standalone platform without dependencies on other applications.
  3. Hosting Options: PaaS solutions have several cloud deployment options, including private, public, community, and hybrid clouds. The type of cloud deployment can influence price and resource portability, consider what kind of deployment is ideal when comparing PaaS solutions.

Start a PaaS comparison

Pricing

For developers on a budget, there are a few PaaS offerings available for free. Products like Dokku, are completely free, open-source projects. Then there are providers like OpenShift and AWS Elastic Beanstalk, that while not totally free, have free options for smaller projects.

For paid offerings, pricing varies greatly. Some products charge users per month, per instance, whereas others charge based on the amount of data used, sometimes on a monthly or even hourly basis. While services can start as low as less than 1¢ per gigabyte, for example, users should realistically plan to invest at least a few hundred dollars a month on the lower end to several thousand on the higher end, into their PaaS product if going with paid offerings.

More Resources

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions Best Of Awards

The following Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Solutions offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Best Of Awards methodology here.

Best Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Products

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Platform as a Service software?

Platform as a service is a cloud computing service that provides a computing stack as a service for developing applications. Platform as a Service software provides components such as operating systems, and databases so developers can focus on developing and worry less about issues like scalability.

What are the benefits of Platform as a Service Software?

The biggest advantage of Platform as a Service software that it allows for quicker application development, so products can be developed and released sooner. Additionally, since platform as a service software includes development tools that allow developers to write less code while developing.

How much does Platform as a Service cost?

For developing on a budget, there are free Platform as a Service options including Dokku, an open-source software, and proprietary options with free versions for smaller projects. For larger projects that want a proprietary software, pricing is dependent on number of users and the amount of data used. Services can start as low as $0.01 per gigabyte, but as more features and users are needed, prices increase.