Take, for example, a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). This is a type of software application. It is used to store, manage, query, and retrieve business data stored in a relational database. RDBMSs communicate with CRM and ERP systems. So, although RDBMSs are applications, they also function as platforms.
Another example is web server apps. It is increasingly common for businesses to operate through web app platforms such as partner portals.
Platforms and Software Development
Developers have choices to make. They can:
- Develop software to be platform-specific: the application is developed for a single platform.
- Design their software to be cross-platform: the application works on pre-defined platforms.
- Create platform-agnostic applications: the software runs on any platform. In this case, it is usually accessed via a web browser.
Many organizations want to write software on different platforms. However, they can’t afford the costs of housing multiple platforms. So, many employ a form of cloud computing called Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is a type of cloud computing. Gartner defines it as delivering application infrastructure from a third party to a business. PaaS is delivered over the internet and can be provider-managed or self-managed. It can also be multitenant or dedicated.
PaaS can enable companies to take advantage of streamlined development and new automation capabilities.
These tools are especially valuable for application development. With PaaS, developers are freed from any need for local infrastructure. This is very convenient. It also streamlines development and other internal processes that can get in the way of application development.
PaaS is a step in the right direction for the evolution of applications. No one can predict the needs of end-users five or ten years from now. PaaS creates a foundation for adaptive applications that can be rapidly changed to meet new expectations or market conditions.
If you want to learn more about the world of PaaS, take a look at our articles What Is PaaS and What Is aPaaS.