One of the biggest decisions for a company in the modern world is software. Whether you are a small business or a massive global corporation you will need to implement the cloud in your operation. With its prevalence in the 21st century, it is likely that you’ve heard about or used cloud and software systems somewhere in your life. However, even with it being such a prevalent factor in the modern world, many still have questions. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. With both SaaS and PaaS services available, it can easily become confusing. In this article, we take a look at what differentiates PaaS from SaaS.
What is SaaS? What is PaaS? When should I use SaaS? When should I use PaaS? What about IaaS?
In this article we will try to answer all these questions and more:
What is SaaS?
Even if you have never heard of SaaS before, it is likely used often in your daily life. Have you ever used Microsoft Office 365? How about Google Drive or a calendar system on your computer? If you have used any of these before then you are already more familiar with SaaS than you realize.
SaaS, or software as a service, is a web-based software program. SaaS products are delivered via an internet connection and are maintained and updated by the providing company. Most SaaS programs deliver using your web browser, eliminating the need for costly IT services. SaaS systems don’t require any hardware installation or maintenance, making them an easy and convenient option for customers and businesses alike.
What is PaaS
PaaS on the other hand is a bit more complex but offers greater customization. PaaS, or platform as a service, is delivered in a similar fashion as SaaS programs. In general, most PaaS products are delivered on devices using a connection to the internet. However, where SaaS is a downloaded software system, PaaS is a platform where businesses can develop their own software. This allows each business to design a software program that is tailor-made to its own unique needs and specifications. PaaS is also routinely referred to as cloud platform services.
A couple of examples of cloud platform services would be systems like AWS Elastic Beanstalk or Windows Azure. PaaS allows companies to create programs and applications that are scalable and highly personalized to that company. Developers focus on developing and building their applications without having to worry about software updates or infrastructure.
Now that we know what differentiates PaaS from SaaS, let’s talk about when you should use both.
When Should I use SaaS?
SaaS has a number of viable uses and opportunities. SaaS programs are great options for most small businesses. Particularly in the case that they need to set up e-commerce quickly and efficiently. SaaS means a great option for most smaller-scale or quick-turnaround projects. Or for applications that used somewhat infrequently.
Some limitations or concerns for using SaaS would be that oftentimes SaaS is not designed to integrate with current software systems. It can be difficult to try to merge new SaaS programs with existing company software. Additionally, SaaS sales are often done on a subscription basis, and oftentimes they are easy to subscribe to and harder to get out of. They don’t offer in-depth customization so they are usually best suited to simpler or quicker tasks.
When Should I Use PaaS?
As for PaaS, cloud platform services generally have a wider range of uses because of their customizability. Developers probably use PaaS to develop programs and applications directly suited to their business. They can change and fit the applications to the exact needs of their business based on various factors like company size and current software systems. PaaS systems require more know-how than SaaS systems but still provide a significantly easier method for developing software while doing much less coding.
Some of the limitations of PaaS programs are similar to SaaS products. In many cases, the programs are easy to opt in to but very difficult to get out of. Furthermore, there are data security issues as is the case when using any third-party vendor. With PaaS applications developed in-house, data stores within the platform provider, As with any cloud-based service, it is important to practice basic internet safety.
Conclusion: What Differentiates Paas from SaaS?
Put simply, platforms as a service means web-based programs that allow developers to custom-design applications and software that best suits their needs. Software as a service on the other hand delivers traditional software in your computer browser. SaaS generally suits smaller and more simple tasks like tax software systems. Both options come via vendors who handle updates and maintenance to their products, and as such both present potential data security issues. However, so long as you practice good internet safety both can provide valuable tools for your business.