Choosing between PaaS and SaaS models for cloud service

Platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) each have unique benefits for companies looking to expand to the cloud. PaaS is targeted to cloud service customers (CSC) who wants to create, test and deploy applications whereas SaaS is focused on end users looking for minimized hardware and software setup costs.
By Goran Novkovic November 18, 2017

Information as a service (IaaS) might be the most widely-used cloud service model (CSP). However, platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) also have benefits for companies looking to expand to the cloud.

Platform as a service (PaaS)

PaaS is a cloud service model that offers services to manufacturing organizations that develop and test their own software and database applications. PaaS provides a complete and centralized development environment that is accessible on demand. Unlike other service models, PaaS is targeted to cloud service customers (CSC) who wants to create, test and deploy applications using the platform and tools provided by cloud service providers (CSP).

PaaS is especially useful for start-ups or companies that hire and organization that develops software applications.

PaaS cloud service model provides the capability to deploy customer-created, or acquired applications that are developed using programming languages and tools offered by CSP. PaaS includes all building blocks for production and business applications and an application development sandbox to test them in the cloud. Software and database applications can be custom applications that manufacturing organizations have been using in the past that they are now deploying on virtual machines in the cloud, or that can be applications that manufacturing organizations entirely want to build from scratch in the cloud using platform and tools provided by CSP.

CSPs offer a suite of software development tools hosted on their infrastructure allowing developers to create applications. The manufacturing organization that is consuming PaaS services do not manage or control underlying cloud infrastructure, but they have a full control over deployed software and database applications and configurations of application hosting environment.

Software as a service (SaaS)

SaaS is a cloud service model that is focused on CSCs as end users. This model provides business and production software applications and database services that can be used by many organizations, concurrently.

There are four different types of cloud networks: Private, public, hybrid, and community, and each have their own benefits for manufacturing companies. Courtesy: MESA InternationalSaaS software vendors are leasing software applications in the cloud. They are responsible for managing software, its licensing, maintaining, upgrading, patching and monitoring it. Manufacturing organizations may have designated personnel to monitor the performance of SaaS services and software applications, but the majority of such responsibilities are under CSPs.

SaaS allows manufacturing organizations to perform a very specific business and operational tasks. Employees should be able to use any type of computing devices to access SaaS services. SaaS model encourages mobility in the sense that employees can use smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, and so on to connect to SaaS offerings. Mobility is one of the main benefits of SaaS cloud service model.

A SaaS cloud service model offers minimized hardware and software setup costs because manufacturing organizations don’t need to make capital investments in hardware or software licenses. However, the customer doesn’t manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure. Instead, they pay a fee to use these software applications and database services. Organizations only have to pay for what they use. 

Another benefit of SaaS is that automated updates of software applications are done by the CSP. They update the latest version of software and security patches to businesses or production software that employees use to make sure they function correctly. 

Goran Novkovic, MESA International. This article originally appeared on MESA International’s blog. MESA International is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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