Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS)

Understand the key capabilities that define aPaaS and how it differs from PaaS. Also,
learn how to choose the right aPaaS platform for your business?

What is Application Platform as a Service?

According to GartnerApplication Platform as a Service (aPaaS) is a cloud service that offers development and deployment environments for application services. An aPaaS platform provides the ability to – build applications iteratively; provision application software instantly; scale applications on-demand; and integrate applications with other services.

aPaaS vs PaaS – What’s the difference?

aPaas-vs-PaaSIn the pre-cloud era, “middleware” was the term used to describe the software that enabled communication and management of data in distributed applications. Infrastructure and applications  were the first to be available on the cloud in the form of Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS (e.g. Amazon Web Services) and Software as a Service or SaaS (e.g. Salesforce).

Later, middleware services too was available in the cloud. But middleware constitutes a lot of things like application development, application deployment, integration services, identity services and other platform services. All these services are lumped together under Platform as a Service or PaaS (e.g. Heroku). In this context, those services that primarily offer application development and deployment are referred to as application Platform as a Service or aPaaS (e.g. WaveMaker RAD Platform) while PaaS refers to entire spectrum of middleware as a service offerings.

Advantages of aPaaS

Build applications easily
The application platform like rapid application platform provides you with all the tools you need to iterate and make changes quickly and adopt the right technologies for your project. They have very intuitive drag and drop features which can be used to develop an application in no time.

Deploy apps in minutes and not days
The use of aPaaS greatly reduces development and deployment time.  They are capable of integrating new application features easily from an old system. This makes making changes and improvements easy.

Scalability of  the application
Many of the aPaaS platforms provide horizontal and vertical scalability. You can upgrade and add database and deploy new things in the application in a hassle-free manner.

Integrate with various other applications
Provides additional software services like operating system, database, security and vulnerability management, API and integration infrastructure and many deployment options on the cloud which are backed by robust security.

Choosing the right aPaaS platform

Several aPaaS platforms simplify application provisioning and installation but they don’t truly enable organizations to deliver applications at the speed of business. The right aPaaS platform brings speed and agility to the entire application lifecycle, paving the way for frictionless enterprise application delivery.

WaveMaker-RAD-Architecture

WaveMaker aPaaS Platform – Architecture

When choosing an aPaaS platform, enterprises need to look for the following selection criteria:

  • Visual Development: Drag-and-drop UI creation for faster development and change management
  • Easy Integration: Connect to databases, APIs, web services and data siloed in legacy systems
  • Multi-device Support: Create responsive web applications and hybrid mobile apps so that applications are available across all devices and form factors
  • Extensive Customization: Ability to customize all aspects – HTML, CSS, JavaScript and backend services
  • Instant Deployment: One-click deployment and option to run on-premise and in private and public clouds
  • UI Templates: Provides a library of out-of-the-box web and mobile templates to jump start application’s UI development
  • Granular Security: Ability to integrate with popular authentication providers and control authorization at different levels

The Future of aPaaS

aPaas is the future of software development and read this –  “that you can do other things with [it] that were not originally envisaged at the time of its initial design”, says Adrian Bridgwater of Forbes. With aPaaS, the complete web application lifecycle supports off the shelf: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.

Because the underlying infrastructure is already written, tested, and optimized, the platform allows for low-code development that doesn’t take a developer or a skilled IT person to develop apps, this can be done by anyone within the organization with limited development knowledge.