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Intro to PaaS for Ottawa Computer Services Users

App creation is an important process in many business operations. Whether they applications be request forms, transaction fulfillment or even adding some interactive elements to a website, a platform is always needed for the development, hosting and maintaining a web-based app. Users of managed services in Ottawa who use web development should be looking into PaaS solutions to see if they can change their development process for the better.

As app development becomes a more involved process involving ever more dedicated software and hardware, PaaS solutions can help offset a lot of the stress brought out by having a local developing platform. Developing platforms come in many variants and are offered by numerous companies, below is a list of 3 platform offerings to help IT consulting customers in Ottawa decide which is the best platform for their business. This is just s a brief explanation of a small sample of PaaS solutions and as always further reading is encouraged.

Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon offers one of the more robust cloud service platforms in the PaaS and IaaS sectors. Amazon has a tool to support your project from conception to deployment. Codestar is an environment to get software development projects of the ground quickly, without the massive overheads for dedicated servers and operating systems. Codestar supports many languages such as Ruby, Python, C# and many more. Amazon provides private git repositories through its CodeCommit application. CodeBuild builds and tests your software package, while CodeDeploy automates the deployment of your built software. Amazon Web Services also incorporates high availability and scalability, meaning that users of computer services in Ottawa, need to worry about developing their applications and little else more.

Google App Engine (GAE): Google’s PaaS offering is not as highly regarded on some circles as AWS, due to some of the limitations it has, but the other side of the coin is that it is less hands-on than AWS, meaning that you do not need in-depth knowledge of infrastructure or system administration, which suits many programmers perfectly. Some of the limitations of GAE are a lack of Python 3 support, lack of support for some Java methods, and it runs Java Development Kit (JDK) 7, not 8. Users of tech support services in Ottawa will be happy to know that it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to GAE. For those who the limitations would pose little to no problems, reviews of the platform praise it for it’s simplified layout and process, bringing inefficiencies from conception to deployment.

Microsoft Azure: Where GAE was more of a pure PaaS, Azure is similar to AWS in that their offering stems more from an IaaS approach, offering more flexibility and customizability to the user, but a deeper knowledge of infrastructure and system administration is needed. Microsoft Azure offers a powerful and versatile platform that allows developers to program in any language. It supports Visual Studio integration, Eclipse through a free add-on, or any Git client using a browser based interface. Azure provides many features even that companies in Ottawa using IT will no doubt find beneficial to their day to day tasks.

The main differences when it comes to PaaS solutions are languages supported, tools provided and customer preference for the platform. All other differences are minor if at all different. Deciding on a PaaS provider is as much an issue of liking an environment as it is a technical issue. Next, in this series, we will look at IaaS solutions, which is where you, as a subscriber are leasing hardware (virtual or physical) computing resources.