Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS)

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Application platform as a service (aPaaS) is a cloud service that offers development and deployment environments for application services.[1]

Products like EngineYard, VMForce and the Google App Engine cloud all offer aPaaS. PaaS provides hosted software applications to customers with low cost of entry or even for free. It simplifies the technical aspects of creating and deploying applications because it's easier to maintain, it's scalable and it's tolerant to faults, enabling users to focus on other thing. PaaS provides many advantages for end users. For example, the operating system can be enhanced and upgraded frequently and all at once, development teams that are geographically separated can work together on software development projects through the cloud, and services can be accessed through various media and from anywhere in the world. Although PaaS offers several advantages and benefits, there will always be some kind of downside. One is that PaaS involves some risk of vendor lock-in, which refers to users' inability to use their applications from one platform in another vendor's platform, especially if the platform requires exclusive service interfaces or specific languages. Another potential disadvantage is that the flexibility of the service may not meet the needs of some end users.[2]

The Advantages of an aPaaS[3]
Application platform as a service (aPaaS) solutions enable rapid application development and delivery. Many platform as a service providers streamline application provisioning and deployment, but don’t address the sluggishness of coding apps in the first place. The right aPaaS brings abstraction and automation to the complete application lifecycle, providing a faster way to build apps. These features include:

  • Visual, model-driven development for building apps in fast, iterative cycles
  • One-click deployment to the public cloud, private cloud or on premise
  • Reusable app components for composing the necessary building blocks versus reinventing the wheel each project
  • Social collaboration tools and feedback loops that help teams get requirements right the first time and delight users


  1. What is Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS)? Gartner
  2. Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) Explained Techopedia
  3. The Advantages of Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) Mendix

Further Reading

  • What’s Changed: Gartner’s 2016 Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) Magic Quadrant Report Spencer Bradley
  • Application Platform as a Service: Enabling the Next Generation of Application Development Progress
  • Top Tips for Managing Application Platform as a Service Oracle