Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS)

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. Platform as a Service (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

See Also

Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) is a cloud computing service model that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. aPaaS offers a set of integrated services that support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating within the same integrated development environment. Understanding aPaaS involves exploring its capabilities, benefits, use cases, and considerations for businesses seeking to leverage cloud technologies for application development. To gain a comprehensive understanding of Application Platform as a Service and its role in modern software development, consider exploring the following related topics:

  • Cloud Computing Basics: The fundamental concepts of cloud computing, including delivery models such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), to understand where aPaaS fits in.
  • Development and Operations (DevOps) are the practices, tools, and cultural philosophies that enhance an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity. Understanding how aPaaS facilitates DevOps practices is crucial for efficient software development and operations.
  • Microservices Architecture is a method of developing software systems comprising independently deployable, modular services. Explore how aPaaS supports the development, deployment, and scaling of microservices.
  • Containerization and Orchestration: Docker and Kubernetes support container application creation, deployment, and management. aPaaS often provides integrated support for these technologies, simplifying application lifecycle management.
  • Continuous Integration and [[Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)]: CI/CD is a method of frequently delivering apps to customers by introducing automation into the stages of app development. The concepts are foundational to aPaaS, which typically offers built-in CI/CD tools and services.
  • API Management: Designing, publishing, documenting, and analyzing APIs in a secure and scalable environment. aPaaS platforms often include tools for API creation, management, and integration.
  • Scalability and Performance Optimization: Understanding how aPaaS solutions enable applications to scale automatically based on demand and how performance optimization tools within aPaaS can enhance application responsiveness and efficiency.
  • Security and Compliance: aPaaS solutions provide security features and compliance certifications that protect applications and data and meet legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Serverless Computing: This is a cloud-computing execution model in which the cloud provider runs the server and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. aPaaS and serverless computing share similarities in abstracting infrastructure concerns from developers.
  • Database and Data Management Services: Explore how aPaaS platforms offer managed database services, data analytics tools, and integration with external data sources to support application data needs.
  • Vendor Comparison and Selection Criteria: Key factors to consider when selecting an aPaaS provider, including platform capabilities, ecosystem integration, pricing models, and support services.
  • Case Studies of aPaaS Implementation: Real-world examples of organizations using aPaaS to develop, deploy, and manage applications, highlighting benefits, challenges, and lessons learned.

Exploring these topics provides a solid foundation for understanding Application Platform as a Service, highlighting its importance in facilitating rapid, efficient, and scalable application development in the cloud era. This knowledge is essential for developers, IT professionals, and business leaders looking to leverage cloud technologies to drive digital transformation and innovation.


  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