Cloud Computing Basics—Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Generally, good programming is considered to be the measured application of an art form, craft or discipline, with the objective of producing a competent and evolving business solution. In traditional environments, computer programming is a practice that has multiple phases, such as designing, developing, testing, debugging and maintaining application code. We programmers use programming languages like C, C++, C#, Java, Python and Smalltalk to create business applications. The process of writing code often requires proficiency in many diverse subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, runtime environment, specific algorithms, programming languages and proper logic.

Figure 1. Programming

In addition, developing and deploying applications is a complex, expensive and time-consuming task. Business applications require hardware resources, operating systems, databases, middleware, Web servers and other software. Once the technology stack and hardware resources are available, a team of developers needs to navigate frameworks, such as J2EE and .NET, for development. A dedicated team of network, database and IT management experts keeps resources and applications available.

Inevitably, business requirements will require changes in the application, which results in a lengthy development, testing and re-deployment cycle. Furthermore, large organizations need specialized facilities to house their data centers and a team to maintain them. A gigantic amount of electricity is used to power the servers as well as to keep them cool.

If you think the complexities end here, then wait. A failover site holds significant importance to mirror the data center so that information and resources can be replicated in case of disaster. Applications built with these complexities are difficult to scale for usage spike demands, fragile to update, and difficult to make mobile and social as business needs change.

Modern Application Programming and Its Challenges

Modern programming has changed in a different manner due to the explosion of devices. Expanding data and new business requirements need different approaches from the previous era. Considering either the traditional approach or modern approach, business applications must satisfy some fundamental properties, such as automation, reliability, robustness, performance and availability. Unfortunately, even in modern times, automated build and test environments don't exist in many organizations, and best practices are not applied everywhere in the software development life cycle.

It is important to understand that an application's reliability depends on the accuracy of algorithms, fewer programming mistakes, the implementation of security best practices, and avoiding logic errors, such as division by zero. Anticipating errors, such as incorrect or compromised data and unavailability of resources, increases robustness. How well application developers and IT teams manage robustness holds more significance in achieving the application's objectives. Efficiency, performance, maintainability, portability and availability of an application are equally important in modern environments. Cloud computing is a revolutionary approach that provides a ray of hope for organizations dealing with these modern challenges.


Mitesh Soni has been associated with the Cloud Services Team for the past three years, which is a part of the Research and Innovation Group of iGATE. Currently, he is working there in the capacity as Technical Lead. He loves to write on technical and soci