Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) gives users with the platform and the environment for them to develop, manage, and run applications over the Internet. PaaS takes away or lessens the complexities of building, maintaining, and enhancing the cloud infrastructure that developers need in order to develop and launch an app. In other words, PaaS makes higher-level programming easy for web and software developers, and ultimately for businesses.
There are different kinds of PaaS providers. While they offer app hosting services or a built-in infrastructure, and deployment environment, they differ in the kind of integrations, as well as in the levels of maintenance and scalability they offer. Developers can choose a PaaS provider according to which one has the toolkit and standards that suit them, which one supports the software language they are using, and which one has the right channels for distribution.
Now, the big question is: Who are the major PaaS providers and what does each of them bring to the table? To help you find the right PaaS provider for your needs, we’ve rounded up 35 of the biggest players in the space. The providers listed below are listed alphabetically for easy reference.
1. Acquia Cloud
Acquia Cloud allows you to create, manage, optimize, and troubleshoot Drupal applications. It helps you accelerate deployment while also making your Drupal applications or websites resilient. It is a complete lifecycle management suite for Drupal and provides users with tools from development to production.
Acquia Cloud is for every Drupal developer who wants to succeed in every step of the way: from large enterprises or professional developers to small businesses.
- Ease of installation with regards to any Drupal distribution
- Tools that touches on developer workflow, including tools that help you deploy content using drag and drop across different environments
- Flexible and scalable cloud resources
- 24/7 monitoring
- Secure cloud infrastructure
Cost: Paid packages start at $141.
Download: White paper
2. Amazon AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of cloud services, including computing power, content delivery, database storage, and other as-a-service features to help your business grow. Even with its wide range of features and functionality, AWS continues to evolve and to add more. It currently has more than six dozen services, and it is still growing. Read our comparison of Azure vs. AWS to find out how the two major players stack up.
- Offers standalone services that you can mix and match depending on your needs
- API-based services
- Main services offered include Simple Storage Service, Elastic Compute Cloud, Elastic Block Store, CloudWatch, Identity and Access Management, Simple Email Service, and Route 53
Cost: On-demand and usage-based billing. Rates vary depending on the service or the features you use. Free services are available.
Amazon Elastic Beanstalk gives users an easy way to deploy and provision cloud-based resources that automate setting up applications on Amazon Web Services. All you need is to upload your applications, and everything from load balancing, provisioning, application health monitoring, and auto-scaling will be handled by Amazon Elastic BeanStalk.
- Support for Java, PHP, Python, .NET, Ruby, and Node.js applications, as well as other Web development stacks and programming languages
- Support for applications that are not written to be used on the Web
- Complete control of the resources that your applications will be using
- Automatic scaling of your application based on the resources needed
Cost: No additional fees, but you pay for the AWS services and resources that you use to run your applications.
4. App42 PaaS
App42 PaaS offers a hosting platform for applications written in a variety of languages, allowing you to focus on your app development and not worry about the server-side issues. It also supports a variety of services such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Couch DB, meaning you can use any type of database with it. It makes use of virtualized containers called Kontena to run your services and apps.
- Supports a variety of frameworks and languages such as Java, Roo, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Golang, PHP, Node.js, Compound.js, Python, MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, CouchDB, and Redis
- Ensures effective application load
- No downtime scaling of applications
- Facilitates easy collaboration with team members
- Resource management using both management console and command line
Cost: 1 Kontena (256 MB RAM and 128 MHz CPU) costs $0.03 per hour.
AppAgile provides modular PaaS platforms that give you both cloud-based development platforms and business applications. You no longer have to think about extensive integration or development. Your developers get easy access to cloud applications on a platform that is highly scalable and secure. Meanwhile, you get to save on IT infrastructure and software, and all expenditures are classified as operating expenses as you pay based on the resources you use.
- Provides cloud-based development environment
- Industry-based solutions
- Effortlessly connects to your corporate ERP and CRM systems
- Allows you to test your applications without headaches and delays
Cost: Open source and pay per use.
Download: AppAgile White Paper
AppFog makes it very easy to deploy your applications on a fast, multi-locale, and resilient cloud-based platform that is available to you as a service. With AppFog, you only manage your code and data, and they will take care of the rest, including runtime, middleware, operating systems, virtualization, servers, networking, and storage. That means you can focus on your application instead of, for instance, provisioning servers, or configuring Web servers, or setting up databases.
- Supports Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby, among other languages
- Portable and open: you can easily migrate your applications if you have previously hosted them on Cloud Foundry
- Has several add-on services that you could use along with the PaaS
Cost: $0.04 per GB per instance.
AppHarbor hosts your .NET applications on the cloud that developers and businesses can use. It enables you to scale and deploy your applications with your own versioning tools. AppHarbor also offers several add-ons that you can use with your applications.
- Allows you to deploy your .NET applications using Mercurial, Git, Team Foundation Servber, or Mercurial
- Can scale applications both horizontally and vertically in just seconds
- Automatic load balancing
- Your users can access your applications with a free apphb.com subdomain
- Add-ons include database, e-mail, media, monitoring, and queuing tools
Cost: Paid plans start at $49, with a free option.
Apprenda is a platform software available on the cloud that supports your current infrastructure and applications, while also giving you an easy way to get on the cloud. You can now use Apprenda to speed up the time-to-market of your new products while reducing IT costs and complexities.
- Policy-driven platform and standard architecture
- Ensures speed and quality of new applications
- Supports Java and .NET applications
- Has a growing list of integrations and service add-ons
- Interoperable and portable, you only have to build your cloud environment once and then run it anywhere
- Highly available
Cost: As of this writing, no pricing information available.
Download: Apprenda White Paper
AppScale lets you focus on developing your applications by using a platform that is highly similar to Google App Engine. You no longer have to worry about backend programming and configuration. With the worldwide popularity of this open-source PaaS, AppScale claims to be able to cut up to 68% of your cloud services bill and can provide environments for quick prototypes, testing, and production.
- Automatic deployment and scaling of your Google App Engine application without revising anything
- Accessible within China
- Supports Google App Engine applications
Cost: Open source, with support plans, and premium services available.
Download: Use cases
Bitnami enables you to host and run your applications in the cloud. You can have Bitnami stacks deployed and managed easily and quickly. It supports different cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Platform. Apart from cloud services, Bitnami also gives you applications that help deliver the same experience for different users no matter what platform they use: containers, on the cloud, or with a virtual machine.
- Supports applications built for or with WordPress, Drupal, Redmine, Moodle, GitLab Community Edition, LAMP, Mean, Redis, PostgreSQL, and other stacks
- Very secure with the ability to plug vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered
- All Bitnami applications are self-contained and include all the required runtimes, databases, and libraries
Cost: Pricing for Bitnami Applications varies, with free trials available for some applications. Cloud hosting price is unavailable.
IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform that brings together infrastructure, services, and data you need to help bring your business ideas and applications to production. You can manage and scale easily. You can get the tools for every IT undertaking you want, whether it is creating a new application, reworking an existing one, or upgrading your databases, you can rely on IBM Bluemix to help you.
- Bluemix has more than 130 services that you can use to develop and deploy your applications
- You can also use Bluemix to host your servers, storage, and other workloads
- Deployments on Bluemix take less than 10 minutes
- Works with other open-source platforms such as OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, MongoDB, Node.js, Redis, and others
Cost: You can get started for free. Pay as you go plans or fixed monthly subscription are available.
12. Cloud 66
Cloud 66 provides you the tools to create, develop, deploy, and then subsequently maintain any applications using the cloud environment or server you want.
- Supports Ruby and Rack applications, Node.js and Docker, and now Kubernetes
- Ops tools include ActiveProtect, Failover Groups, LiveLogs, Team Access Control, Infrastructure Inventory, Deployment Engine, BuildGrid, and ContainerNet, among others
- Can be managed using APIs or via the command line
- You are instantly notified of any mission-critical developments via e-mail, Slack, Hipchat, Webhooks, or through your iOS device or desktop computer
Cost: Tailored pricing for different workloads is available. Cloud 66 offers four plans: Community, Starter, Growth, and Pro.
13. Cloud Foundry
Cloud Foundry has established a global standard for open-source PaaS technology that developers can use to create, deploy, and then run their applications without fear of vendor lock-in, which is all too common with PaaS. They also provide training and certification programs for developers.
- Licensed under Apache 2.0
- Supports Staticfile, Java, Go, Node.js, Python, PHP, .NET Core, and Ruby
- Makes your applications very portable without vendor lock-in
- Works with IBM Bluemix, Pivotal, SAP Cloud Platform, Huawei Fusion Storage, OpenStack, and AWS, as well as other cloud-based infrastructure
- Growing community helps developers get access to cloud-native and quality software and applications
Cost: Open source
Based on Jenkins, CloudBees delivers a continuous delivery platform with enterprise level security, manageability, and stability. You can also expect expert support while making your software delivery a whole lot painless. You get to be more productive, and software delivery is now less problematic and stress-free. You can now concentrate on working on your application or software without having to troubleshoot anything unrelated.
- Works with several partners, including AWS, Red Hat, and Microsoft Azure
- Also supports Docker
- Uses Jenkins, a powerful continuous delivery platform that also offers you add-ons and plugins
- Gives you access to Jenkins expert support
Cost: Free trial available, but pricing details are unavailable as of this writing.
Cloudways allows you to build PHP applications using a variety of more than 10 PHP-based frameworks as well as plain PHP. You can deploy your applications in just a few minutes, getting only the resources – RAM, storage, and CPU – you need.
- Kyup Containers that scales automatically as traffic surges or wanes
- Supports a variety of cloud infrastructures, including Vultr, Amazon, and DigitalOcean, among others
- Has more than two dozen data center locations worldwide
- Can support multiple applications
- 24/7 support
- Dedicated resources for each cloud server
- Hosting offers SSD storage for fast read-writes
- CloudwaysBot helps you manage and optimize your servers and applications
Cost: Pay-as-you-go-based pricing starting at $0.01 per hour. Free trials are available.
Dokkur gives you an easy, fast, and convenient way to launch your app with just three steps: deploy your app, create a database, and connect the storage. You can manage to do all of these using a browser-based interface or using the Dokkur toolbelt.
- Supports a variety of languages such as Rails, Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, Clojure, Go, and Scala
- Supports a wide range of databases including SQLite, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, MariaDB, Redis, CouchDB, and others
- Persistent storage
- You can use your own SSL certificates and domain names
- Uses Docker for all processes
Cost: Paid plans start at $0.99 per month
17. Engine Yard
If you have Ruby on Rails applications and websites, then Engine Yard can help you put these up without having to manage your own servers. The company has ten years of experience with full-stack Ruby on Rails. Engine Yard offers their services by as much as 50% lower than AWS. You could get your Ruby on Rails projects up and running in 50% less time.
- Secure stack and automated instances
- Provision is automated
- Highly available
- Snapshot backups are automated
- Access to CLI tools
- Supports Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Nginx, MySQL, Postgres, Redis, Memcached, EC2, S3, and Chef, as well as other stack technologies
- Also provides competent support for micro services, disaster recovery, and database migration
- The company can also manage your AWS undertakings for you, as well as get your database in check
Cost: Paid plans are billed at $0.03 per hour per instance.
Download: White Paper – Top 10 Advantages of PaaS
Force.com is part of App Cloud, an offering that allows you to build apps from Salesforce. With Force.com, you can create apps without having to write a single line of code. And the app you create on Force.com is ready for primetime: secure, connected, and mobile.
- Can help you extend the use of CRM data using apps
- Quickly automates your business processes. Even complex processes can easily be translated into an app.
- Integrate data from databases, your ERP, and other external sources, not just Salesforce
- Create mobile apps without rewriting your code or using any other development tool
Cost: Free trial available. App Cloud starts at $25 per user per month (Employee Apps Starter). Its most expensive offering is the Heroku Enterprise Starter, which starts at $4,000 per company per month.
Google App Engine helps you build mobile and Web back-ends using the programming language, frameworks, libraries, and runtimes that you are most comfortable with. Google takes care of the infrastructure while you work on your code. Check out our handy feature comparison chart to compare Google Compute with Azure and AWS.
- Google App Engine natively supports Java, Node.js, C#, Ruby, Python, PHP, and Go
- Open source to help you avoid lock-ins
- Supports SQL and NoSQL databases
- Offers a wide variety of monitoring, troubleshooting, and other helpful developer tools
- Can host different application versions
- You can split traffic to different versions
Cost: Free trial is available. Billing depends on standard or flexible environments. For standard environments, pricing starts at $0.05 per instance per hour. On the other hand, flexible environment instances start at $0.0526 per core hour, $0.0071 per GB hour, and $0.0400 per GB per month.
20. Heirloom PaaS
Heirloom Paas is a development and deployment platform that can help you transform your legacy applications into Java apps. If you have any COBOL applications and other legacy codes, you can still use them and continue to drive returns on that investment. In the end, you will still be using the same application, but this time, the application is written in Java. You can also retain both source codes. This helps you reduce your risk of vendor lock-ins.
- Transforms your current applications into Java in just minutes, even automatically, in just one step
- 100% accuracy, which means your legacy applications will work the way they have always been even after being transformed
- Supports Micro Focus, JES/JCL, CICS, SQL, VSAM, and IBM
- Uses open source stacks
- Cloud ready
- Gives you easy access to Elastic COBOL
Cost: No pricing details available.
Heroku allows you to run your apps inside containers. It takes care of everything else needed to run your apps, including orchestration, load balancing, configuration, logging, failovers, security, and others.
- Heroku supports a wide variety of languages such as Node.js, Ruby, Java, PHP, Python, and Go, among many others.
- PostgreSQL as a service that you can use, setup, and scale easily
- Allows you to scale horizontally and vertically in just a few seconds
- Pre-integrated technologies such as MongoDB, New Relic, Searchify, SendGrid, Papertrail, Fastly, TreasureData, and ClearDB MySQL, among others
- Get updated data insights with Data Clips
- Access to app metrics, code and data rollback, and continuous delivery services
- Github integration
- You can customize using your own buildpacks or use community-authored buildpacks
Cost: Free plans are available; paid plans start at $7 per dyno per month.
Jelastic is geared towards developers and offers multi-cloud PaaS services for applications. It is also a business platform for hosting providers and a private cloud provider for enterprises.
- You can deploy Python, PHP, Java, Node.js, Ruby, and .NET applications without changing the code
- Supports Docker, SVN, archives GIT, Maven, NetBeans, Ant, IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, and similar technologies
- Automatically scales your application
- Dashboard-based management
- Easily creates development, testing, and production environments
- Supports legacy applications and microservices
Cost: Free trial is available. Public cloud resources are charged hourly based on Pay per Use approach. Pricing starts at $0.001/hour for cloudlet (128 MiB RAM and 400MHz CPU) and may slightly vary among the official hosting providers of Jelastic. Private cloud pricing starts at $150 for the Jelastic license per server.
Mendix offers you the platform and tools to work on your application, from just toying with ideas to creating it, up to deployment and then operation.
- Create your applications using a set of visual development tools, including a WYSIWYG page editor and visual modeling tools
- Collaborate effortlessly
- Supports responsive design right off the bat
- Use of themes to make your applications look more professional without having to spend too much time on UI design
- Support for big data, machine learning, and IoT technologies
- Supports continuous delivery
- Provides enterprise level security standards
- Helps you manage software quality and cut lifecycle costs
- Ensures that your apps seamlessly integrate with other cloud and application services
Cost: Free plan available. Paid platform edition starts at $5,375 per month for an unlimited number of apps. Single app plan starts at $1,875 per month.
24. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure helps you deploy applications, services, and infrastructures. You can run your apps using close to three dozen data center regions, all giving you business grade service level agreements. You can reduce coding time by using readily available components that you can include in your own application. These components include security features, directory services, search, workflow, and others. Check out our post on Azure monitoring for tips and best practices for monitoring Azure apps and servers.
- Access to 70 Azure products that touch on storage, containers, databases, analytics, mobile, AI, IoT, and security, among other technologies
- Facilitates easy collaboration even with development team members from all around the world
- Supports different platforms, including mobile, desktop, and browser application development
Cost: Pay-as-you-go pricing starts with a free option. Shared Service Plan starts at $0.013 per hour per site, while the Basic Service Plan starts at $0.075 per hour. The most expensive plan (Premium) starts at $0.30 per hour and can go as high as $2.40 per hour.
25. OpenShift Online
OpenShift lets you build, create, deploy, and manage your containers easily using any public or private infrastructure.
- Supports Kubernetes for utilizing and managing containers
- Provides tools that facilitate easy and fast deployment, scaling, development
- Gives you access to several automation tools
- Can dynamically provide storage regardless of type
- Easy management of projects using a Web dashboard
- Supports Node.js, .NET, Java, PHP, Python, MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, CakePHP, Ruby on Rails and other languages, databases, and application templates
- Supports different container images from Red Hat, as well as applications from partner vendors
Cost: Starter plan allows you to sign up for free. Pro plan (for pro hosting and projects) is coming soon.
Oracle Cloud PaaS gives you a way to develop, deploy, and test applications fast and in the cloud while keeping costs down. Developers can finally focus on writing their code and worry less about infrastructure.
- Build and deploy applications using the development environment of your choice
- Access Oracle services such as Java Cloud, MySQL Cloud, Application Builder Cloud Service, Developer Cloud, Mobile Cloud, Node Cloud, and others.
- Supports Java EE, Jave SE, Python, JRuby, PHP, Node.js, and other application frameworks, libraries, and languages
- DevOps ready platform
- Managed platform that helps you reduce the risk and total cost of ownership by moving your apps to the cloud
Cost: Free trial available with the following paid plans:
- Oracle Database Cloud Service – Standard Edition One is $400 OCPU per month.
- Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition is $1,500 OCPU per month.
- Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition High Performance is $2,000 OCPU per month.
- Oracle Database Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition Extreme Performance is $3,000 OCPU per month.
Outsystems is a platform that uses visual tools to help you create and build your application while writing the least amount of code. Outsystems also allows you to modify, deploy, and manage your applications quickly and easily. You get to have better applications without coding too much, reducing development time and costs.
- Use of visual development platform that lets you drag and drop all the functionalities you want to add to your application
- Visual development encompasses the user interface, data models, and business logic
- One-click deployment of different components, including deployment processes and database scripts
- Easily creates mobile apps
- In-app feedback
- Tests your application on any device
- Includes your own code
Cost: Paid plans start at $2,100 per month. A free plan is available.
Pivotal Web Services delivers platform as a service that allows you to easily deploy, execute, and scale your application. It works with Cloud Foundry, which supports a wide number of cloud services, application services, and frameworks.
- All you have to do is upload your code and files onto the platform, where your application can be staged, distributed, and run
- Uses Diego container management system to help distribute and manage your application
- Buildpacks help ensure that your applications just work
- Supports Grails, Java, Play, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Go, Sinatra, Spring, and other languages
- Supports third-party email services, monitoring, databases, and other services
- Offers powerful monitoring and log management tools, as well as agile development and collaborations tools
Cost: Pay only for the resources you use at $0.03 per GB per hour
Platform.sh can help ensure that everything runs smoothly even for your most in-demand applications, with you not doing any administrative tasks. The company promises a fast hosting platform that is always available while eliminating the chances of failed deployments.
- Use git to deploy your applications, microservices, message queues, and other clusters
- High availability and automated processes including filesystem, network, building process, and deployment
- Supports Ruby, Python, Node.js, and PHP, as well as RabbitMQ, MongoDB, HHVM, Redis, and PostgreSQL
- Access to fully managed content delivery systems
- Ready for continuous delivery
Cost: Paid plans start at $10 per month per site. A free trial is also available.
Podspace.io is based on Docker technology and offers an application platform that enables you to develop, deploy, and scale your apps regardless of language and runtime.
- Easy and fast deployment of containers using only a few clicks
- Access to automatic load balancing and scaling
- Access to your preferred health checks for self-healing applications
- Allows you to build containerized applications
- Manages everything related to your app, from building, testing, to deploying your applications, to distributing upgrades
- Uses Kubernetes, OpenShift, and Docker
- You can easily manage the entire development lifecycle
Cost: Metered pricing that can be as affordable as €0.5 per week (adaptive metered pricing), or free for personal projects. Startup plan is €6.99 per month while the Professional plan is €14.99 per month.
SAP Cloud Platform is a PaaS that offers a wide range of development capabilities and services. You become agiler while also being able to accelerate your app development.
- Build and deploy mobile, machine learning, and IoT apps easily
- Integrate your cloud and onsite applications seamlessly and securely
- Embed analytics into your applications and get valuable insights from different data sources
- Facilitate collaboration with team members from all over the world
- Focus on user experience by building simple and responsive apps
- Secure platform
- Supports Node.js, Java, HTML5, XSC/XSA, and other languages
Cost: Free developer edition is available. Paid plans start at €399 a month.
Scalingo takes care of system administration work and lets you forget about managing servers or keeps you from worrying about software dependencies, databases or application stack so that you can devote more time to developing your apps.
- Supports Cakephp, Clojure, Express, Go, Groovy, Groovy Grails, Java, Java Play Framework, Java spark, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby, Ruby on rails, and Scala, among other technologies
- Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, InfluxDB, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, and Redis
- Access to several add-ons such as Scalingo Docker Image, VPN IP Sec, and other tools and databases
Cost: App containers costs €0.02 per container per hour. Paid plans start at €7.2 per month.
33. Software AG Live
Software AG Cloud is a Platform as a Service provider that offers a fast and easy-to-use platform for your applications. It also offers support for mobile and social collaboration and allows you to develop applications fast while using the systems and languages that you are comfortable with.
- Alfabet Cloud service provides intuitive and quick IT management. It uses the best practices on how to collect, assess, and connect data that is relevant to your business and IT decisions.
- Aris Cloud allows you to collaborate with people from other departments or even other parts of the world
- WebMethods AgileApps Cloud provides visual modeling tools that give you a situational and process driven application that is immediately accessible on any mobile device
- WebMethods API Cloud is an API portal that helps your users find and test your APIs
- WebMethods Integration Cloud helps you bring your on-site or private cloud applications onto the platform
Cost: Pricing details are not available.
34. Standing Cloud
Standing Cloud provides cloud application management and marketplace solutions that enable you to distribute or sell your apps on the cloud. They have specific solutions for ISVs, cloud service vendors, and technology solution vendors.
- Automated application management helps you manage software effortlessly, allowing your users to find, download, and purchase your software with ease
- Application management tools include single-click upgrades, scaling, monitoring, and backups, among others
- Supports Linux, Java, jBoss, PHP, Python, Rails, and other OSes, languages, and platforms
- Scripted developments let you forget about image libraries and gives your applications more portability, stability, and flexibility
- Cloud hosting happens at the point of sale, with a Try & Buy solution that permits interested users to test your applications
- You only need to develop your application or software once and deploy it wherever you want to
Cost: Pricing information not available.
webMethods provides PaaS services related to business process and application platforms. Developers and even non-technical people can now develop and then deploy applications using visual tools. It also allows you to have a better and easier way to manage and track service requests, conduct investigations, and respond to issues. Applications are more data-driven and richer. Plus, you can deploy these apps just about anywhere.
- Manage your activities better by getting customized business and app development processes. This way, you can use a visual tool to design and customize processes, assign tasks as they arise, and create processes on the fly.
- Create business-grade case management applications easily
- Get the Web applications you need while ignoring the applications you don’t
- Business rules engine allows you to control business processes, approvals, notifications, and escalations
- Use all communication channels that you want, from Twitter to Facebook and just about any available avenue
- Advanced reporting capabilities
Cost: Free trial available. No pricing details available.
# # #
If you’re using a PaaS provider, it’s important to monitor your apps as well as your servers. Read this post to learn how cloud monitoring differs from server monitoring and how to best monitor PaaS-style app hosting. And, if you’re hosting apps in the cloud, you should know the 7 Ps of high-performance cloud apps: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor PaaS Performance. Learn more about the 7 Ps in this post.