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How to Choose the Right PaaS

A Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution is among the best ways for enterprises to build apps quickly and maintain them properly, as I’ve written in my blog post 7 Top PaaS Benefits for Organizations. But it can be tough to choose the right one for your organization, especially if you’re looking for one specifically designed for building and deploying apps, called Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS). The best advice I’ve found on how to choose the right PaaS is Gartner’s report, Seven Key Criteria for Selecting Application Platform as a Service. Following are highlights of the report’s recommendations.

Decide between a Provider-Managed and a Self-Managed aPaaS

A provider-managed aPaaS is run by the vendor, while in a self-managed aPaaS your company does it. Gartner says a provider-managed aPaaS is best when an enterprise wants a full cloud experience, and prefers someone else to handle infrastructure. Self-managed is best for those for whom DevOps productivity is paramount instead of a cloud experience, and a company prefers to manage its own infrastructure.

Choose either a High-Control or High-Productivity aPaaS

A high-control aPaaS handles the provisioning of the details of application development and operations, such as using a third-generation language and controlling application resources such as server locations. A high-productivity aPaaS minimizes coding overheads through low-code or no-code approaches. High-control aPaases are best when professional developers are available, and complex services are needed that aren’t based on standard models and approaches. High-productivity aPaaSes are best when enterprises are looking for the fastest time to market, the lowest ramp-up time, and want to use the skills of non-developers. This kind of aPaaS is often best suited for mobile development.

Check out Development Language, Model and Framework Preferences

Each aPaaS supports different languages and frameworks, so make sure to check that your aPaaS matches your needs, such as for Java EE, Spring, Microsoft .NET and Rails.

Consider “Cloudiness Benefits”

The cloud offers a variety of benefits, including elastic scaling on demand, high performance with low latency, provider-assured high availability and disaster recovery, and continuous global accessibility. Decide which of these types of cloud benefits are important to your organization, and rate each aPaaS vendor accordingly.

Examine Your Architecture Requirements

What kind of architecture requirements do you have? Do you need hybrid services, which combine on-premises and cloud-based services? Portable services between on-premises and cloud in both directions? Event-driven or real-time application architectures such as for IoT? Make sure you detail your architecture needs and choose the aPaas that best matches them.

Look at aPaaS Functional Capabilities

Is support for building specific user interfaces for mobile and web apps important to you? Do you need to work with specific databases such as relational or NoSQL? What kind of integration and data analytics services do you require? Match all of that and other functional requirements to your aPaas.

Examine the Business Arrangements

aPaaS models vary by pricing model, SLAs and the kind price of support you’ll receive. Carefully examine those as well as other important factors such as the vendor ecosystem you’ll be buying into, and whether the aPaaS offers a business value or per-use pricing model.

Get more details about the Gartner report on choosing an aPaaS.

To see the most important benefits you’ll get from a PaaS, see my previous blog post, 7 Top PaaS Benefits for Organizations.

Alpha Anywhere is a great match for any enterprise looking to accelerate its app development. It’s particularly well-suited for enterprises, because it offers enterprise-level security, easy data integration, and a low-code approach that lets line of business users and developers easily build mobile apps. Find out how Alpha Anywhere can help your organization.

Get the free white paper, “Build Killer Enterprise Apps: Creating Your Mobile Strategy and Selecting a Platform”.
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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.