Top PaaS Providers

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The top PaaS providers play a key role in cloud computing -- one that will likely expand as cloud deployments keep growing. 

PaaS is a cloud computing model that includes the operating environment and application services for building cloud apps. PaaS is specifically for cloud-based application development. Customers are given resources to build, deploy, and launch software applications, such as apps and tools, hosting, databases, cloud security, and data storage. PaaS platforms are elastic and can scale up or down as needed.

There is quite a mix of players in this field. Our methodology for choosing them includes factors like the vendors' strength in the cloud market and depth of focus on offering a PaaS solution. Specifically, we chose the following vendor for:

* Breadth of PaaS tools

* Unique offerings not found elsewhere

* Maturity and quality of PaaS tools.

This methodology led to an interesting mix of vendors. They are listed in no particular order.

Jump ahead:

Amazon Web Services

AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is the basic IaaS service from Amazon and spin up a virtual instance quickly. For a PaaS environment you need AWS Elastic Beanstalk, an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling Web applications and services developed in a variety of Web languages, including Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker. Amazon also offers Lambda for serverless computing, where you don’t set up a dedicated server, your code is executed only under triggers or conditions, and you pay for only when the code runs.

See user reviews for Amazon Web Services

Microsoft Azure

Azure builds on Microsoft’s on-premises legacy by allowing Windows developers to move to the cloud relatively quickly and easily and it does so through a number of PaaS services. Azure Functions is an event driven, compute-on-demand experience similar to AWS Lambda. Code is run by triggers from Azure, a third-party service or on-premises systems. AzStudio is a platform for migrating legacy .Net apps to the cloud.

Azure Web Apps is for hosting standard ASP.NET web applications in the cloud. Azure Mobile Apps can host a variety of mobile apps for IOS, Android, Windows, and Xamarin. Finally, Azure Logic Apps orchestrate business logic with SaaS and enterprise apps.

See user reviews for Microsoft Azure

Salesforce Platform

Salesforce Platform is a full suite of tools for building apps that automate business processes. Platform consists of several services, starting with Heroku, for building customer-connected apps using Salesforce data. Shield helps developers add compliance, governance rules and transparency to their apps. Environments is a secure sandbox for building and testing apps, Connect handles connections to back-end on-premises systems and Identity manages user identities and permissions.

See user reviews for Salesforce Platform

Red Hat OpenShift

OpenShift is Red Hat’s entirely open source container-based PaaS platform , providing developers with an integrated development environment (IDE) for building and deploying Docker-formatted containers and managing them Kubernetes. The overall service is made up of four different services, all based on the same technology.

OpenShift Container Platform the original and main service, while OpenShift Online is for individual developers or teams that access OpenShift as a public cloud service. OpenShift Dedicated runs in a single-tenant rather than virtualized environment for customers who need the performance of a single-tenant environment, and OpenShift.io provides a free end-to-end service for building cloud-native applications.

See user reviews for Red Hat OpenShift


Mendix offers what it calls aPaaS, or rapid app platform-as-a-service. It offers a set of comprehensive, integrated tools and platform services for the entire app lifecycle, accelerating the process from initial design to deployment by requiring far less code. The company claims applications are created 10 times faster with 70% fewer resources.

See user reviews for Mendix

Google App Engine

Google App Engine enables you to build and host applications on the same systems that power Google applications using Python, Java, PHP and Go. Google provides SQL and NoSQL databases, secure authentication, scaling and A/B splitting of apps and traffic and IoT. Google also offers the Google Kubernetes Engine, which allows customers to easily run their Docker containers in a fully managed Kubernetes environment and Google Cloud Functions, similar to Lambda in that you can create small, single-purpose serverless apps or functions that respond to cloud events without the need for a server or a runtime environment.

See user reviews for Google App Engine


Dokku’s sales pitch is it is “The smallest PaaS implementation you've ever seen.” It’s an extensible, open source platform that runs on a single server of your choice, so long as your choice is Ubuntu, Debian, or CentOS. You deploy it with one Git wget command. It supports Ruby, Rails, Node.js, Java, Play!, Python, PHP, Clojure, Go, and Dart and offers simple deployment into production. Dokku is not exactly a scalable environment since it only runs on the server where you deployed it. So it’s meant for small, low traffic and restricted environments.

Zoho Creator

Most PaaS environments offer a variety of application languages but Zoho Creator lets customers build Web apps with no code at all. They simply build the app from a variety of prefab components and Zoho Creator ties it all together to create enterprise-class applications that run on mobile, tablet, and Web. Customers can create custom forms, configure workflows, and build information pages. The apps are then deployed to desk-bound and mobile users alike.

See user reviews for Zoho Creator

SAP HANA Cloud Platform

SAP Cloud Platform is designed for SAP HANA users to build and deploy HANA-based cloud applications as well as extend cloud and on-premises software running SAP. It should not be confused with SAP’s HANA Enterprise Cloud IaaS service, which is designed around letting SAP customers move their on-premises deployments to SAP’s cloud.

HCP allows customers and partners to extend existing cloud or on-premise applications and create applications that deliver new capabilities. It connects to a wide variety of business apps and allows customers to add new features to existing apps, such as mobility support for SAP’s SuccessFactors or integrate an on-premise CRM app and the cloud.

See user reviews for SAP HANA Cloud Platform


Platform.sh is a continuous deployment cloud hosting service for building applications ranging from small team projects for low traffic sites to ones handling millions of visitors. Its quickly replicates the production cluster in the dev section for rapid building and testing of apps and pushing them right to deployment. The company claims it can accelerate the development processes 20% to 40% and uses Git-based branch-merge workflows so every branch is tested as if in production, and every Git branch has a unique URL for testing. It supports PHP, Drupal, Symfony, Wordpress, Magento, Laravel, Ruby, Python, Node.js, JavaQ317 environments and production apps can be hosted on AWS, Azure, and Orange Business Services.

Cloud Foundry

Any venture backed by Cisco, Google, IBM and Microsoft has to be doing something right. Cloud Foundry was originally developed by VMware and then transferred to Pivotal Software, a Dell EMC company. Cloud Foundry supports Java, Node.js, Go, PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET Core and Staticfile and is entirely open source, allowing developers to code in multiple languages and frameworks. The Cloud Foundry platform is made up of seven core groups of components: Routing, Authentication, Application Lifecycle, Application Storage and Execution, Service Brokers, Messaging, and Metrics and Logging.

See user reviews for Cloud Foundry

IBM Cloud

Recently IBM merged all of its cloud services sold under different brand (Bluemix, SoftLayer) into one unified system called IBM Cloud, with more than 175 services. Bluemix was the major PaaS platform, with end-to-end solutions for an enterprise application development, testing, and deployment. Bluemix is based on Cloud Foundry runs on SoftLayer infrastructure. Languages include Java, Node.js, Go, PHP, Swift, Python, Ruby Sinatra, and Ruby on Rails. It also works with other IBM cloud services, including IBM Watson, Blockchain, IoT, Mobile, Data and Analytics, and more.

See user reviews for IBM Cloud

Engine Yard

Engine Yard is one of the original PaaS providers, originally established to support a full-stack Ruby on Rails solution. It has since added support for PHP and Node.js environments. With its Rails experience, if that is the language of choice, Engine Yard is your best bet. It sold its Deis container service to Microsoft in 2017 and was later acquired by Crossover, a cloud-based Ruby specialist, to form a full stack Ruby platform.

See user reviews for Engine Yard



Biggest Positive

Biggest Negative

Amazon Web Services

Most comprehensive collection of services

Its popularity could leave you feeling like a number

Microsoft Azure

Best support for legacy Windows

Need to be a Windows expert to make the most of it

Salesforce Platform

Strong integration with other Salesforce services

IaaS is lacking compared to others, no on-premises support.

Red Hat OpenShift

Easy to set up, open source so no vendor lock in

Support is lacking, pricey


Very fast, easy to learn


Google App Engine

Very good pricing, high performance

Support costs are high; downloads are expensive


Open source, easy to set up, simple deployment

Limited to a single physical server

Zoho Creator

Build apps with no code at all; SMB-friendly

Support could be better

SAP HANA Cloud Platform

High performance, built on SAP HANA



Excellent for continuous development and deployment

A smaller player in a market with some mega-large players.

Cloud Foundry

Rich support for languages, easy deployment, good scalability

Lacks support for Docker and Kubernetes

IBM Cloud

Massive library of IBM services; comprehensive on-premises support

Limited regions, pricing, and SLAs.

Engine Yard

In-depth Ruby support.

Limited in language support

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