APaaS is Application Platform as a Service on Cloud, an Application Architecture, which unlike usual PaaS is typically optimized for one kind of Application. APaaS usually delivered by the IaaS provider on a kind of ‘shared’ nature of platform with highly scalable infrastructure at lesser cost than a dedicated Cloud Based own setup on IaaS. We discussed about Platform as a Service or PaaS in details before, so we will skip the description of PaaS in this article on APaaS.
Who defined APaaS or Application Platform as a Service
It is Gartner who has defined vaguely the terminology APaaS back on 2010. Probably a Q/A published on Gartner’s blog was the first reference for the terminology APaaS :
Unfortunately, the QA itself was more towards Paas than really on APaaS. It is quite odd that Gartner for some reason not wrote much about APaaS as a technical terminology in that particular article. A good example of APaaS is Rackspace Cloud Sites, which is actually intended to host PHP MySQL based web softwares like WordPress.
What Makes APaaS or Application Platform as a Service different from PaaS
Rackspace Cloud Sites is probably the best and oldest model of APaaS. The difference with pure PaaS which we usually see is quite obvious – the user is a more consumer than a developer. The resources are more inclined to be controlled by the user than can be done on a PaaS – for example, compare with Red Hat OpenShift. APaaS is basically a service model which offers a solid chunk of cloud platform where developers (or rather the users) can run a type or group of softwares, usually a website just like on normal conventional web hosting, but unlike traditional web hosting, there is practically no limit of resources.
There are some criteria exists for being APaaS like, APaas would creates and manages business objects, it is not really to code; a workflow engine can be defined, there should be a clean GUI for easy management, independent of Private or Public cloud nature.