June 07, 2011, 6:09 AM — Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud computing, in which full-fledged application development and deployment capabilities are provided rather than just raw iron and compute cycles such as in Amazon Web Services, is set to gather steam as a deployment option for programmers. But the market is still in start mode, and developers are calling the shots.
Currently, PaaS is a $2.8 billion market, but "it will become over the next 10 years a $10 billion market," says Forrester Research analyst Stefan Ried, who recently published a report on PaaS. Microsoft's Windows Azure and Salesforce.com's Force.com are currently the leading platforms for coders in the fledgling PaaS marketplace, according to Forrester. But the list of contenders is long, ranging from Google App Engine to services from companies such as Caspio, EngineYard, LongJump, OrangeScape, Tibco, and WaveMakers, Ried says. In defining PaaS, Forrester says it features a complete application platform for multitenant cloud environments, including development tools, runtime and administration, and management tools and services.
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User hails PaaS, but cloud exec not seeing much adoption WebFilings, a three-year-old company that offers Web-based assistance in filling U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reports, has anchored its business to Google App Engine. "We looked at Google and its strong reputation for security and said, 'Well, instead of us having to manage and maintain all of that platform, we'll count on Google to do that,' and that just removes a layer of complexity and enables us to focus on innovation for our market," says Dan Murray, WebFilings managing director.