The Time Is Now for Domain-Specific PaaS

By John W. Verity

A new breed of PaaS incorporates not just programming tools and software stacks, but also complete, proven business processes.

The notion of cloud-based services kicked off almost a decade ago with applications software being offered over the Web. The poster child for so-called Saas clearly was Salesforce.com. Later, Amazon led the way in on-demand infrastructure with its cloud-based storage and elastic computing services.

Now the PaaS game is afoot, though no particular provider stands out as a leader. And that may be because PaaS is going to be available in many different flavors, or forms. Many early offerings have focused on serving developers using a particular programming language. Salesforce.com's Heroku is a good example, having started out with PaaS specifically attuned to the Ruby on Rails market. It has since expanded to handle other popular languages, such as Clojure, Java, Python, and Scala.

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