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iPaaS vs PaaS | Developing apps vs Integrations

Written by
Saad Merchant
Published on
April 6, 2023

As businesses move away from traditional on-premises solutions to increasingly adopt cloud-based solutions, recent statistics reveal that nearly 60% of businesses use SaaS solutions to improve their business operations.

This raises two crucial development challenges: How do developers rapidly create new cloud app solutions to meet the demand? But most importantly, how can businesses ensures that all the SaaS solutions they employ aren’t siloed, lacking real-time data sharing, and causing long-term productivity issues between various departments?

With the advent of no-code and low-code solutions, PaaS solutions came about to enable developers to build applications on the cloud. Whereas, the iPaaS emerged as a next-gen integration cloud solution to provide API-driven software connectivity and to centralize system integrations and data across businesses.

What is the difference between PaaS and iPaaS?

What is PaaS?

PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)
is a cloud-based platform that provides developers all the tools, features, and infrastructure they need for building, testing, and deploying applications - online. In other words, it saves developers the costs and hassles of having to build and support on-premises infrastructure, in order to host and mange their applications. Thus, employing a PaaS solution means developers can immediately start building web applications right away, without having to worry about managing software updates, servers, operating systems, or network.  

PaaS has established itself in the revolution of cloud solutions, which has seen a large portion of computing and application development migrate to the cloud. Some big cloud-service providers that offer PaaS solutions include IBM Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud.

What is iPaaS?

An iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) is a low-code or no-code, cloud-based integration platform that helps businesses connect two or more applications, SaaS solutions, business systems, or data sources. In other words, it provides businesses with a user-friendly, web interface to create, monitor, and manage integrations, with automated integration tools and without the need for custom code. Centralizing and standardizing data from all connected systems on a dedicated cloud space, an iPaaS helps automate workflows and transform data being exchanged between various systems, including legacy systems and the latest cloud apps.

The iPaaS has established itself as a next-gen middleware solution for software connectivity and seamless data sharing between on-premises systems and cloud applications. Being an API-led solution,  advanced iPaaS solutions like the Alumio iPaaS also enables businesses to adopt in-trend and future development approaches like Composable Commerce and AI solutions like OpenAI.

What are the benefits that PaaS and iPaaS solutions offer?

As indicated above, while both “PaaS” and “iPaaS” share near identical names, the “I” for “integrations” makes all the difference. While iPaaS solutions are focused on simplifying system integration, and PaaS systems are designed to expedite application development, the key differences lie in the similar business advantages both platforms offer:

How PaaS & iPaaS help lower operational costs

  • PaaS solutions provide a cloud-based platform, tools, languages, and frameworks for developers to remotely collaborate and code on to create applications. This means businesses or developers employing PaaS solutions avoid heavy hosting and maintenance charges on internal solutions, choosing pay-per-usage pricing models to only pay for the resources they need for their projects.

  • iPaaS solutions provide no-code or low-code user-friendly interface that enable developers, citizen developers, and business users to remotely collaborate on to develop, govern, and orchestrate integrations. This means the iPaaS helps businesses avoid spending significant cost and time on custom-coding integrations and it also reduces troubleshooting costs by providing automated error-detection features. It also saves on hiring costs as businesses can mange integrations with citizen developers and optimize senior developers to build other solutions.

    Read more about the cost optimization business benefits of using an iPaaS.

How PaaS & iPaaS ensure faster Time-to-Market

How PaaS & iPaaS provide scalability

  • Enabling businesses to pay for resources they need at any given time, PaaS platforms provide in-built scalability to scale up their applications and resources as they grow.

  • The cloud-based infrastructure that iPaaS solutions provide, enables businesses to scale their data integration as they grow, along with the flexibility to add new systems limitlessly. Providing data synchronization and workflow management features, it helps reduce the time required to complete tasks and improve overall efficiency, regardless of how many new systems are added.

In conclusion

As-a-service technologies such as PaaS and iPaaS have revolutionized how businesses are achieving digital growth. They are also bridging the gap in how highly-skilled developers and citizen developers collaborate. This eliminates time-consuming manual processes and enables them with automated tools to build better solutions. Overall, this helps modernizing businesses across industries reap the benefits of digital transformation, by swiftly deploying and integrating new applications to digitalize and automate businesses processes, building flexible and robust IT ecosystems.

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