Cloud computing refers to storing, accessing, and managing data on remote servers that are hosted on the Internet (the Cloud) instead of the computer’s hard drive or local server. In other words, it is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (the Cloud).
Cloud computing is also referred to as Internet-based computing.
Cloud Computing Services
Most cloud computing services fall into three broad categories:
Software as a service (SaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
In Platform as a Service, the applications and data are managed by the user whereas everything else that lies underneath is managed by the service provider.
PaaS provides a platform and environment to allow users to build applications and services over the Internet. PaaS services are hosted in the cloud and accessed by users simply via their web browser.
For a non-technical example, let's say that you would like to plan an event, you will have two options either to create a venue or to rent a venue, but the event is the same.
For a technical example, let’s say that you would like to build your own web application that is integrated with SAP S/4HANA. When you use middleware such as SAP BTP, all you need to do is just write the code to build your application. Other things that are required to build and run your code such as development tools, database, analytics, operating system, servers and storage, network, security, data centers - are all managed by SAP. The advantage of this model is that users can spend their time effectively concentrating on building the application rather than managing the software and hardware that lie underneath.
Advantages of PaaS:
Simple and convenient for users: It provides much of the infrastructure and other IT services, which users can access anywhere via a web browser.
Cost effective: It charges for the services provided on a per-use basis, thus eliminating the expenses one may have for on-premises hardware and software.
Efficient lifecycle management: It is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.
Efficiency: It allows for higher-level programming with reduced complexity thus, the overall development of the application can be more effective.
SAP BTP offers the following solutions:
Application Development and Automation: Create apps faster, automate processes, and scale without limits.
Extended Planning and Analysis: Take enterprise planning to the next level by connecting all people and plans.
Data and Analytics: Give data purpose with our data and analytics solutions.
Integration: Connect and automate your processes business-wide.
Artificial Intelligence: Infuse artificial intelligence in your apps in a scalable and responsible fashion.
Therefore, we can also define SAP BTP as a technology platform that brings together data and analytics, artificial intelligence, application development, automation, and integration in one, unified environment.
If SAP BTP is delivered as a cloud service to the customer, that is, an entire cloud-based application that customers can access and use, we say SAP BTP is SaaS, examples: Cloud Services Documents | SAP Trust Center
If SAP BTP is delivered as a resource (hardware+software) to the customer, to develop applications through the cloud where customers still have to write the code and manage their data, but the environment to build and deploy apps is managed by the cloud service provider (SAP), we say SAP BTP is PaaS, examples: Application Development | Pro-Code | Developer Tools and Services (sap.com)
If SAP BTP is delivered as a data center only, which is a rare case, we say SAP BTP is IaaS, list of SAP or SAP-partner data centers across the globe: SAP Data Centers