The future seems to be in the cloud, as more organizations are adopting cloud technology. Gartner even predicts global spending on cloud services in 2022 will reach $482 billion. It’s not difficult to see why, given that cloud-based applications offer huge benefits such as scalability, cost efficiency, and reliability.

If you’re looking to utilize the technology in the near future, here’s a quick but comprehensive guide on cloud-based app development. Let’s get started!

What is a Cloud-based App?

A cloud-based application is any software whose components are stored online and whose processes are executed in the cloud. Data can be accessed offline even though it is stored in the cloud. You can use the software either through a web browser, mobile app, or desktop app.

While cloud-based applications are technically web-based applications, not all web-based apps have the same architecture. For starters, web-based apps can only be accessed online. It also uses both server-side script and client-side script. There are differences between the two. For instance, PHP is a server-side script processed on a web server and is used to build websites, as explained by MongoDB. On the other hand, HTML and JavaScript are client-side scripts that are downloaded and run by the browser.

Benefits of Cloud-based App Development

More developers are gravitating towards cloud technology because of the various benefits it offers. Here are some of the main ones:

1. It’s scalable. Cloud-based apps can be easily scaled up or down depending on user demand since they are not limited by server capability.

2. It’s cost-efficient. Developers can save on resources because the servers and infrastructure are hosted by someone else.

3. It’s reliable. The app will still operate even if one data center malfunctions as there are multiple cloud networks worldwide.

4. It’s secure. Cloud service providers offer data protection that usually comply with government standards.

Types of Cloud

The cloud is generally classified into three types:

  • Public Cloud:

This cloud is delivered over the Internet and can be used by multiple organizations. All the hardware, software, and infrastructure are owned by the cloud provider. These services are generally based on subscription model.

  • Private Cloud:

This refers to a cloud assigned specifically for an organization. Businesses that prefer increased security or handle sensitive data would favor the private cloud. These services are generally owned by single entity and not shared with others.

  • Hybrid Cloud:

This is a mixture of public and private cloud. Many organizations find this to be ideal since it provides more flexibility for them. These services also include common industry technologies, such as Kubernetes to orchestrate container-based services.

Different Models for Cloud-based App Development

Below are the different models or services cloud providers offer. Each has its unique strengths. Extensive research on them as well as a good understanding of business needs will help developers choose which model benefits them best.

1) Software as a Service (SaaS):

SaaS is the most popular type of cloud-based app. SkyQuest even predicts the global SaaS market will be worth $720.44 billion by 2028.

The hardware, software, and infrastructure in a SaaS app are provided by a third party vendor. There’s usually no need for installation since most SaaS apps can be accessed through a web browser. This is an attractive model for businesses since they don’t need to spend on software updates or hardware.


Google Workspace, Google Drive, Dropbox

2) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In the IaaS model, the vendor provides infrastructure components like storage, servers, networks, and hardware. Meanwhile, the developer or client is responsible for middleware and app support.

IaaS is a more flexible model since it allows customized app development without needing to start from scratch. Developers can also purchase resources and scale their apps up or down as needed.


Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Cisco Metacloud

3) Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS is similar to IaaS, except that it also provides the middleware and operating system. It is essentially a cloud-hosted platform that allows developers to build their apps over the Internet. The tools are also regularly updated by the provider.

With PaaS, developers take less time to create an app and put it on the market. Like IaaS, this model allows for scalability and flexibility as well.


Google App Engine, Windows Azure, Apple Developer Xcode

These are the basics to cloud-based app development. Are you a newbie to cloud computing? Discover how to start a career centered on cloud technology here on MYCPLUS.

Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay