Cloud consumers of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) can employ the tools and execution resources provided by cloud providers to develop, test, deploy and manage the applications hosted in a cloud environment. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations.

The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools supported by the provider. PaaS consumers can be application developers who design and implement application software, application testers who run and test applications in cloud-based environments, application deployers who publish applications into the cloud, and application administrators who configure and monitor application performance on a platform.

PaaS consumers can be billed according to, processing, database storage and network resources consumed by the PaaS application, and the duration of the platform usage.