How cool would it be if front end developers can solely focus on user experience and on making application distinctive and unique with all complex and time consuming back-end development taken care by other service providers? Well, BaaS (i.e. Back-end-as-a-service) is a new kind of cloud service which offers back-end processing as services.
Mobile applications are becoming more and more complex with time to meet enterprise expectations requiring variety of complex back-end processing. End users only care about application design and user experience with no regards how back-end was developed. Developing server side program from scratch requires much time and cost. BaaS vendors offer customizable back-end with all common back-end features eliminating the need of back-end plumbing. Features include Push notifications, User account management, Social network integration, file storage management and many more. Vendors provide custom SDKs to link mobile applications to their cloud services. Integrating with BaaS is very simple and seamless and saves a lot of time and money by not having to build back-end by yourself.
Although it’s a new trend in mobile application development, there are already dozens of BaaS providers in the market and evolving rapidly. Some of the known BaaS vendors are Parse, Kinvey, StackMob, Applicasa and Appcelerator Cloud. Choose a BaaS provider depending upon your development needs and target platform. Some of the features of well known BaaS providers are briefed below:
Parse is one of the most famous BaaS provider which was acquired by Facebook earlier this year. Parse provides features like Social Integration, Usage analytics, user authentication. It allows objects to be created and retrieved using RESTful API in your application. SDKs provided by Parse are simple and easier to use. It is comparatively cheap and charges based on API calls.
Applicasa specifically targets Mobile Game Applications. Apart from data management and social integration provides targeted promotions, usage analytics as a part of their server side solution. Its Graphical user interface makes it easy to manage server side data. Applicasa bills based number of monthly active users.
Stackmob is one rapidly growing BaaS vendor. Apart from all common BaaS features, Stackmob comes with a distinctive custom code feature. Developers are allowed to code their own business logic using Java or Scala. It also has hosted HTML5 feature to build hybrid applications. Stackmob offers different pricing plans depending on features used by the application.
As the enterprises are taking mobile strategy, BaaS will soon play a bigger role in mobile space. But before you decide to buy or build your own back-end, do analyze your needs thoroughly. BaaS platform is definitely worth watching and incorporating mobile application with this platform would not only save money and time, but would also let you build scalable and richer applications with ease.