How 1001Dubai Uses Back4App to Build SaaS Apps for Supermarkets
Software development companies from all around the world use Back4App’s flexible, scalable, and reliable back-end to build applications. Here, we’ll take a look at how 1001Dubai was able to use Back4App to build white-labeled SaaS platforms for supermarkets and pharmacies while reducing latency and scaling their business.
1001Dubai started out using Xamarin (C#) for front-end development which gave them the unique advantage of being able to build cross-platform yet native applications for iOS and Android.
It allowed the company to maintain code from a single infrastructure and reduced reliance on one specialized (that is iOS-only or Android-only) developer. This was especially important to 1001Dubai as an early-stage startup since they didn’t have to worry about being hung out to dry if a lead developer decided to leave.
Around the same time, the company also started using AngularJS which was new and upcoming technology at the time. Today, 1001Dubai uses Angular 8 – an advanced single-page web development tool.
In the early days, 1001Dubai was hesitant to get involved with the back-end server-side. Soon after, they were introduced to Back4App – a powerful solution that would provide them a scalable back-end system for a nominal fee. 1001Dubai and Back4App have had a mutually successful partnership since then.
The Back4App Solution
From the start, 1001Dubai faced challenges with their shared server implementation. The company had started out building apps for three small supermarket clients but sought a way to improve their apps when they took on bigger clients. Back4App was able to provide them the unique flexibility they required to host their apps on any cloud server.
Back4App was innovative enough to be able to offer 1001Dubai a dedicated server that was hosted in Dubai on Alibaba Cloud and set up successfully within four days.
This led them to upgrade to Back4App’s dedicated server offering and, as a result, the company was able to effectively resolve 99% of the problems they were initially facing with their shared server implementation and reduce latency down to an impressive 10ms.
[Back4App] was innovative, flexible, good in customer care, and affordable so it ticked all the boxes for an up and coming startup like us.
– Omer Aslan Gurel, CEO and Co-Founder at 1001Dubai
In terms of scalability, 1001Dubai no longer had to worry about server-side implementation or various other responsibilities that come with developing apps for multiple clients like security or load balancing. Despite the fact that the company is still growing, it has zero issues with scalability which is definitely advantageous for tech startups. Back4App also gives 1001Dubai the ability to create functions to add logic on the server-side which helps save time on maintenance and upkeep.
1001Dubai CTO, Mehmet Edebali Şener, is particularly fond of Back4App’s clone app feature which saves the company from having to recreate the entire app from scratch for each new client they onboard. This simply lets them create a clone of the entire back-end with a single click and is a perfect fit for their SaaS business model.
1001Dubai’s implementation in Back4App involved setting up each app as a separate client. This allowed them to build a single Template app and then use the Clone button in Back4App to create a brand new application for each new client in a single click which only takes a few minutes.
In addition to this, 1001Dubai was able to store client data, product images, and each customer’s data separately using Back4App’s database. On average, each app has around 9,000 products.
Dealing with large corporate software companies was a pain for 1001Dubai mainly because they fell short in terms of customer care. Albeit being a startup itself at the time, Back4App was able to immediately resolve any issues 1001Dubai faced. Nowadays, Back4App has an entire department dedicated to customer care which makes things even more smooth.
Results and Future Plans
1001Dubai was able to save 80% of costs using Back4App. Aside from the cost alone, running the same operation in-house would mean relying on a single developer which brings with it the risk of the developer abandoning the company and leaving it in a vulnerable state. For 1001Dubai, Back4App brought with it a sense of security and reliability which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
In terms of a development team, using Back4App saved 1001Dubai at least two full-time developers for a period of four years which would have cost around $370,000, considering Dubai costs.
All in all, Back4App’s flexible cloud hosting options and app cloning feature were truly a match made in heaven for 1001Dubai. As 1001Dubai CEO and Co-Founder, Omer Aslan Gurel, puts it, one of the most useful features Back4App offered was its backups. He recalls when one of the company’s clients messed up on their end, 1001Dubai contacted Back4App to reset the system to an earlier date and Back4App was able to do this immediately. In addition to this, the company also uses SMS and push notifications powered by Twilio which integrate seamlessly with their apps.
When asked about future plans, Gurel had this to say:
As long as we’re in this business we’re going to be working with Back4App.
1001Dubai is a software development company based out of Dubai that builds white-labeled SaaS platforms and apps for supermarkets and pharmacies that allows them to service their customers directly through their own channel. The company’s offering includes an application (that the end customers can download) in addition to a back-end order management system (that the client uses internally).
CEO and Co-Founder at 1001Dubai, Omer Aslan Gurel, founded the company in June 2015 and was in search of a CTO to help him get the project off the ground. By September of the same year, Mehmet Edebali Şener joined 1001Dubai as the CTO and began developing 1001Dubai. At this time, both Gurel and Şener were working part-time jobs elsewhere.
By May 2016, Gurel and Şener had built and launched their minimum viable product (MVP) which itself was a complex solution with lots of SKUs. Within one month, the product became a huge success for the supermarket client it was developed for. Around the same time, Gurel and Şener started fundraising which led to an influx of clients from the supermarket and pharmacy industries requesting similar platforms and apps for their own businesses. Today, 1001Dubai is a profitable tech company that works with over a dozen clients, big and small. They have a total of 14 apps in app stores and receive around 3,000 orders per day (and counting).