Best Backend Services for Mobile Apps
Backend services are considered vital to appropriately perform the server-side operations of mobile applications. Compared to client-side development, the backend creation of applications is more complicated. That is why it is always essential to choose the backend services wisely.
Therefore, this article shares one of the best backend services for mobile apps with their pricing structure and core properties. Moreover, this guide also discusses the other details, including an overview of the BaaS market and best-handled projects by backend services.
- 1 Overview about the Backend as a Service Market
- 2 What is a Mobile App Backend?
- 3 The 101 On the Right Backend Provider
- 4 Mobile Projects Best Handled by a Backend Service
- 5 Top 5 Mobile App Backend Services
- 6 1. Back4App
- 7 2. Parse
- 8 3. Firebase
- 9 4. Kinvey
- 10 5. AWS Amplify
- 11 Final Thoughts
- 12 FAQ
- 13 What are the best BaaS for mobile apps?
- 14 What are the most important features for a backend platform?
- 15 What type of project can I develop with a BaaS?
Overview about the Backend as a Service Market
The use of different types of cloud computing services is rapidly increasing to build backends of mobile applications. A forecast report of IndustryARC reveals that the size of the backend or cloud market will hit $7.2 billion by 2026.
By the same token, another report of MarketsAndMarkets that precisely talks about Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) foresees that the MBaaS market will grow around 5.9 billion USD by 2025. The market size of MBaaS or BaaS services was only 2.0 billion USD in 2020. It is also anticipated that approximately 60% of mobile app building ventures would be done with the help of cloud computing or BaaS services by 2025.
Although these Backend as a Service (BaaS) market predictions are talking about the growth of cloud services 22.9% in terms of CAGR from 2021 to 2026. But even more businesses can adopt backend services for their mobile app development projects because tech giants like Amazon, Google, Parse, and Microsoft are doing very well in the provision of such platforms.
Similarly, factors like the high demand of smartphones, reduction in development cost and high scalability also enhance the consumption of MBaaS services globally. A Gartner report also claims that public cloud services’ spending by end-users will hit $480 billion in 2022.
In simple words, the BaaS market has a great scope of expansion in forthcoming years, but selecting the right backend service is still crucial.
What is a Mobile App Backend?
The mobile app backend is all about server-side operations and construction. Indeed, database administration, authentication, scripting and server interactions are the parts of server-side functions. In simple words, a mobile app backend is a behind the scene venture that gathers, syncs, processes, and secures the data.
However, the end-users couldn’t see or approach the backend of a mobile application. All apps require a backend and a frontend (user interface). Yes, application users only see the frontend of a mobile app. That is 20% of developers’ effort. 80% of app-building is all about backend development.
The prominent mobile app backend service providers are Back4App, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Firebase, Backendless and Microsoft Azure.
The 101 On the Right Backend Provider
The selection of the right backend provider is not easy for startups and newbies. Even sometimes, settled businesses make wrong decisions. That is why you must consider the following things when you choose the mobile backend service.
Ease of Use
Whether you are a big enterprise or a small company, your app development teams would always like to go with easy-to-use mobile backend services. Yes, it is significant that you can smoothly deal with the interface of that mobile backend service provider.
Moreover, it should also be quick to manage server-side tasks for both technical and administrative staff. Similarly, user management should also be convenient with these mobile app backend services.
Data is considered very valuable nowadays, and for sure, the data security of your mobile app users matters a lot for you. Most of the backend services are cloud-based, and there are more chances of data breaches or security issues.
Therefore, developers and companies should only pick secure mobile backend services. Practices like triple data encryption, effective authentication policy, restricted public access, sealing of input fields, and other information could work in this regard. In layman’s terms, it is necessary to know what a mobile backend vendor is offering you in the name of security.
Businesses usually choose the mobile app backend services because it is easy to extend or reduce the resources here. Indeed, renowned backend services like Firebase, Back4App and AWS give very scalable models where it is rapid to extend and limit the resources according to the budget and requirements.
Likewise, as a startup, you can go with limited resources. But when your users grow, you can add more means in terms of data storage, APIs and other properties in your plan. It just needs a few clicks only. So, it is an important factor to consider how scalable a backend vendor is.
Database Framework & Processing Capabilities
Database architecture of backend services for mobile apps matters a lot. Users must analyze the API support, data processing, storage, modules and data channels. To accomplish such tasks, you can visit the features page of these backend service providers and thoroughly read all points. Also, don’t forget to compare these database capabilities with pricing models.
All of us know that an economical pricing policy is a big reason behind the popularity of mobile app backend services. Some mobile app backend vendors offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model with free signup, and few ask for credit cards for free services.
In the same token, some BaaS providers also demand small flat monthly charges with used resources cost. Companies must examine what kind of pricing model will suit them the most.
User authentication is another significant factor to consider while choosing the right MBaaS service. Although renowned mobile app backend providers are already conferring two-factor authentication. But you should still inquire about this feature before making a final decision.
Social Integration & Push Notifications
With ready-to-use integration properties, it is quick to connect your mobile app with social networking apps. To get more attention from users, social integration is vital for the success of mobile applications.
By the same token, to support your marketing efforts, you should also know whether an MBaaS vendor is facilitating you with push notifications or not. Undoubtedly, a central notification system is handy for businesses.
Mobile Projects Best Handled by a Backend Service
Albeit backend service providers can cover a variety of mobile app development projects, but they can incredibly handle the following categories:
The use of messaging applications is rapidly growing among smartphone users. With this enhanced usage, the development demand is also rising. Though building a messaging app is not easy, but with the help of quality server-side services, developers can quickly build such projects.
Messaging applications need real-time databases to send or receive messages and translate data instantaneously. MBaaS providers are also good at providing RESTful APIs, storage servers, notification facilities and messaging protocols that are basic needs of messaging apps.
Backend services are also outstandingly handling gaming projects. Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) platforms are able to fulfill all requirements of server-side operations of gaming apps. Yes, backend app services AWS, Back4App and Azure provide high-performance cloud infrastructure to build backends of gaming apps.
Similarly, the provision of NoSQL databases, log management, and tracking tools also makes backend services a proper way to build server sides of gaming apps. Here is an example why to to use a BaaS to create a game.
Online taxi, food and parcel delivery applications are conventionally known as geolocation apps. Luckily, backend development platforms are also good when it comes to location-based properties. Likewise, Firebase provides solutions like Geohashes and GeoPoint to assist such mobile apps.
Correspondingly, Back4App aids with real-time queries and extensive databases to support geolocation tasks of mobile applications. On the other hand, AWS also offers Amazon Location Service to provide secure backend support to such apps.
It has become trendy to shop online through your mobiles. Undoubtedly, the backend of such mobile commerce apps could also be built with the help of MBaaS vendors. With the assistance of visual builders, businesses can quickly create eCommerce applications with MBaaS.
These backend services grant a complete list of products, including delivery tracking, payment gateways, shopping carts and refunds. Businesses can utilize these properties to build server-side of mobile commerce applications securely.
Internet of Things (IoT) Applications
The applications that are practiced on IoT devices and related to particular industries are known as the internet of things apps. These IoT apps could be about traffic monitoring, health, wearables, water supply, fleet management and agriculture.
The use of app backend services is definitely ideal for building such applications. MBaaS platforms can smoothly integrate the data sources of these apps and conveniently connect them with other applications. SDKs and API support of backend services are also very beneficial for the regular operations of IoT apps.
Top 5 Mobile App Backend Services
The Cloud computing world is full of backend service providers. But this guide is presenting one of the leading and trustworthy mobile app backend services. Keep reading to discover the best backend server for mobile apps.
Back4App is one of the distinguished open-source and scalable mobile app backend services. Although this US and Latin America headquartered company commenced its software development journey in 2004. But as a BaaS and MBaaS platform, it started its services in 2015.
This backend service vendor basically relies on trusted open-source technologies. It enables businesses to benefit from GraphQL and Rest APIs to build server sides of their mobile applications.
In the same token, it keeps numerous satisfied clients around the globe. Likewise, Two4Tea, which is a leading game development company has shown its faith in Back4App. Yes, they are utilizing this backend service provider for server-side stacks of their video game ‘Fight List’. With the ability to deal with more than 600 requests per second, this gaming company found Back4App very scalable.
VantageBP, 1001Dubai and Blackburn Labs are also notable customers of Back4App. Some developers consider Back4App the best backend for Android application development.
Cost-Efficient — Though all cloud-based services save the hardware and maintenance cost of businesses. But, Back4App is definitely a cost-efficient solution for startups and projects that have a small budget. Its Free plan doesn’t ask for a credit card if your project only needs 1 GB of data storage and transfer. VantageBP as a startup has also saved $500K with this backend vendor.
Cross-Platform SDKs — Developers can quickly build React Native, Flutter, JS, Android, Node.js and iOS mobile apps with the help of cross-platform Parse SDKs. For gaming applications, it also provides complete Unity SDK support.
Easy Interface — The best thing about Back4App is its ease of doing business. It doesn’t matter whether you are an expert team member or an individual with less knowledge, you can smoothly deal with its spreadsheet-like interface.
Push Notifications — With the help of Parse servers, Back4App confers push notifications. Mainly, this mobile app backend service provides notification support to iOS apps. In this regard, you can integrate it with both Swift and Objective-C dashboards.
Real-Time Queries — Real-time database of Back4App permits the users to approach data queries within no time. It doesn’t only deliver real-time data to app subscribers but also avoids problems like data repetition.
File Hosting — It is also seamless to host all of your files on this backend platform. Developers can also smoothly connect the database with all of these files.
Back4App facilitates the users with an inclusive pricing model. Hereof, it presents three plans.
Free — Its Free plan is considered perfect for prototyping, startups projects and learning. With this plan, you can get 25k requests, 250 MB data storage, and 1 GB transfer capabilities. Luckily, it doesn’t ask to insert a credit card.
Shared — If you are in search of serverless architecture to construct the server-side of your mobile app, then you can go with the Shared plan. With auto-scaling, data recovery and daily backs, its monthly charges begin from $25.
Dedicated — The mobile app development teams that are working on big projects can definitely proceed with the Dedicated plan of Back4App. This plan grants dedicated virtual machines (VMs) and advanced app safety. However, its monthly charges start from $250.
By the way, to explore every single detail of Back4App’s pricing model, you can also visit its ‘Compare All Plans’ page. This page tells everything about this backend service’s yearly and monthly charges.
Parse is another robust backend service for mobile apps that was founded in 2011. This is not only an MBaaS platform, but it equally works as a full-stack app development platform. With 35k+ stars and 16k+ forks on GitHub, this app backend service is very popular among users.
Similarly, Facebook’s support makes it a tested and trusted choice for coders and businesses. The major companies utilizing the Parse platform for tech stack are 500px, Weebly, Bubble and Hipmunk.
Integration — Parse could be conveniently connected with prominent authentication, payment and marketing applications. Yes, you can smoothly integrate Parse with Stripe, Twilio, Auth0, Amazon Pay and much more.
Community Support — Parse owns a big and friendly community. Though Parse has its own community forum that is available on its official website. But you can also get solutions for your Parse queries on Stack Overflow under the tag of parse-platform. GitHub also gives complete backing to sort out Parse project bugs and problems.
Notifications — Mobile application users can get the real-time email, push and social media notifications when they use Parse. Moreover, it supplies instant notifications for both iOS and Android devices.
Data Modeling — The spreadsheet-like dashboard of Parse Platform allows businesses to arrange the data smoothly. In this regard, it depends on the JSON file formatting method. Typically, this BaaS vendor permits the developers to gather data in the form of strings, arrays, numbers and much more.
Parse is an entirely free to use backend service for mobile apps. However, distinct costs could be associated with the tools and services that are needed to proceed with Parse. Yes, we are talking about Back4App and other development expenses.
Firebase is a legendary open-source web and mobile app backend development platform that was made public in 2011. This backend service is an ideal choice for startups because of its free features and easy pricing model.
The backing of Google Cloud and analytical products also make it a powerful app development vendor among competitors. Several companies are benefiting from Firebase. For example, video gaming company Halfbrick has consumed Firebase services to retain users, and it gave superb results.
Furthermore, as a customer of Firebase, National Public Radio (NPR) also praises its remote configuration, analytics, and BigQuery properties. Venmo, Alibaba and Lyft are also proud clients of this mobile app backend service.
Realtime Database — Developers trust NoSQL databases nowadays, and Firebase definitely fulfills this need. Indeed, Firebase offers a real-time NoSQL database to its users. Moreover, this real-time database is also connected with Firebase Authentication to avoid data and login security issues. By the way, it is also handy to use Cloud Firestore.
Rapid Integrations — Businesses can rapidly connect their mobile apps with other tools when they use Firebase. Jira, Slack, AdMob, Play Store, Data Studio and PagerDuty are dominant tools to integrate.
Serverless Building — This cloud-based backend service simplifies the mobile app building with products like remote configuration, Firebase ML, cloud storage, hosting, cloud functions and authentication.
Firebase categorizes its pricing structure into two following plans:
Spark Plan — This plan of Firebase is entirely freemium to use under some certain limits. With 1 GiB Cloud Firestore storage and 10 GB hosting, you don’t need to pay anything with Firebase’s Spark plan.
Blaze Plan — This plan of Firebase depends on pay-as-you-go pricing architecture. You can also use Blaze Calculator to find the cost of your mobile app project with this plan.
If you are looking for a highly productive mobile backend service for your project, then you should consider Kinvey. This is basically a cloud platform that allows the developers to smoothly build the server-side of their mobile, web and chat applications with low code.
The major sectors that are using this MBaaS platform are insurance, health and manufacturing. It could also be a good choice for startups, big enterprises and SMEs.
Fast Development — Kinvey is empowered with accelerated native UX/UI that helps developers quickly build the backend of their mobile applications. With its modern technologies, coders can also work on all kinds of chat, web, native and mobile applications at a fast pace.
Enterprise-Grade Architecture — This MBaaS vendor also facilitates the applications with enterprise-level and cloud-native environments to create backends. This is one of the advanced and scalable development practices in the IT world.
Provides App Focus — With Kinvey, developers don’t need to waste their time on understanding the platform because it doesn’t ask to assemble data. It offers quick integration.
Although Kinvey grants a free trial, its monthly charges commence from $200.
5. AWS Amplify
With the robust backing of Amazon Web Services, Amplify is also another reliable backend service for mobile apps. Businesses can’t only build backends visually with AWS Amplify, but they can also conduct frontend tasks with this tool.
Yes, with the powerful backing of 175+ AWS services, it is a full-stack app development platform. Amazon Music, Orangetheory Fitness and Neiman Marcus are renowned customers of AWS Amplify.
DataStore — This store confers support for distributed and shared data and enables the developers to code in online and offline scenarios. You can also benefit from AWS AppSync and GraphQL API while using this DataStore.
Authentication — It permits the users to log in through different application IDs like Facebook, Amazon and Google. By the way, user access could also be controlled here.
The two major plans of AWS Amplify are these:
Free Tier — It’s free tier provides 5 GB hosting storage and 1000 building minutes per month.
Pay-As-You-Go — Under the Pay-as-you-go plan of AWS Amplify, you only need to pay for used resources.
This guide shares the best backend services for mobile apps and includes their features and pricing structure in detail. Withal, it is advised to consider the mentioned factors before making the final call.
What are the best BaaS for mobile apps?
– AWS Amplify
What are the most important features for a backend platform?
– Scalable infrastructure
– User authentication
– API console
To know more, please read the article BaaS Features.
What type of project can I develop with a BaaS?
Most common software projects are:
– Real time chat apps
– IoT apps
– Mobile commerce.
To know more, please read the article BaaS Real Life Project Examples.