The Best Mobile App Backend

Although mobile applications seem straightforward to use, but there is a complicated backend behind a smooth interface. An app’s backend consists of server-side operations that end users couldn’t access. 

It is arduous for developers to create, deploy, and maintain mobile app backends through conventional means.

However, MBaaS or BaaS platforms play a critical role in seamlessly developing, scaling, and managing server-side of mobile apps.

Indeed, MBaaS solutions are robust and economical for businesses, CTOs, dev teams, and product owners to build the backend of mobile apps.

So, this article will display one of the best mobile app backend services with their core traits. 

What is Backend as a Service (BaaS)?

BaaS, or Backend as a Service, is a cloud-based computing type where businesses and dev teams employ server-side functionalities from third-party vendors. Thus, developers emphasize client-side operations, and BaaS deals with backend tasks.

In simple words, MBaaS or BaaS platforms supply deliberate in-built server-side capabilities through APIs and SDKs to quickly develop backends for mobile applications.

Real-time data management, push notifications, hosting, authentication, and cloud storage are major offerings of BaaS.   

Back4app, Firebase, Backendless, and Supabase are renowned BaaS providers that can aid you in the seamless development of mobile backends.

Please read the article How to build a backend for a mobile application for further information on this subject.

Top 3 Advantages of Backend as a Service

Backend as a Service facilitates its users with various benefits, but we are discussing the leading ones here:

Economical & Less Time to Market

Backend as a Service simplifies development with numerous ready-to-use properties and serverless infrastructure.

This way, dev teams don’t have to spend weeks, months, and years designing server-side functions from scratch. Less time to market is a result of rapid development. 

By the same token, BaaS or MBaaS solutions are less expensive compared to on-premises deployments.

These backend services come with a free tier and are are great choice for your next mobile app development project. Besides, you can save around $95,910/year that an average backend engineer charges.  

Highly Scalable

BaaS platforms enable you to scale up and down the server-side instances according to the needs of your application.

Likewise, you can expand your server and storage capacity if your user base grows. The majority of MBaaS platforms follow a pay-as-you-go pricing model in this regard.

Third-Party Integrations

This cloud computing model authorizes immediate third-party integrations. Yes, you can quickly connect your mobile app’s backend with multiple payment gateways, AI-driven solutions, email authentication, and more.

Top 3 Limitations of Backend as a Service

Let’s delve into the limitations of BaaS:

  • Vendor Lock-in: Sometimes, migrating from one BaaS platform to another becomes pricey and troublesome. Firebase is an example of a backend service with vendor lock-in. 
  • Minimal Customization: Restricted customization is another drawback of using BaaS. You would have to depend on policies and particular attributes of vendors.
  • Security: If you are working on a data-sensitive project, then BaaS would be a less secure option for you.  

Top 10 Best Mobile App Backends 

Let’s talk about the top mobile app backend development platforms with their features and pricing structures:

Back4app

Back4app is one of the finest MBaaS platforms for creating powerful mobile app backends for startup to enterprise-grade applications.

In this regard, Back4app confers SDKs and APIs to deploy backends for JS, Android, Flutter, iOS, and .NET applications. More than 190k programmers trust this BaaS vendor to deal with server-side functionalities.

Similarly, the powerful backing of AI enables you to focus on client-side tasks and core competencies, and Back4app fulfills all backend needs.

Self-hosting, GDPR compliance, automatic scaling, and multi-cloud setups are also exciting traits of Back4app.

Please read the articled How to create an iOS backend and How to create an Android backend for detailed guidelines on these topics.

Features

Predictable Pricing – It is not only a cost-efficient service but comes with predictable pricing features. Indeed, you can horizontally grow your instances by using Back4app and know the costs for your project effortlessly. Two4Tea has successfully experienced this property of Back4app while expanding its users up to 55 million. 

Real-time Database – You can supply and access data in the meantime with the Live Query product of Back4app. Besides, this provider enables the dev teams to save information locally and deliver it to users anywhere. Even they go offline. 

Cloud Functions – Developers can easily annex business logic with applications. This feature is useful to sync multiple server-side tasks like authentication, push notifications, databases, and much more. 

User Management System – Straight-off support for user authentication through social media, Apple, Google, and email is another credible credential of Back4app. You can also control role-based access, customize sessions, and encrypt passwords through user management.

Storage – Back4app supplies storage and cloud file storage to its users. Hereof, cloud storage lets you connect with databases and approach data on the fly.

Pricing

Freeware offerings of Back4app include 250MB data storage, 1GB file storage, and 25k requests. However, if you switch to its MVP and Pay as you go models, the monthly pricing will begin from $15 and $80, respectively.

Firebase

Firebase is a leading cloud computing platform that provides trusted backend services for iOS, Flutter, C++, web, and Android applications.

Since 2011, Firebase has assisted the programming community and companies with out-of-the-box backend deployment, development, release, and user engagement functionalities.

Renowned applications use Firebase for different backend tech stacks. Likewise, Uber depends on Firebase to approach real-time data, and Airbnb utilizes this backend service for user authentication.

Furthermore, social networking sites like Meta and Twitter take aid from the cloud messaging product of Firebase. 

Features

Real-time Database – It offers cloud-based NoSQL databases to save and link data in real-time for users. Similarly, Cloud Firestore helps create serverless mobile apps with querying, storing, and sync data spontaneously across the globe. 

Cloud Hosting – Blazing fast hosting without maintaining infrastructure is another appealing credential of Firebase. In addition, this mobile app backend strengthens its hosting with Brotli encoding, free SSL certification, live previews, and supersonic CDN.

Crashlytics – You simply need to connect your iOS or Android applications with Crashlytics, and it will quickly identify and correct your apps’ flaws. This product is also effective in avoiding app crashes.

Community Support – Ample community support is another advantage of using Firebase. Dev teams can find excellent community support on Slack, Stack Overflow, Google Developer Groups, GitHub, and UserVoice. 

Cloud Messaging – FCM builds a resilient network between mobile devices and servers to convey and get messages on the fly for free. You can use tailored templates for mobile notifications and deliver messages without coding.  

Pricing

Under certain databases, requests, and testing limits, Spark Plan could be utilized to design mobile app backends.

However, if your project requires more backend instances, you can move to Blaze Plan, which follows a pay-as-you-go approach. 

Backendless

Backendless is one of the best low-code BaaS providers that helps achieve all your backend-building objectives.

It offers visual components and databases to create lightspeed and scalable mobile applications. 

Furthermore, Backendless supports a variety of mobile backend frameworks and swiftly hoops them up with client-side UIs.

The solid customer base also gives Backendless an edge over rivals. Yes, companies like Dell, Vodafone, and Bank al Etihad are top clients of this vendor.  

Features

Authentication – More than 18 session execution and authentication services are provided to businesses and developers. This serverless architecture also facilitates all notifications and email customization offerings on a single dashboard. 

Backend Management – You can fluently manage the backend infrastructure with the Hive data storage approach and graphical browser. Visual data modeling, real-time database, and support for various dynamic and static content play significant roles. 

Security – Multi-tier backend permissions and role-based principles boost the security of mobile applications. You can configure access to files, APIs, databases, and messages within a few clicks. 

API Services – Backendless grants various API services to develop and deploy highly protected and scalable runtime environments seamlessly. AI image editor, spam detection API, and S3 plugins are a few of them. 

Pricing

The Free plan has 1GB file storage, 10 database tables, and 50 API req/min. Withal, the Scale plan costs you $15+ monthly to get 10GB of file storage and unmetered API requests. 

Heroku

Heroku is a well-known CSP that provides official support to numerous backend languages and frameworks.

Yes, this PaaS platform enables the dev teams to up-and-running backends of mobile applications on the fly.

You can simply rely on Heroku CLI or GUI and sync your GitHub account with this containerized platform.

Hereof, Heroku is not only a preferred choice of enterprises; students, CTOs, startups, and dev teams can benefit equally from this mobile app backend service.

Ambassify, Dovetail, and Airbase Inc. are featured clients of Heroku.

Features

Data Services – To provide programmers a swift access to data, Heroku grants three types of data services. These are Postgres, Apache Kafka and Redis. You can link these databases with 200+ third-party add-ons and vendors like AWS.

Runtime – Heroku authorizes businesses to run and deploy their mobile apps in Dynos. These are entirely administered smart containers that systematically keep your apps running in a secure environment. 

Operational Experience (OpEx) – This is an exciting feature to tailor the operational experience and fix all relevant issues. It also lets developers get autoscaling and insights without paying extra fees.

Secure – To keep mobile apps secure, Heroku supplies SSL certifications and private spaces and complies with PCI, GDPR, SOC, and HIPAA. 

Pricing

Heroku doesn’t confer free-tier compared to backend solutions Back4app and Firebase. Its Eco & Basic plan begins from $5 monthly charges. Similarly, it costs $25/month for a Production package.

Appwrite

Appwrite is an open-source Backend as a Service (BaaS) provider that assists in building powerful backends for Flutter, iOS, web, and Android applications.

With 38.1k repository stars on GitHub, it has active community support, so you can easily get answers to your project queries. Correspondingly, it has served 1 billion requests and promises 99.99% uptime. 

Besides, the dark dashboard of Appwrite displays all functionalities from auth and database to functions on a single page. Therefore, you can self-host and manage your mobile app with great ease.

If we talk about its client base IBM, Apple, Intel, and TikTok are prominent names. 

Features

Authentication – Appwrite empowers dev teams with more than 30 authentication methods, user security, and highly tailored email templates. Companies can also grant role-based access through this feature. 

Real-time Database – Users can query, save, and organize data spontaneously with the database support of Appwrite. In-memory cache, in-built permissions, and data verification are additional traits hereof.

Storage – Appwrite follows modern compression when it comes to backlog media files. In this regard, Brotli and WebP formats are available to support compression. 

Functions – You can get backing for 13 languages and 30 runtime environments with Appwrite. Deploying backend codes through the GitHub repository and CLI functionalities is also seamless.

Pricing 

The Starter package has 10GB bandwidth, 2GB storage, and 750k executions for free. Howbeit, you will have to pay $15/member per month to benefit from the Pro plan. 

Supabase

If you are looking for one of the fastest backend builders, you shouldn’t skip Supabase.

With 59.8k repository stars on GitHub and compatibility with 20+ frameworks, Supabase is doing well in the cloud computing world.

Using this platform, you can build and deploy server-side functionalities within a week.

Next Door Lending, Berri AI, Quivr, and Pebblely are featured customers of this BaaS vendor. 

Features

Vector Database – This database provides pgvector and an AI toolkit to develop highly scalable mobile applications. You can also utilize vector storage to deploy AI-powered apps. 

Authentication – Supabase grants authentication through several social and enterprise logins. You can’t only manage roles using this feature but also take advantage of row-level security. 

Edge Functions – Serverless Edge Functions with robust deployment and less abeyance are another appealing trait. Moreover, running dynamic and static scripts enhances the importance of this function. 

Object Storage – CDN support for 285 cities, file previews, easy file management, and open-source storage are additional exciting characteristics of this BaaS vendor.

Pricing

Projects need 1GB file storage, 500k edge functions, and 5GB bandwidth can choose a Free plan. On the other hand, organizations can employ Pro and Team programs for $25/month and $599/month, respectively.

Xano

Xano is a robust no-code BaaS vendor facilitating 20k large and midsized applications.

Intending to design an easily expandable infrastructure, Xano is an easily customizable mobile app backend that comes with free-tier offerings. 

This platform heavily relies on Google Cloud products using Kubernetes. Contrarily, Xano authorizes the programmers to utilize Docker for containerized ecosystems.

Tongo, LEADstrike, and Unico Connect have successfully used Xano for distinct tech stacks.

Features

Secure – Xano follows advanced security practices with SSL certification and enterprise-grade encryption. It is compliant with PCI, GDPR, ISO 9001, and HIPAA.

No Need of DevOps – This vendor confers a scalable deployment environment where you can isolate instances like RAM, CPU, and cloud storage. In addition, developers can choose the region and CSP of their choice for further deployments. 

Flexible Database – This mobile app backend service enables the dev teams to backlog data on PostgreSQL. Similarly, this NoSQL dataset works for Big Data and Airtable imports. 

Easy Automation & Integration – Workflow automation aids in streamlining data and tasks while using Xano. Correspondingly, you can’t only integrate Xano with client-side, GraphQL, and REST APIs, but it is seamless to sync your backend with third-party tools. 

Pricing 

The Free plan of Xano is suitable for personal use, mainly if you need 100k records and a single workplace.

If you want 3 workplaces and limitless records, you can employ dedicated infrastructure under the Launch model. The monthly cost of the Launch plan begins from $85. 

AWS Amplify

AWS Amplify is a full-stack mobile and web development platform that aids in deploying backends within a few movements only.

This Amazon-backed vendor supports most backend frameworks and languages, including NodeJS, Java, Kotlin, and RoR.

You can utilize this backend service for building and hosting startups to large-scale applications. In this regard, you can integrate your mobile app with 200+ products of AWS. Abit Agritech, Amazon Music, and Mediality are prominent clients of Amplify.

Features

Authentication – It allows the dev teams to approach fully administered and in-built authentication traits. With swift authorization and credible user management, businesses can design registration templates to engage more customers.

Gen 2 – This novel feature of Amplify emphasizes code-first DX. It utilizes TypeScript codes to create and ship front and backends of mobile applications. Amplify Gen 2 works as a magical tool for frontend developers.

Amplify Studio – If you don’t have server-side development expertise and are willing to utilize a visual tool to build backends, Amplify Studio is the answer. With CDK, libraries, and APIs, this feature can be deployed server-side on the fly.

Storage – Amplify delivers both in the cloud and on-device backlogs. You can categorize user data into public, private, or protected sections according to the nature of the information.  

Pricing

Backend development products like Amplify Studio, CLI, and Libraries are freeware offerings of Amplify.

However, Amplify imposes a pay-as-you-go pricing model if your resource instances exceed certain limits. 

Parse

Parse is a commonly used backend framework that is utilized to create fast and scalable iOS, web, IoT, and Android applications.

Compared to custom backends, this platform enables developers to focus on core competencies and client-side operations. Yes, it frees dev teams from worries of server-side tasks.

Features

Data Modeling – You can arrange data in an organized manner through data modeling features. It allows you to establish data in spreadsheet style and backlog components in strings, arrays, numbers, etc. 

Tested Platform – Parse is not a new BaaS platform because Meta has tested this solution for a variety of its tech stacks. Moreover, its excellent community support through GitHub resources makes it a perfect choice for learners and startups. 

Libraries & SDKs – All relevant SDKs and libraries are available on the homepage of Parse Platform. Yes, you can approach details regarding Parse Server, Android, Flutter, Dart, JS, REST & GraphQL APIs with a click.

Push Notifications – Parse doesn’t only create and deploy mobile applications, but it also offers services to retain potential users. In this regard, it sends highly tailored push notifications on smartphone devices to keep the audiences engaged.  

Pricing

Parse Platform is a freeware BaaS provider. However, charges could be applied when you utilize its server and further services through third-party vendors like Back4app. 

Azure Mobile Apps

Microsoft is also a leader in cloud computing services, and Azure Mobile Apps is one of its amazing products.

This cross-platform vendor lets developers quickly construct and set up backend infrastructure for iOS and Android apps.

Paramount, NBC Sports, and TalkTalk are high-profile customers of Azure Mobile Apps.

Features

Auto-scale – Businesses don’t have to worry about expanding resources when their user base grows. Indeed, this solution scales up the backend instances independently through autoscaling. 

Authentication – Mobile applications could be authorized and authenticated using social and enterprise-level logins. Moreover, you can get backing for all auth schemas applicable for ASP.NET Core. 

Virtual Networking – It doesn’t restrict you to cloud networking only. Indeed, Azure Mobile Apps approves on-premises connections as well. 

Push Notifications – You can deliver push notifications to millions of iOS and Android users for marketing purposes. It doesn’t matter whether you are hosting your data in the cloud or choosing on-premises, you should only be connected with Azure to convey messages within seconds. 

Pricing

It is free to commence your backend development journey with Azure. With a free start, you can also enjoy a $200 credit.

Withal, Azure suggests moving to a pay-as-you-go model when your required resources increase from decided limits. 

Conclusion

The development speed, cost and time to market have become crucial aspects in the success of a mobile app.

Fortunately, MBaaS or BaaS platforms enable you to deploy and build mobile app backends quickly and with minimal cost. 

Therefore, this article showcases one of the trusted cloud-based mobile app backends with their core credentials and pricing policy.

You should likely choose a suitable backend service for your mobile application. 


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