mBaaS Comparison: The best 2021 providers

mBaaS Comparison: The best 2021 providers

In this article, we shall discuss the service offerings of 20 best mobile backend-as-a-service (mBaaS) providers. The list includes service providers that use both open-source and proprietary frameworks.

The deployment options range from cloud services to the ones that can be installed on corporate intranets.  Some of these platforms do not provide any support, while a few others have a dedicated support team that attends to customers around the clock.

Before we dive into reviewing BaaS providers, let’s introduce the concept of BaaS to the complete newbies. Keep reading to know the best mBaaS available in the market.

What is a mBaaS?

Some vital aspects of application hosting, such as creating backups, redundancy servers, taking care of scalability, among many others, are complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.  

However, everything becomes easy when you use a backend as a service. The BaaS provider handles the server-side tasks to focus on developing the user-frontend of your core application.

What are the core features of a mBaaS?

  • Database
  • Storage
  • APIs
  • Notifications
  • Authentication

Top 20 mBaaS Providers

Below is the list of backend-as-a-service providers.

MBaaS ProviderFeaturesPricing
Back4appDatabase
APIs
Authentication
Free Tier
Plans at $5/mo
ParseDatabase
APIs
Notifications
Free to self-host
BackendlessVisual builder
APIs
Database
Free
Plans at $25/mo
KinveyMicroservices
Serverless backend
Enterprise Ready
Free Trial
$2,500/year
AWS AmplifyAnalytics
GraphQL API
Notifications
Free
Pay as you go
FirebaseAnalytics
Machine Learning
NoSQL DBs
Free
Pay as you go
GameSparksSocial Multiplayer
Meta Game Economies
Player Management
Free
$299/mo
CloudboostJavaScript Backend
Storage
Realtime
$79/mo
KuzzleRealtime
Admin Console
Geofencing
Free
$1,200/mo
HoodieJavascript backend
Open-Source
Offline
Free
KumulosPush Notifications
In App Messaging
Deep Links
Pay as you go
PlayFabMultiplayer
Data Management
Statistics
Free to start
Pay as you go
AppceleratorAPI Builder
Realtime Analytics
Mobile Backend
Under quotation
PubnubIn app chat
Alerts & Notifications
IoT Device Control
Free
$49/mo
DeploydAPI
Open Source
Static Files
Free
Azure Mobile AppsMobile backend
Azure integration
Enterprise security
Pay as you go
KiiIoT
Private Cloud
Analytics
Under quotation
CloudKitAutomatic Syncing
Simple Sharing
Dashboard
Free
Pay as you go
CouchbaseNoSQL Database
Enterprise Ready
Under quotation
8BaseGraphQL API
Dashboard
Professional Services
Free
$25/mo

Keep reading to know more about the best mBaaS companies.

Back4App 

Summary

Back4App offers a comprehensive product that uses several open-source technologies, including NodeJS, Parse Server, etc. Their approach is simple; they help developers with the resources needed to create scalable applications without the hassles of reinventing the wheel.

Customers: Some of their customers include global companies such as Accenture, El Pais, and many others listed on their website.

The engineering office is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, while the headquarters is in California, USA.

  • Free Plan: Available
  • Pricing: From $5/month.
  • Features: The platform features include data model, push-notifications, REST and GraphQL APIs, login, authentication data backup, multiple SDK, non-technical administration panel, cloud functions, reset passwords, and CLI, 
  • Open Source: Yes.
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Yes. Options include private Cloud and on-premises deployment.
  • Technical Documentation: Available
  • Support Services: Provides 24/07 support.
  • Professional Services: Solutions Architect, Consulting, and enterprise plans.
  • Remarks: Configurable GDPR privacy settings available.

Parse 

Summary

Parse is another excellent framework for expediting mobile application development. Facebook converted the project to open source in 2016. Since that time, the files and source codes of Parse have found their home at GitHub.

  • Free Plan: Yes
  • Pricing: Completely Free. Available for download at GitHub.
  • Features: JSON-like data management console, social-login (Facebook, Apple, Twitter, WeChat, GitHub, Google, etc.), password rest, integration with AWS file storage, push-notifications, SDKs (GraphQL, Rest, Javascript, iOS, Android, etc.)
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Not Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available. It can only use a self-hosting option.
  • Dedicated Servers: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Available. Detailed docs, guides, and videos are on the official website.
  • Support Services: Not Available
  • Professional Services: Not Available
  • Remarks: This framework has over 16k stars and 4k forks on Github.

Backendless 

Summary

This platform focuses on offering a web hosting service, a framework, an API generation engine, and a services marketplace. These four functions form the core of BaaS.

Customer base includes Repo Cyber, World Vision, Window Nation. See others on their official website. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, USA.

  • Free Plan: Available 
  • Pricing: this platform has three pricing tiers. The Cloud, limitless, and fully managed options. Pricing starts at $15/month.
  • Features: database, cloud code, caching, geolocation, codeless, messaging, user management logging, realtime database, and security.
  • Open Source: Available
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Available
  • Technical Documentation: Available. Detailed tutorials, guides, and videos are available online.
  • Support Services: Available
  • Professional Services: Yes. Consulting services are available.
  • Remarks: The company has an online store with Stripe and AWS plugins.

Kinvey 

Summary

This backend-as-a-service is an excellent option for enterprise organizations. The platform initially developed by Progress was acquired by Kinvey in 2017.

  • Free Plan: Free trial available.
  • Pricing: The price structure is not published on the website.
  • Features: connected templates, UI builder, web/mobile code sharing, AI/ML, chatbots, serverless backend, microservices, and functions.
  • Open Source: No
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Available
  • Technical Documentation: Detailed documentation, user guides, and videos available online.
  • Support Services: Available
  • Professional Services: Available
  • Remarks: It’s a HIPAA compliant platform.

AWS Amplify 

Summary

This service is offered by Amazon Web Services.  AWS Amplify is basically a JavaScript library used for building cloud applications, frontend development, and mobile app development. 

The headquarters os AWS are in in Seattle, USA. However, AWS has office locations in several nations around the world.

  • Free Plan: Not Available
  • Pricing: Flexible Pay as you go payment options.
  • Features: Notifications, analytics, authentication, bots, API, storage, AR & VR.
  • Open Source: Available.
  • Download: Available.
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available.
  • Self-Hosting: Available. Simply download the source code from GitHub and install it on your server.
  • Dedicated Servers: Available.
  • Technical Documentation: Many detailed guides and tutorials are available online.
  • Support Services: Options for support include Developer, Business, Enterprise.
  • Professional Services: No Available t
  • Remarks: The framework has native support for AWS Cloud.

Firebase

Summary

Firebase is a versatile platform for mobile and web application development. With Firebase, developers can create serverless apps and send push notifications to connected mobile devices.

Firebase is a highly secure and efficient platform for scalability. One unique feature of Firebase is its realtime database, which makes it an excellent choice for developing apps with live chat.

Firebase is owned by Google; the Corporate headquarters is in California.

  • Free Plan: Available
  • Pricing: Flame Plan: Deprecated, Blaze Plan: Uses a flexible Pay as you go option.
  • Features: The main features include realtime database, phone authentication, storage, cloud functions, hosting, ML kit, and many other excellent features.
  • Open Source: Not Available 
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Not Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Detailed documentation, user guides, and videos available online.
  • Support Services:  The platform supports case submission.
  • Professional Services: Not Available
  • Remarks: Firebase does neither offer private clouds or enterprise plans.

Game Sparks 

Summary

Game Sparks offers backend-as-a-service dedicated to gaming apps. The platform is also owned by Amazon.

  • Free Plan: Available.
  • Pricing: Standard plan starts at $299/month, enterprise plans would be quoted on request.
  • Features: Social multiplayer, metagame economies, player management, custom back office, scaling, segmentation, analytics, live events, chat, currencies, virtual goods, leader boards, marketing automation, realtime multiplayer, matchmaking, teams, notifications, messaging, A/B testing, authentication, multiple integrations, achievement systems, roles, and permissions. 
  • Open Source: No
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Not Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Available
  • Technical Documentation: Extensive and detailed platform tutorials available online.
  • Support Services: Support is available through a ticketing system.

Cloudboost 

Summary

This is a platform that has a realtime JavaScript backend. It is an excellent choice for building scalable web and mobile applications.

Prominent users of this platform include Sony, Coca-Cola, Adobe, and many others listed on the website.

Cloudboost is part of Hackerbay, a private software company. The headquarters is in Boston, MA.

  • Free Plan: A 30 days free trial is available.
  • Pricing: Premium plans start at $93/month.
  • Features: Authentication, data storage, files, realtime apps, and search.
  • Open Source: No
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available only for enterprise plans. 
  • Dedicated Servers: Available only for enterprise plans.
  • Technical Documentation: Extensive and detailed tutorials available online.
  • Support Services: There are multiple support plans. For instance, support for the basic plan is through email, with a two days SLA, while the enterprise plans enjoy 24/07 support coverage. There are mid-range plans on their official website.

Kuzzle

Summary

With Kuzzle, you have a ready-to-go backend solution that you can host on your own server.  It has powerful features for creating various types of applications ranging from web, mobile, and IoT apps.

Clients include Biogen, QWant, EKO, among others listed on their official website. The company has offices in France, The United Kingdom, and Canada.

  • Free Plan: Available.
  • Pricing: Managed cloud plans start at $1,200/month.
  • Features: Authentication, admin console, advanced search, realtime database, geofencing, and many more.
  • Open Source: Available
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Available.
  • Technical Documentation: Documentation available online.
  • Support Services: Community support available for free while premium support services start at $2,400/month.
  • Professional Services: Offers training, consulting, and proof of concept services.

Hoodie 

Summary

This platform provides developers with the resource they need to create feature-rich web applications faster than ever.

  • Free Plan: Available for Free
  • Pricing: Available as a free download. 
  • Features: The offline first approach is the unique feature of this framework. It supports plugin for additional functions such as sign-up, data storage, shares, emails, synchronization, 
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Not Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Documentation is available online.
  • Support Services: Not Available
  • Professional Services: Not Available

Kumulos 

Summary

This is a user-friendly and secure mobile apps development platform.  The platform is more focused on supporting application development agencies. 

The customer list includes Waracle, NS804, Ciber, and others listed on the official website. The company has offices in North Carolina and the UK.

  • Free Plan: Free trial available.
  • Pricing: Not published on the website.
  • Features: Push-notifications, SEO, cloud hosting, in-app messages, and crash reporting.
  • Open Source: Not Available
  • Downloadable: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: The availability of this option is not published 
  • Dedicated Servers: The availability of this option is not published.
  • Technical Documentation: Documentation available.
  • Support Services: Support available through email and an online community. Also, they provide technical training, user training, dedicated Slack channel.
  • Remarks: This platform caters to the needs of mobile app agencies.

PlayFab 

Summary

Since its acquisition in 2018 by Microsoft, the company has become an integral part of the Silicon Valley software giant.  PlayFab provides backend as a service for game developers.  It is also an excellent platform for developing and hosting live games.

  • Free Plan: Available, with limited features.
  • Pricing: Indie Studio plan costs: $99/month while the Professional plan costs $299/month
  • Features: Game services (multiplayer, responsive custom email templates, matchmaking), LiveOps (manage game config, trigger actions, schedule tasks) realtime analytics (dashboards, engagement reports, full-text search,) add-ons (multiplayer, monetization, analytics, game distribution platforms).
  • Open Source: Not Available
  • Downloadable: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: The availability of this option is not published.
  • Dedicated Servers: The availability of this option is not published.
  • Technical Documentation: Available
  • Support Services: Yes. Offers dedicated support for the Indie Studio plan. The professional plan has dedicated support as well as SLA agreement.
  • Professional Services: Not Available
  • Remarks: Provides custom quotes for enterprise plans on request.

Appcelerator 

Summary

This is an enterprise mobile platform for creating native apps, mobilize data, and for measuring results with realtime analytics. The company will stop providing hosting services and discontinue the support in 2022.

Customer list includes Avis, Cisco, VMWare, and others published on their website. Appcelerator is a subsidiary of Axway with corporate headquarters in Phoenix, USA.  However, Appcelerator operates from San Jose, CA.

  • Free Plan: Available
  • Pricing: The Indie plan is free, Pro plan costs $199, Enterprise is quoted on request.
  • Features: IDE, Dashboard, API Builder, App Designer, Hyperloop, and Push-Notifications.
  • Open Source: Not Available
  • Downloadable: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Technical tutorials available online.
  • Support Services: Support services are available on request.
  • Professional Services: Custom quoted for enterprise plan subscribers. 

Pubnub 

Summary

This backend-as-a-service provider empowers developers with functions for creating chats, live-notifications, and device control applications.

Users of this platform include  DocuSign, Adobe, Logitech, and many others published on their websiteThe company headquarters is in San Francisco, CA.

  • Free Plan: Available for free provided transactions does not exceed one million per month.
  • Pricing: Premium plans start at $49 per month.
  • Features: Functions (business logic and device state), Pub/Sub messaging (iOS, Android, and IoT), online status, Push Notifications, and realtime visibility.
  • Open Source: No
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Not Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Yes. Extensive documentation is available online.
  • Support Services: This provider has three types of support plans. GOLD costs $500/month, Platinum costs $1,500/month and Enterprise plan costs $5000/month. Subscribers enjoy support ranging from email support to a dedicated support agent.
  • Professional Services: Information not published on their website.

Deployd 

Summary

This is an opensource API engine for creating APIs.  With this platform, developers can expedite the procedure of creating APIs without the need for boilerplate coding.

  • Free Plan: Available. As an opensource framework, the download is completely free.
  • Pricing:  It is Free.
  • Features: API engine, authenticate users, create user collections, and many more.
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Not Available
  • Self-Hosting: Yes, simply download the framework and install it on the server of your choice.
  • Dedicated Servers: Yes. You can download the framework deploy on any dedicated server.
  • Technical Documentation: Yes. Available from online sources.
  • Support Services: Not Available.
  • Professional Services:  Not Available.

Azure Mobile Apps

Summary

This is a Microsoft-powered backend-as-a-service that developers can use to create mobile apps fast. The platform helps developers expedite the procedure of creating cross-platform applications. The user can also choose to develop native apps for iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows.

  • Plan: Free access to the most popular products for a year.
  • Pricing: Flexible Pay as you go payment plans
  • Features: .NET/PHP/Java/HTML apps available, authentication, IDE integration, push-notifications, CLI, create mobile-first, service store, and retrieve data. 
  • Open Source: No
  • Download: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Only available at Azure
  • Dedicated Servers: Only available at Azure 
  • Technical Documentation: Technical documentation available online.
  • Support Services: Only available at Azure
  • Remarks: The platform integrates seamlessly with Azure Cloud. 

 Kii

Summary

This platform is a dedicated backend-as-a-service for IoT applications.

  • Features: user management, device management, push-notifications, data management, sensor-cloud-interactions, geolocation, and many more.
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Available
  • Technical Documentation: Technical documentation available for download.
  • Support Services: Available
  • Remarks: Public and private cloud deployment options available

CloudKit

Summary

CloudKit is Apple’s backend-as-a-service that has native support for Xcode. This platform allows the developer to sync data across multiple devices, sync data across various apps. Authenticate through iCloud, send notifications, and many more.

  • Free Plan: The free plan is limited to 1PB for each app.
  • Pricing: The user switches to Pay as you go option after exceeding the free limit.
  • Features: Simple sharing, Automated syncing, analytics dashboard.
  • Open Source: Not Available
  • Downloadable: Not Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Not Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Not Available
  • Technical Documentation: Available
  • Support Services: Available
  • Remarks: This platform only works with Apple products.

Couchbase 

Summary

Couchbase offers a NoSQL database for mission-critical applications. Customers include companies like Amadeus, Cisco, eBay, and others. The corporate headquarters of Couchbase is in Santa Clara, CA.

  • Free Plan: Available.
  • Pricing: Available on request
  • Features: Query, analytics, search, SDKs, full-text, and lots more.
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Download: Available
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Self-Hosting: Available
  • Dedicated Servers: Details not published
  • Technical Documentation: Detailed documentation available online
  • Support Services: Available

8Base

Summary

BaaS service to create professional applications using GraphQL. The company is located in the USA.

  • Free plan available
  • Paid plans start at $25 per month
  • Features include GraphQL API, relacional data builder, serverless functions, and built in user administration.
  • Open Source: No
  • Cloud-Hosting: Available
  • Technical Documentation: Comprehensive documentation available online.
  • Support Services: Available
  • Remarks: Professional services available.

Do you want more information about the backend as a service? You would find this tutorial informative.

BaaS | Backend as a Service

General FAQ

What is a mBaaS?

The BaaS provider handles the server-side tasks so that you can focus on developing the user-frontend of your core application. Please read BaaS | Backend as a Service to know more.

What are the best mBaaS in 2021?

The list with the top 20 backend as a service in 2021 includes Back4app, Parse, Firebase, and more. Please read the article to know more.

What are the core features of a mBaaS?

– Database
– APIs
– Notifications
– Authentication
– Storage


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