What is a Mobile Backend as a Service?

What is a Mobile Backend as a Service?
Mobile Backend as a Service mBaaS

mBaaS stands for Mobile Backend as a Service. Using a mBaaS you will access ready to use building blocks that automate repetitive backend logic. Examples are like logins, notifications, social integration, geolocation, etc. It saves you a lot of time and avoid you reinventing the wheel for reusable pieces of code that are common for all apps.

A mBaaS is a managed service that takes care of the infrastructure and autoscale applications. Using a mBaaS you transfer the responsibility and hassles of managing servers to a third party.

Sounds good right? To better understand the concept behind an mBaaS we need to first understand the differences between an application frontend and backend.

mBaaS Video

mBaaS Explained

What is an app Frontend?

Frontend is pretty much everything you can see on a website, app, or software application.

The website or app interface that is accessible to users is called the frontend or client-side. This interface gives users access to use online services such as reading texts, watching videos, submitting forms, and the likes. In the programming parlance, the frontend is referred to as the presentation layer of an app.

What is an app Backend? 

Backend is the little monster running behind the scenes that you cannot see, but makes sure your app works properly.

The server-side interface that is only accessible to the app/website owner is called the backend. It consists of a set of programs and apps that makes the features of the frontend functional.  The backend is also referred to as the foundation layer.

Frontend vs Backend
Frontend vs Backend

A mBaaS connects the Backend to the Frontend

Mobile backend as a service is an online service that provides developers with server infrastructure and backend programs that apps need to function.

In essence, apart from providing the backend, the MBaaS companies also offer the technology required to connect the frontend to the backend services. A mBaaS will connect the Frontend to the Backend via Application Programming Interfaces – APIs and Software Development Kits – SDKs.

Because programmers no longer have to bother with boilerplate backend coding or infrastructure, the development task becomes less complicated and faster than ever.  

With an MBaaS, all the developer needs to do is streamline the backend functions the app needs and connect them to the app frontend through APIs. Therefore, developers have more time at their disposal to focus on creating excellent frontend features for their app

Why Use Backend as a Service?

With backend as a service, you can create web and mobile apps without reinventing the wheel. The backend service provider gives access to ready-made code for performing features such as authentication, push notifications, storage, geolocation, and much more. 

The Advantages of Backend as a Service 

Saves a lot of time

One of the vital benefits of backend as a service is that it saves developers lots of engineering hours.  The backend provider has taken care of the tedious tasks of getting an app backend up and running. So, developers can create and update apps faster than ever before.

Scalability

Since the MBaaS provider takes care of the server infrastructure, developers don’t have to invest a fortune to get their backend infrastructure in place. Moreover, the service provider also ensures that apps scale automatically to access more server resources when the app users increase.

Focus on Design and User Experience

In all, MBaaS makes the procedure for creating app easier so developers can focus on designing app features that add value to users. Rather than working with repetitive backend tasks developers will be able to focus on creating amazing user experiences for their users.

When to use Backend as a Service?

A BaaS provides outstanding value for the following use cases.

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) app projects.
  • Enterprise apps that are not mission-critical.

What projects are best suited for a mBaaS?

  • Bespoke business apps such as Taxi, Restaurant, Food delivery, etc.
  • Content Management Systems.
  • Music and video streaming apps.
  • Payment apps.
  • Emergency apps.
  • Inventory management apps.
  • Store management apps.
  • Messenger and real-time communication apps.
  • Social network apps.
  • School app.
  • And much more. .

What are the best mBaaS service providers?

Back4App

  • Works with open-source technologies
  • Main features are spreadsheet like database, GraphQL APIs
  • Free tier available and paid plans start at $5/mo
  • Shared Hosting and Private Clusters available

Kinvey

  • Enterprise focused mBaaS
  • Main features includes serverless backend, cloud functions, and micro services.
  • Free tier available and paid plans start at $2,500/year
  • Shared and dedicated hosting options available

Backendless

  • Main features are real-time database, API services, and notifications
  • Free tier available and paid plans start at $15/mo
  • Shared Hosting and Private Clusters available

Firebase

  • Proprietary platform from Google
  • Main features are the real-time database, analytics, and ML
  • Free tier available and paid plans under the Pay as you go model
  • Shared hosting on Google Cloud

AWS Amplify

  • Open-source project created by AWS
  • Main features are the datastore, authentication, and analytics
  • Free tier available and paid plans under the Pay as you go model
  • Fully integrated with AWS cloud

Conclusion

A mBaaS is a platform that accelerates backend development through reusable pieces of ready to use code. A mBaaS will scale up/down cloud infrastructure and take care of server management.

The main benefits of a mBaaS includes a faster time to market of a software project, focus on UX rather than backend coding, and focusing on core business operations and not on server management.

The projects that are best served by a mBaaS are MVP – Minimum Viable Products and Non Mission Critical enterprise applications. Some examples are Messaging Apps, Geolocation Apps, CMSs, and etc.

The list of mBaaS provides is vast and there is a plenty of options available. Some good providers options are Back4app, Backendless, Kinvey, Firebase, and AWS Amplify.

General FAQ

What is Mobile Backend as a Service – mBaaS?

mBaaS stands for Mobile Backend as a Service. Using a mBaaS you will access ready to use building blocks that automate repetitive backend logic. It saves you a lot of time and avoid you reinventing the wheel for reusable pieces of code that are common for all apps.

What are the advantages of a mBaaS?

– Saves you a lot of time
– You outsource the server side management hassles
– Focus on UX and design

When to use a mBaaS?

– MVPs
– Non critical enterprise projects

What are the best mBaaS providers?

– Back4app
– Backendless
– Kinvey
– Firebase
– AWS Amplify


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