Parse is shutting down. What are the alternatives?

At this moment, the best alternative to Parse users is to migrate his database and application service to a Parse solution hosting provider. It’s the best plug and play option. If you want to setup your own Parse server its possible too but it’s not so simple.

After the parse shut down the new trend to BAAS providers is to offer a migration that will require a significant effort developing the backend on its solution and re-coding the front-end/mobile app connection with the API.

There are two important announcements from Parse.
  • Post April 28th, apps which have not migrated their database would assume a lower priority of traffic.
  • Parse will ultimately shut down after January 28th.
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If you are half way through developing an app, you must be deciding about the right time to migrate.
You need not be panicking right now because the performance that Parse will deliver it’s enough to finish your app’s development. Additionally. The April 28th deadline has no impact on you because there are no users for your app yet.

But there are other good reasons to move now, especially to anticipate issues on Parse migration and on to adapt Parse features. You need to figure out alternatives to build, host and manage your app.

Let’s analyse some scenarios:

A- Self-hosting a Parse server

Pros: Parse server has been open sourced. So it gives you total control of the code. You could add your own features if you master the server code.
Cons: Setting up a local parse server and deploying your app is not easy. Migrating the DB to a self-hosted MongoDB as suggested by Parse and connecting it to a local instance of Parse server is quite a task. Also, currently, not all features of Parse server is open sourced. So you may still not be able to rebuild it all using local instance.

B – Look for an alternate BaaS provider

Pros: If you don’t want to host things yourself, there are other commercial alternatives to Parse, replacing part of the services it offers.
Cons: How can you guarantee that the new BaaS provider will not raise their hands someday similar to Parse? Also, they have an entirely different API and technology you’ll need to learn. So you will have to re-write your front-end and API code to make it compatible with their platform.

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C – Get your backend entirely rewritten and develop your own server

Pros: The applications become totally under developer’s control without any dependency. Rebuild your current JavaScript backend from Parse into full-blown NodeJS application. If you don’t use complex features like Push, Jobs, Webhooks on Parse and just have CRUD operations on top of MongoDB database won’t it’ll be smooth. That will give you complete control over your backend and data, without locking you in on any platform.

Cons: This option demands too much effort for build an entirely new backend. If you don’t have any backend skills, I don’t recommend it. Additionally, it could work well only if you have the simple application if you have a complex application using most of the Parse features I won’t recommend it too.

D –  Look for a Parse hosting providers

Pros: If the BaaS uses Parse technology, there is no learning curve, no new technology to be implemented. You have time to migrate your app, connect front-end with the backend, test and anticipate issues when your app goes Live. This option could work out with minimum hassles.
Cons: You need to look for an additional Platform provider to host your app.

  • If you decide on a BaaS that uses Parse, additionally you need to watch out for some features like:
    Make sure it is easy to migrate from here if needed. (If the backend is open source, it would be easy to migrate anytime).
  • It provides all the features of Parse like SDK, Dashboard and also offers alternatives to the features like Cloud Code, CLA’s, Jobs, Webhooks and Analytics which is not open-sourced yet by Parse. (Learn how to use Parse Cloud Code on back{4}app).

If you are still developing your app on Parse, you have time till July 28th to complete your development, try one of the best-suited options stated above and test your app before it goes Live. A prompt advice would be to do it as early as possible.

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How can we self-host a parse server?

Parse server is open sourced. You get freedom to add new features according to your needs. You can use the code in any way you want.  When it comes to setting a local parse server, it can be tricky.

You need to migrate the DB to a full hosted MongoDB. After this step, you need to connect it to any local instance of the parse server. It will take some effort. In some diverse situations you may face the issue of not having all the parse servers open sourced. So, overall, it will take effort.

What are the features of BaaS that use Parse?

If a BaaS is looking to use Parse then you don’t need to learn anything. Your only focus should be on these below features.

-Cloud Code
-Analytics (Not Open sourced by Parse)

If all of these features are not present in BaaS, then there should be some alternatives to these because that will be necessary.

What are alternatives to Parse shut down?

There are four major alternatives.

– You can go for self-hosting a parse server. It gives you control of the code but it will require a lot of effort.

– You can look for some other BaaS providers that are commercial. In this case they will have a new API and the same shut down can happen to them also.

-Looking to develop your own server with rewriting your backend can be an option.This will be a hectic option though.

-Parse hosting providers will help you to migrate your apps without any learning but with additional hosting platform.
So, these are the 4 alternatives which can work well.

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