What is a Backend as a Service?

What is a Backend as a Service?
What is a backend as a service

In recent times, developers are outsourcing the backend portions of their web and mobile app development to specialized companies called backend as a service (BaaS) providers. This approach allows the developers to focus on writing and maintaining the frontend codes for their apps. Besides handling the backend tasks, BaaS providers also offer useful codes for handling backed tasks such as authentication, push notifications, database management, and much more.

What Benefits Do Businesses Derive from BaaS?

The following are the various benefits that businesses derive from using backend services:

Lower Development Cost

The various functions that backend services offer out-of-the-box allows businesses to save valuable backend development engineering cost.  For instance, many BaaS companies provide functions such as user administration, storage, backup, search, and lots more. These features enable businesses to align their apps to the needs of the market faster than ever.

Faster Time to the Market

Businesses that use backend as a service no longer have to bother with backed development. In essence, the development tasks are reduced significantly because the team would only focus on creating the app’s frontend.  Since there are fewer tasks to handle, the time to the market would dramatically decrease.

No More Server Hassles

The Backend as a service provider takes care of all the server infrastructure. So, your company does not have to bother about managing servers any longer.  Consequently, the costs and hassles of maintaining servers are no longer a burden. This is a significant plus for using a BaaS.

Minimize Backend Development Tasks

Since the BaaS vendor is taking care of the backend, companies using such service no longer needs a full-time backend developer.  In most cases, the frontend developer can handle an app development project from start to finish without the input of a backend developer. In scenarios where customized backend coding is required, the backend developer can focus on creating high-value coding.

More Focused Approach to Development

The quality of the frontend features is crucial to the success of an app because the frontend is the interface that the app user interacts with.  Most users judge an app through the features that they see on the app interface. So, taking the time to create awesome frontend features increases the appeal of an app. With a backend as a service, the developers can focus on creating excellent frontend features while the BaaS vendor provides the boilerplate backend codes.

What Benefits Do Developers Derive from BaaS?

Here are some of the vital factors that BaaS vendors should add to their platform to create value for developers using backend as a service.

The SDKs and APIs Builds Should Be Uniform

The various versions of APIs and SDKs that BaaS platforms offer developers should be uniform. In essence, the users should be able to apply different versions of APIs and SDKs using the same patterns. They do not have to learn new rules to use an API or SDK simply because your BaaS launched a new version.

The Web/Mobile App Must Align with The BaaS Solution

BaaS differs from mobile-first development because it focuses on providing the underlying backend infrastructure and resources. Therefore, frontend developers must align their apps with the functions of the BaaS platform rather than building a customized stack for each app. Essentially, mobile and app developers should use the BaaS APIs and SDKs such that it aligns with the solution the backend service provides.

Ready-Made Code Integration

Many backend services offer businesses ready to use codes that add value to app development.  Developers leverage these codes to create apps with modern features within a short time. BaaS gives developers extraordinary powers of creativity.

Data is Central in a BaaS Platform

While most BaaS platforms provide developers with many features, vendors must realize that data is the most essential factor. Therefore, the APIs that handles data assignment should be well-developed. The BaaS vendor must take care of vital issues such as data access methods, data management, and data security.

When Should You Use a Backend Service?

After taking an in-depth overview of backend services, we recommend BaaS for the following type of development projects.

Minimum Viable Products (MVP)

Backend services make it easy for businesses to launch an MVP quickly and at a minimal cost. So, if you are looking to launch an MVP to test a product idea in real life, backend as a service is an excellent development option.  It helps you launch your product fast and acquire the user feedback you want without investing a fortune in the app development.

A Simple App that Uses a Classic Architecture

Most of the features that an average app uses are available on BaaS platforms. So, a BaaS is an excellent choice if you are looking to develop an app with essential functions, and you are not planning to add extensive features soon.

New App Projects

A backend service is an easy way to get up and running with your mobile app project. You can always create a custom backend that caters to the unique needs of your app when the need arises.

Top 10 BaaS Service Providers in 2020

Back4app

This platform is a user-friendly, scalable, and flexible backend service based on the Open-Source Parse Technology. Back4App offers a fully hosted backend solution that lets you create apps without hassles. You do not have to reinvent the wheel to develop modern apps, the best part is that your apps scale seamlessly on Back4app.

Parse

Parse has evolved over the years to become the most widely-used opensource framework for creating app backends. Parse has features that expedite app development, making the procedure of creating apps less complicated. Users of Parse enjoys the support of a vast community of developers and Parse enthusiasts. Parse continues to evolve with useful features for developers. It is an excellent choice for developers that want to make apps quickly and on budget.

Firebase

Firebase provides a viable solution for developers that would rather not mess with server-side programming while creating web or mobile applications. Firebase offers a faster and easier way to develop apps.  One of the unique features is Parse is that it uses a realtime database that synchronizes data across different instances instantaneously.

Kinvey

This is a reliable platform for serverless application development. Developers can take advantage of cloud backend and frontend SDKs to create multi-channel applications that are reliable. Besides providing the server infrastructure, Kinvey delivers additional solutions that include social sign-on, data integration, data storage, and much more.  This platform gives developers ample time to focus on creating frontend features that enhance the user experience. Kinvey elevates the developer’s experience and helps them leverage the platform features to create top-notch mobile and web applications.

AWS Amplify

This platform is backed by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It gives developers extensive functions for building apps and for integrating them with cloud services without hassles.  AWS Amplify is an excellent platform for seamless scaling of apps and for accelerating app development processes.

Backendless

If you want to create a web or mobile app without bothering about server coding, that Backendless is an excellent option for you. It provides the developer with programmable services that supply standard server functions. The features available on Backendless include relational data, user management, push notifications, file services, live streaming of media content, relational data, and much more. All these features are accessible through an easy to use API.

Backendless provides an SDK for leading environments such as REST, iOS, Android, ActionScript, JavaScript, and Windows Phone. The API includes support for flex/air client, versioning, video recording, and live streaming, web, and app hosting, among many others.

PubNub

PubNub is a California-based company that offers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and data stream services through its Data Stream Network (DSN). PubNub creates products that allow hardware and software developers to create realtime, mobile, web, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The main product of the company is a realtime messaging API that is powered by its global Data Stream Network. The data is replicated in multiple data centers in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.

Kuzzle

Kuzzle provides developers with a server that scales easily as well as a multiprotocol API, geofencing, search functions and as an administrative console.  The platform users can also access multiple plugins that provide a wide array of advanced functions.

Hasura

Hasura gives its platform users access to an ultra-fast GraphQL server and instant GraphQL APIs over the Postgres database.  Developers can also use webhook triggers on database events and access remote schemas for business logic. With Hasura, developers can create GraphQL apps with a Postgres database. Users can also slowly migrate Postgres-powered apps using GraphQL. Given the fact that The Hasura GraphQL is opensource, it is freely available for download online.

CloudBoost

CloudBoost is a JavaScript backend for powering apps. It offers features such as data storage, authentication, search, realtime notifications, and much more. This platform allows developers to create an elevated user experience for app users without much hassles.

Conclusion

A Backend as a Service will help you to accelerate backend development, reduce the time to market, and focus on core business operations. It’s a great solution for MVPs, less complex projects, and new applications. There are plenty of service providers options on the market and finding a great fit should not be difficult. Main differentiators are open-source vs proprietary tools, pricing, hosting options, and support levels.

General FAQ

What is a Backend as a Service?

BaaS providers form a bridge between the frontend of an app and the backends via APIs and SDKs. Adopting a backend as a service, you will outsource the constraints of running and maintaining servers to a third party and concentrate on the frontend or client-side development. 

What are the benefits to business and developers?

To businesses:
– Saves Money
– Reduce the time to market
– No more server hassles
– Scalability
– Focus on core businesses

To developers:
– Uniform SDKs and APIs
– Centralized data
– Ready to use code integrations

When should you use a BaaS?

– MVPs
– Less complex projects
– New applications

What are the best BaaS service providers?

– Back4app
– Parse
– Firebase
– Backendless
– Kinvey
– AWS Amplify
– Cloudboost
– Kuzzle
– Hasura
– PubNub


Comment ( 1 )

  1. Replyroofing leads
    I wanted to give a shout out and say I genuinely appreciated reading your blog. Can you recommend any other forum that deal with the same areas? Thanks.

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