What is a Mobile Backend as a Service?

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

Mobile application development has a long and exciting history. In the past mobile devices can only use the features or apps that are shipped with the phone. These are essential utilities such as calculator, stopwatch, and the likes. Do you remember playing the arcade-like “snake game” on the Nokia Symbian-powered phone? The addictive game that first premiered in Nokia 6110 phone is generally regarded as the first mobile app.

The mobile industry has changed extensively two decades later. Phones are no longer dumb devices that can only launch programs shipped by the manufacturer. Mobile devices are now powered by intelligent operating systems capable of performing complicated computing tasks previously restricted to desktop devices. Thus, personal computing gradually shifted from desktops to mobile as people can conveniently perform everyday computing tasks from the palms of their hands.

The mobile apps industry has grown exponentially since the last decade. Data from the Statista website shows that 204 billion apps were downloaded from various online stores in 2019, and the number is projected to increase to 258 billion by 2022. It’s not surprising because the mobile app has become an essential strategy for corporations all over the world.

Given the increased attention on mobile technology by individuals and businesses, the need to create and update apps for the hungry mobile market increased significantly. Consequently, the conventional app development method can no longer cater to the massive demand. That is why developers heaved a sigh of relief when an agile app development technology emerged in the form of Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS.)

Mobile Backend as a Service provided the solution to the challenge of expediting mobile application development and adding advanced function without spending a fortune. In this article, we shall take an in-depth look at Mobile Backend as a Service and its value to mobile developers.

What is Backend as a Service (MBaaS)?

Backend as a service, also called MBaaS, is an online platform made up of server infrastructure and backend services required for app development. With MBaaS, developers no longer have to bother about setting up server infrastructure or managing backend services. The MBaaS company provides the server infrastructure and a ready to use backend for application development.

MBaaS platforms also provide tools for performing a variety of app functions such as APIs, authentication, push notifications, data management, cloud storage, geofencing, and many more. With all these resources in place, the process of app development becomes faster and less stressful. Developers can focus more on creating top-notch front-end features since they no longer have to bother about back-end hassles.

What is a mBaaS?

Core mBaaS Features

  • Database (NoSQL and SQL)
  • APIs (GraphQL and REST)
  • Cloud Functions
  • Authentication
  • Push-Notifications
  • Scalable Hosting

The Advantages of Mobile Backend as a Service

Let take a look at the various avenues through which MBaaS technology helps solve the challenges of mobile app development. Below are four advantages of using Mobile Backend as a Service.

  • Faster app development
  • Reduced cost of app development
  • Hands-free server and backend management
  • Facilitates better apps UI and UX

The Best Approach to Maximizing MBaaS Value

Vital aspects of app development such as infrastructure, security, database, scaling, storage, and many others are handled by the backend company. With all these tasks off the table, the developer can focus on creating top-notch frontend features for their app. Developers can follow the guidelines below to get the best value from using MBaaS for their app development projects.

  1. Create Exciting App Features: Users would only judge a mobile app through the frontend functions available to them. So, developers should leverage backend services to create superior frontend features for their users. The success of an app depends mainly on powerful user functions. That is why developers must concentrate on creating functional and impressive app frontend features.
  2. Deliver a Better UI and UX: Since developers have more to work on the frontend, they should focus on creating a frontend that excels in aesthetics and usability. They should include beautiful icons, enhanced navigation, intuitive interface, and the likes.
  3. Add modern App Features: Developers should take advantage of the tools and codes provided by backend services to add advanced functions to their apps. Many backend providers offer codes and tools for adding features such as multi-factor authentication, push notifications, social media integrations, and much more.
  4. Roll Out Updates Faster: Developers using MBaaS should leverage the technology to make their apps project more active by rolling out updates faster. They can fix app glitches and add features that users requested more quickly to make their app users happy.

Who are the Ideal MBaaS Users?

Mobile Backend as a Service companies create their platforms to serve developers. Therefore, computer users that do not have any type of programming skill will find it challenging to use such platforms. MBaaS is an excellent choice in the following scenarios.

  • Small Businesses: The cost of developing mobile apps the conventional way would be out of reach for most small businesses. They would have to hire a team of developers and acquire or lease server infrastructure. However, with an MBaaS, the cost of developing a business app is reduced significantly. All that is required is to use the service of an MBaaS company and hire a frontend developer.
  • App Development Companies: Application development companies can create and update apps for their clients faster than ever by using MBaaS. Also, they do not have to hire a standby backend developer as the MBaaS takes care of all the backend hassles. This means that development companies will be saving lots of cash in recurrent expenditures.
  • Freelancers: MBaaS is a piece of good news for developers at all levels. For one, developer no longer have to be a hardcore programmer to create top-notch mobile apps. With MBaaS services, the need to write codes is reduced significantly. Moreover, there is no need to learn backend development or collaborate with a backend developer. The MBaaS platform provides and manages the app backend.

Mobile Backend as a Service List

Here is a mBaaS list with the most prominent companies in this space:

Open-SourcePricingCore Features
Back4appYesFree Plan
$5/mo
– Easy to use database
– GraphQL APIs
– Relational Queries
FirebaseNoFree Plan
Pay as you go
– Realtime database
– Analytics
– Hosting
GameSparksNoFree Plan
$299/mo
– Social Multiplayer
– Meta game economies
– Live game operations
KinveyNoFree Trial
$2,500/year
– Enterprise connectors
– Enterprise security
– Serverless
BackendlessYesFree Tier
$25/mo
– Realtime database
– API services
– UI Builder
CloudKitNoFree Tier
Pay as you go
– Automatic Syncing
– Simple sharing
– Dashboard
8BaseNoUnder quotation– Managed data
– Serverless
– GraphQL
KumulosNoUnder quotation– In app messaging
– Analytics
– App Store optimization
KuzzleYesFree
$1,200/mo
– Scalable server
– APIs
– Admin Console
ParseYesFree to Download– User friendly database
– APIs
– Authentication

Conclusion

The procedure for developing mobile apps has become more accessible and faster with the advent of Backend as a Service platforms. MBaaS offers infrastructure, backend resources, and other useful tools for app development. More and more businesses and developers are taking advantage of backend services to cut costs and enhance their services.

General FAQ

What is a mBaaS – Mobile Backend as a Service?

Backend as a service is an online platform made up of server infrastructure and backend services required for app development. With MBaaS, developers no longer have to bother about setting up server infrastructure or managing backend services. The MBaaS company provides the server infrastructure and a ready to use backend for application development.

What are the core mBaaS features?

– Database (NoSQL and SQL)
– APIs (GraphQL and REST)
– Cloud Functions
– Authentication
– Push-Notifications
– Scalable Hosting

What are the mBaaS service providers?

– Back4app
– Firebase
– GameSparks
– CloudKit
– Kinvey
– Backendless
– 8Base
– Kuzzle
– Kumulos
– Parse


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