What is the purpose of your app? What are you trying to achieve through it? These questions need to be answered before an app can be launched and for choosing the right backend as a service (BaaS) provider. BaaS is one of the most popular and fast evolving delivery platforms for cloud services.
What is BaaS?
BaaS is a system that allows you to create and manage a centralised database which lets your users share content through the cloud. Nowadays, most apps require a web connected backend. In the past, there were other technologies like PHP and Ruby which were used but this has been replaced by BaaS. This is due to the following reasons:
• Difficult to scale the earlier methods
• Large amount of time spent to locate and utilise resources
• Expert set of skills was required for delivery
Let us explore how we can identify and choose the right backend as a service platform.
Need for a BaaS provider
Demand can be unexpected and is difficult to set an expectation for the demand. Hence, it becomes difficult to scale an app accordingly. It can be difficult and challenging to scale apps for iOS and Android. Even if the developer can code for iOS and Android, it is difficult to develop a scalable backend for the app. A specialised set of skills is required for this purpose. Creation of both the front end and the back end of the app should be considered separately.
Features of a BaaS platform
There are several web-based backend systems that can be integrated into your app. Let us look at the three most popular ones. However, before that let us understand the usual features of a BaaS platform.
• Backend storage
• iOS library for smooth integration
• Freemium model
• Value for money with use based pricing system
• Increased scalability
• Efficient performance
• Management of commercial risk
• Push notifications
• User management
• File storage
• Ability to store customised objects
Top BaaS Providers
Let us look at the leading BaaS providers
Kumulos is a popular backend BaaS provider. It provides web-based storage of the database of the app. It has become one of the leading BaaS providers since the closure of Parse. It is used to develop, deploy and optimise an app. The biggest unique selling point of Kumulos is that it works both for indie mobile developers and big agencies alike. In case you want to move away from Parse, you can use one of these options:
• Migrate to Parse open source
• Move to an mBaaS and Pus provider
• Build and run the backend system yourself
The second option is by far, the best and most efficient option and Kumulos has emerged as the leader when it comes to this. Kumulos also offers a 50% discount for Parse rebuilds (For a limited time and if you hurry, you can avail this).
One of the salient features of Kumulos is that it supports iOS, OSX, PHP as well as Android. It is also free to use for the duration when the app project is under development. The cost is $50 when the app is launched, charged per month and includes some additional features which are customised as per individual app requirements. The intuitive interface for creating web services enables apps to communicate with the Kumulos service to perform basic CRUD operations on your database. This helps in migrating the database from the existing platform to thee Kumulos platform. This is a very important feature of the Kumulos platform.
Kinvey is also a very popular platform that is used for managing commercial risk. It helps in moving things quickly and efficiently. The platform allows the app to have 200 active users per month, which are not charged anything. When the number of active users per month exceeds 200, it indicates that the app is heading towards success and gaining popularity. It also means that you will be in the pan category and will need to pay for the service once this level is reached. The focus of Kinvey is on enterprise mobile apps. The team at Kinvey is quick, responsive, dedicated and focused. It helps to launch your app fast, efficiently, and smoothly. Kinvey has many features which make it a success. One such feature is that it is equipped with a tool that allows you to price up app development on the basis of feature requirements and usage estimates.
The third service provider which has gained in popularity is AnyPresence. It is a platform that is built to meet the evolving needs of mobile-enabling a developer ecosystem with fully portable run-time source code and zero platform lock-in. This platform is focussed on enterprise and helps the large corporations and companies to launch their apps successfully by providing them with a scalable backend. It has a variety of good features:
• Tools for app development
• Backend services
• API gateway
• Online AnyPresence dashboard
• Supported by most browsers
• Focussed enterprise platform
These are the leading BaaS platforms and after the closure of Parse, you will find many app developers migrating to these platforms.