Every software application lays on the foundation of backend services. If it weren’t for the backend, your apps would probably collapse like a pile of rocks. So it’s an important element that supports and bridges itself with frontend services. But custom development is not easy, so instead of developing backend services from scratch, and spending lots of precious time and money, many companies instead use ready-made solutions called mobile BaaS.
BaaS, also known as mobile Backend as a Service, is a way of connecting mobile apps to cloud-based services. You probably know that managing cloud resources is kind of difficult. Finding people who can perform this task at a reasonable price is sometimes bordering to impossible. Luckily you can avoid this through using BaaS services, which offer lots of benefits:
- Code for various mobile devices and channels
- Faster and better output
- Data security
- Flexible pricing
- Regular updates and integration
- Scalability and improved performance
Instead of using mobile middleware, BaaS creates a unified application interface (API) and software developer kit (SDK) to connect apps to backend services like cloud storage. This includes key features like push notifications, social networking integration, location services, and user management.
BaaS services on the market
Let’s have a quick look at the best BaaS services on the market.
Kinvey was one of the first players to solely focus on offering mobile BaaS solutions. Their services support mobile aggregation and facilitate compliance with IT requirements, enabling encryption of data both at rest and in transit and delivering security through encryption.
Connectors interact with the backend services included as part of Kinvey, which are data management, engagement, business logic, analytics and compliance reports, and identity management. Kinvey supports native, hybrid, and HTML5-based web applications on mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. Kinvey can be fully integrated within the cloud, or enterprises can leverage an on-premises version that can be branded as required by the customer.
Kii supports deployment, testing and user acquisition within a single environment. The company is very keen on marketing and offers push notifications, analytics, geolocation and monetization services. Headquartered in Japan, Kii also touts itself as a channel into China, offering app localization and other marketing services for what’s one of the fastest growing app markets out there.
Launched in 2012 Kii now boasts 25 million end users and a global distribution network. Kii fuses together API’s and SDK’s with a proprietary backend that enables mobile developers to reduce the difficulty associated with creating new server instances. Kii are quick to emphasize the simplicity and scalability of their platform and use object-oriented database technology that was initially developed as an open source project.
Appcelerator is a mobile development platform which speeds up the time to market with cross-platform development, testing and simplified access to date via optimized APIs. Real-time mobile analytics are available on the platform, powering user engagement and measuring results.
Built.io allows companies to create applications without the trouble of designing, building, and maintaining a custom backend technology stack. It’s a platform that powers engaging applications for websites and smart devices. Built.io provides you with a choice of cloud provider and architecture: it’s available as an on-premises, cloud-hosted and hybrid cloud service.
The highly efficient protocol is optimized for limited connectivity, bandwidth restrictions, and reduced client processing capabilities. Built.io is ideal for devices with battery constraints, obviating the need for repeated, manual polling. There are unlimited notifications with built-in user segmentation and targeting for sophisticated in-app messaging and offers.
One of the key benefits of the Sencha is its user experience – developers can create in-app lists, carousels and other components with smooth, natural scrolling. The framework will automatically use the best scrolling mechanism for each device, ensuring a seamless user experience.
Sencha is a high-performance HTML5 mobile application framework, which provides a development environment for the Sencha HTML5 platform. Sencha Touch features over 50 built-in components, themes for every current mobile platform and a built-in MVC system to create powerful and universal mobile and mobile web apps. It is the only framework that enables developers to build highly powerful apps compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
BaaS is a huge convenience for companies that are looking for cheap and ready-made made backend management. Some that in the future BaaS should be associated with big data because it can collect user behavior data by using APIs and SDKs. Being combined with business intelligence of big data, it can deliver significant value and reduce data barriers.
The BaaS market is growing very fast and it will reach $30 billion in 2019, with over 25 million software developers by 2020. Basically, that means that BaaS will become one of the hottest markets in tech and in the near future.