Be it Mobile App development or Web development, Backend is backbone for all projects. Backend lies behind the user interface and responsible for most of the task being carried out. Backend as a Service (Baas) is a cloud platform that provides all backend side support to the app with the help of APIs and SDKs for various services. BaaS provides set of tools so that you can focus on frontend UI and UX development.
Benefits of Backend Solutions over Custom backend
Some of the benefits of using Backend as a Service in your projects:
Speed up the development
BaaS is ready to use backend solutions. You can focus on your frontend part and once you connect, the app is ready to go live. Using BaaS can save a lot of your time.
Development Price Reduction
Decrease in development time will ofcourse reduce the development price. If you are a organization you dont need to hire a full time developer. However long term fee of the Backend Services like firebase can be more. You can use self hosted opensource alternatives like Parse.
Best for Frontend Developer for Learning
For frontend developer, backend as a service is boon. They can try our their products with depending on others. If you are a Beginner then you can try out Firebase Spark Plan from Google which is free or for local development check Appwrite or Parse which is self hosted backend and can be installed in local computer.
Disadvantages of a Backend as a Service
Less flexibility in comparison to custom backend
BaaS is developed as a universal solution to fit most project types. If your application needs some unique functionality, it’s highly possible it won’t be in the bundle.
Often BaaS are considered suitable for starting phase. Many startup use BaaS as it reduces costs and time. But as the application grows, it gets tough. Backend as a Service are often costly.
Also all requirements will not fit for scaling your app. Constantly changing technologies and possible application scaling make customizing the server-side to the current project needs critical.
What are some Backend As a Service Providers?
Here is the short list of Backend as a Service you can use in your projects.
Parse( OpenSource | Self Hosted)
Parse is an opensource project developed in 2011. Facebook acquired Parse in 2013 and shutdown providing Parse hosting platform and subsequently made it open source in 2017. It has large community with 30k stars on github. You can host Parse in your own server which will for sure lower your cost than using Paid BaaS Platform.
Firebase ( Paid )
It is the service from Google Inc. Firebase was acquired by google in 2013 and has invested alot in this platform. Firebase provides various features and is one of the most popular Cloud Backend Service all around the world. It has Free Plan called Spark Plan which also has lots of offerings. It’s possible to store users’ data on a real-time database that synchronizes data.
Appwrite ( OpenSource | Self Hosted)
Appwrite is a open-source, end to end backend server for frontend and mobile developers. It is still in beta and not yet ready for production however it is getting popular already. It has more than 3k stars on GitHub. It can be hosted on Docker Containers. Appwrite has easy integrations with its REST API and provides ready SDK for different technologies including Flutter ( Open Source Cross Platform UI Framework) . It provides basic authentications, Database, File Storage and many other features. Appwrite can also be integrated with own backend solutions to use its features.
Should I use my own Backend Solution or use among BaaS out there?
Well, it completely depends. Using own backend solution wont be a good choice if you want to think for long term. The price of paid solutions becomes significantly high once you start to scale which is the main drawback for BaaS providers. You can overcome this by using own server to deploy the ready to use opensource backend like Parse. You can also integrate features like user managements, database and use your own logic in backend. Always remember, having own solution will give you perk of flexibility. Feel free to add your points below!!