BaaS puts various backend services in the cloud, freeing app developers from purchasing servers on premises.
- Backend as a Service (BaaS) optimizes backend services for software developers working on mobile apps.
- Common BaaS features include social integration, native notifications, search functionality, mobile app management, and visual development.
- BaaS offers numerous benefits that make it very useful for all types of projects and among developers of all skill levels.
- This article is for small business owners and mobile app developers interested in using BaaS to make mobile app development easier.
mediaindonesia.net– Behind every software application is a complete set of back-end services designed to support the front-end you see and use every day. The amount of work required to create this backend technology is never an easy task. Many organizations choose to save the time and money required to retrain the wheel by using backend as a service (BaaS) instead. This service provides organizations with cloud-based services that satisfy backend processing.
What is BaaS?
BaaS, also known as mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), is a way to connect mobile applications to cloud-based services. Instead of using mobile middleware, BaaS creates an Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK) to connect mobile apps to backend services such as cloud storage platforms. This includes key features like push notifications, social media integration, location services and user management.
BaaS providers offer a wide range of features. These key features meet advanced business needs and vary in scope and scope between vendors. Most companies include these basic elements:
- Social integration. For apps that focus on social collaboration or need analytics, this feature allows you to connect users to their social media profiles. By authenticating with these services, you can incorporate additional native integration, such as social to-do lists.
- Native notification. If your app needs to interact with users when it’s not actively launched, native notifications allow you to easily notify users of any app changes.
- Search functionality. Modern apps tend towards a content discovery design that allows users to find context-appropriate content. But from a technological point of view, a search function is still needed.
- Mobile application management. Applications are designed to access many different data sets, information that users shouldn’t always be able to access for cybersecurity reasons. The ability to manage app features allows developers to disable certain features based on user permissions, device types, etc.
BaaS and mobile app development
BaaS successfully moves the application integration point to the cloud. This is a drastic departure from traditional mobile app development, requiring a developer to embed each backend API individually. Developers can connect front-end and back-end mobile app elements more easily and with fewer resources required.
Using BaaS eliminates the need for developers to build their own backend services. Typical BaaS provides a set of customizable, ready-to-use features packed with common and necessary back-end features. The goal of this service is to shift a developer’s attention away from the intricacies of back-end development to invest more in the front-end work that users will see and interact with the most. Another benefit is scalability, as it eliminates the need for mobile app developers to manage increased demand and server storage for traffic. [Related Topic: How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Your Small Business]
The pros and cons of BaaS
BaaS offers many advantages and some disadvantages.
The advantages of BaaS
BaaS offers the following benefits:
- Simplify the inclusion of several key features. With BaaS, adding location services, user management, push notifications, and social media integrations to your app is much easier. The same goes for visual handling and search functionality. Without BaaS, you will have to juggle many complicated and cumbersome APIs.
- Eliminate the need to create your own backend services. Building backend services from scratch can be a long and tedious process with the potential for errors. BaaS eliminates this possibility, as you can use your own backend instead of one created from scratch.
- It has a lower learning curve. With BaaS, you won’t have to worry about cross-platform development or learning new backend processing skills. The result is a lower learning curve and a shorter time to market.
- Allows for greater focus on front-end development. Since BaaS comes with key back-end functionality, you’ll have more time and resources for front-end development. These tools also help you adapt to higher demand and usage rates without any complex backend work. This means you can focus on the visual side of your experience as you get more users.
The cons of BaaS
Despite the benefits of a comprehensive backend that can be easily integrated with most front-end programming, the service contains inherent small flaws.
- Vendor lockdown: The inability to easily switch from one BaaS platform to another is the main problem many developers face. While service providers claim that developers can deploy and migrate applications wherever they want, the technology remains a barrier to moving the code that connects the front-end and back-end elements to a new platform or provider. The backend items won’t move with you to a new provider, which means a developer would have to re-create those connections.
- Less control over your code: If you’re picky about fixing every little line of code, you may have a hard time feeling a sense of control with BaaS. You will save a lot of development time, but you won’t be able to change every little thing.
- Possibility of code errors: Let’s assume your BaaS code stops working right after you deploy it. If so, you’ll need to bring a server to take over. This defeats the very purpose of BaaS: a cloud-based backend without the physical infrastructure. [Related: What is a Cloud-Based Phone System?]
BaaS and mobile middleware
BaaS ranges from more traditional mobile middleware through a simple approach to back-end processing, or rather, the way the back-end connects to the front-end of an application. Mobile middleware typically integrates backend services into the app via a local server, which requires the purchase and maintenance of its own hardware. However, BaaS takes advantage of the cloud and provides these same services through the use of external data centers.