Custom API or MBaaS? Making The Best Decision For Your App.

Author Image By Aromal Sasidharan

Most mobile apps require a substantial amount of backend support for data processing, as well as storage and other functional applications.

A common practice in providing this type of support has been the creation of custom APIs. The newer technologies however, have started to change backend support delivery in most applications, which in fact generated more positive changes to the applications as a whole.

One of the most emerging trends in this area is Mobile Backend as a Service, or MBaaS.

Simply put, MBaaS allows app developers to integrate popular backend services into their applications. These backend, cloud-based services, include storage, processing services, resource management, geo-location assistance services, push notifications, social media integration and a host of other features that a modern day app requires.

To dig in deeper, a proper understanding of MBaaS is possible if we analyze how a mobile app is developed and deployed, withOUT using MBaaS.

If you look at most mobile app development projects today, you know that web developers are an essential part of the process, as they’re needed to create the APIs. API stands for Application Programming Interface and what it is, is a set of rules and specifications that act as an interface, which in return allows for different software applications to interact with one another. This interaction is necessary in order to deliver the required backend support services to the client programs.

As you deploy your app, thanks in part to great usability and your state of the art marketing campaigns, the app becomes a huge success and traffic volumes increase exponentially. This increase will require a backend support that meets the rising demands. If your backend is not hosted in the cloud, you have to worry about scaling the infrastructure needed to support the extra traffic. This results in sustaining more hardware upgrade costs, developing more complex data storage and organizational architectures, increasing bandwidth to servers to ensure better response time, etc. Ensuring multi-platform support according to varying mobile operating systems also requires more API development.

With MBaaS, the task of creating a mobile app relies less on the web developers and more on the app developers themselves. MBaaS services have backend tools and resources already in place, which the app developers can customize for use in their apps via the SDKs and APIs provided.

App developers will still have to write client side code to call the API from a particular MBaaS service provider, but this essentially liberates the project from having to require web developers, as there is no need for new API creation. This in turn means that the process of getting the app ready for deployment becomes far less demanding on time and resources.

Here’s an example of how we used MBaaS to conquer over some of the most common app development challenges:

To develop PhotoGuessaroo, the world’s first social content gaming app, DBG used Parse – a popular MBaaS provider. Without this MBaaS provider, the help of a Web developer would have been indispensable. Database tables were needed to handle user data, puzzle items, social media login information and so on.

Parse helped us eliminate the need of a web developer, by providing easy user management, data storage and social media integration facilities without the need to create an API for it. We utilized the full privileges of Parse to handle everything with ease and not worry about scalability or data availability.

The advantages MBaaS provided us, were:

  • Lesser time from development to deployment
  • The luxury of time to focus on the front end
  • Better scalability
  • Improved security and performance
  • Reduced downtime issues because all server side resources are instantly available on the cloud
  • Smoother multi-platform support
  • Lowered cost

These points had their fair share of positive effects on users as well. With better availability and faster service response, user demands met their level of expectation.

Today there are numerous service providers who offer MBaaS to app developers. Providers like Appcelerator, Appery, Kinvey, Parse and others, have become very popular, mainly because they deliver seamless services without any disruptions and issues.

MBaaS or custom APIs – Whatever your choice may be, get in touch with us and deploy the most top-notch app in your field. Call 1-888-690-0060. Forward Thinking Applied.