MBaaS platforms: Making a seamless transition for developers

Last updated:July 2017

Editor's note

The demand for mobile applications is insatiable. Too bad they're so hard to build quickly and well. Enter mobile backend as a service, which is the latest attempt to streamline mobile development.

The basic premise behind MBaaS is simple: Give developers easy access to back-end data sources that will be used repeatedly and make those connections seamless and repeatable. Using APIs or software development kits, MBaaS platforms can connect easily to corporate databases or RSS feeds, and those connections can be reused in a wide variety of applications. The idea that developers don't have to reinvent the wheel each and every time a new application is built is appealing to many. Developers don't have to learn all the quirks of working with the server side. And it's clear that the idea of "recycling" code would result in less time and money spent on any given project.

A number of companies now offer MBaaS platforms, both cloud-based and on-premises. There are open source options as well. And because it's an as-a-service solution, it's relatively straightforward to deploy, and organizations need only pay for the services and cloud time they actually use.

All that said, MBaaS has struggled somewhat to gain a foothold in enterprises. It is actually a middleware solution, and that's not always an easily understandable area. Plus there are always concerns about cloud platforms and cost, as well as vendor lock-in. That said, MBaaS is a viable alternative for many companies. Research, compare costs and consider how much access to back-end data is needed and how much flexibility will be necessary. Then, it's possible to make an informed choice.

1MBaaS platforms: Performance, trends and vendors

What are the latest trends happening with MBaaS platforms? This section takes a look at the top five MBaaS providers, how to move beyond performance issues and which vendors are leading the pack in MBaaS platform distribution.

2MBaaS platforms: Questions

How much do you know about MBaaS platforms? Find out by taking this quiz on mobile application development strategies.