Productive Android Development – Making use of BaaS

What is BaaS?

BaaS - ParseBaaS (Backend as a service) is a cloud computing category, that makes developer’s life easier by providing an easy way to set up, use and operate a cloud backend for their mobiles, tablets and web apps.

BaaS is becoming increasingly popular because it is easy to develop quick prototypes of your ideas by using BaaS providers.

Points to be considered before choosing BaaS:

Choosing the right baas is very difficult, because it’s an architectural level decision. Before choosing any BaaS we should review all our project requirements along with benefits and limitation of BaaS provider itself. Most of the BaaS providers also provide free plan, so it is better to try out BaaS using free plans before signing up for Commercial plans.

Well, let us discuss about one of the most popular BaaS platforms, Parse.

What is Parse?

Parse is one the most popular BaaS for mobiles, tablets and web app. In 2013, Parse was acquired by Facebook. Using Parse, developers can link their applications to backend cloud storage and it also provides features such as user management, push notifications, and integration with social networking services. These services are provided through customized Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Parse provides support for Android, iOS, Windows, Xamarin and web application integration. Beginners can easily learn parse through official documentation. Recently parse platform has become completely open source. Parse has a separate SDK for each platforms.

When you want to migrate from parse platform, it allows you to take a backup of parse data very easily by downloading data in JSON format. Parse analytics provides all the information of your project. Which includes number of requests you received.

If your user base is not so big (millions) then parse free plan is way to go. Parse provides many features that make lazy android developer life much easier 😉

Parse Push

Parse push is easier to integrate, more reliable compared to GCM. We can send push notification from parse console. Users can segment their target audience based on any condition you can imagine (age, location, language, etc.) Through parse console. E-Commerce applications can take advantage of geo location based parse push.

Security

Everything is treated as an Object in parse. Parse users can set the permission for every object and it’s also very easy to setup the permission for an object. Under the free plan, parse supports email-validation from parse user. Parse user can also set the permission level (public read, public write etc.) to the parse object created by them.

Pros

  • You can build prototype really fast.
  • Really great free plan.
  • Easy integration to Facebook, twitter etc.
  • Easy to take your data from parse when you wish to migrate.

Cons:

  • If you want to build web apps, then parse may not be an ideal choice, because it needs some additional work to use frameworks like backbone.js and express.js.
  • Here’s  a nice article about the limitations of Parse. Check that out before moving to parse.

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