Understanding the Basics of Backend as a Service (BaaS)
Bangalore: We are entering a new age of Cloud computing. Although there is a lot of buzz about this innovation, IT professionals are yet to explore its potential. Developers are aware of the three types of cloud services available, which are Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS). Sravish Sridhar, CEO of Kinvey added another category called Backend as a service (BaaS) since the existing IaaS and PaaS could not cater to the needs of mobile app developers.
Evolution in Mobile Ecosystem
Earlier the world of cell phones consisted of only two main players, the service providers and the handset OEMs. With the advent of smart phones and cloud technology mobile app developers and cloud service providers, API and SDK layers, have also become an integral part of the mobile ecosystem. According to Sravish, “Connecting mobile with cloud and making that entire experience seamless to the developer and the end user is not simple.”
Need For BaaS
The typical job of a mobile app developer involves setting up and operating backends for their mobile apps to host data, run business logic, etc. Sravish realized that “developers didn't directly want to use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings like Amazon EC2, RackSpace Cloud and Windows Azure as it wasn’t easy to use; and most of them didn't want to deal with Linux prompts or virtual machine setup either. The option of building a backend platform stack from scratch with Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings from Heroku, CloudFoundry and OpenShift also wasn’t plausible”. So he concluded that Mobile developers would love to get all their backend features spoon fed to them. BaaS allows developers to setup and maintain a cloud backend for their mobile apps.
BaaS Ecosystem Map
Kinvey had come up with a Mobile Backend as a Service ecosystem map to help understand its complexities. They used it to track activities in the mobile ecosystem and have observed a few emerging trends. Accordingly they updated their map with MEAP. In the company blog, Kinvey VP Annie Bourne has explained the reason for addition of Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs).
She says “MEAPs offer broad software platforms to support enterprises that want to enable multiple mobile apps for multiple operating systems which access multiple sources of data. We think they belong in the Subway map of the Backend as a Service ecosystem, even though they do not offer a service, because they are a significant way enterprises address mobile infrastructure needs. Also, we see some MEAPs now working to extend their value to the large market of nimble mobile application developers.”
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