Backend As a Service (BaaS)

Backend As a Service (BaaS)


Introduction and Analysis
In already popular world of cloud computing, Backend as a Service (BaaS) is a new phenomena, which is rapidly gaining prominence. After advent of cloud computing, offering hardware infrastructure and software components as a service is gaining momentum. At a glance, BaaS looks like a subset of Software as a Service ( SaaS) but there is lot more to it. As per a report published in MarketsandMarkets, the global BaaS market had an estimated value of $216.5 million in 2012 and projected to grow to $7.7 billion by 2017.Many other researches show similar growth projection which makes it a hot property in market. In this article we will try to understand what is BaaS, what is the hype around this and how useful is it for App and API developers.

What exactly is BaaS:
Any software, be it a desktop or a web based application that we develop or use can be broadly categorized in two parts: frontend and backend. Frontend is basically your programming language part and backend is related to database and its queries. So as the name suggest, Backend as a Service is an abstraction layer on top of traditional database and its queries. A company develops a set of APIs on top of a database for create, update, delete and get data operations and expose them to App developers. Apart from these, they also provide support for push notifications, analytics and some other utilities which are useful for developers. So basically data is stored in a database on cloud and developer access it using API calls. This is useful especially to mobile app developers.

Benefit for Developers:
BaaS helps mobile app developers in 2 major areas. Firstly, they don’t need to be well versed with SQL and neither are required to write complex queries. They simply have to make REST based API calls and it does the trick for them. Secondly, they don’t need to worry about storage and space issue as data is actually stored in remote machine on some cloud based infrastructure. Support for push notifications, geo location and analytics also helps them in utilizing these features easily in their apps and seamless integration.

How does Future look
As BaaS is meant to target mobile app developers, its growth is directly proportional to growth in mobile apps market. There are still many challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome in order to make it more popular and acceptable among developer community but as of now future does look good. We will look at those challenges in a separate article itself. However, as the concept looks good and interesting and also BaaS is still a new kid on the block, with future enhancements most of the challenges can be easily overcome.

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