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Mobile and Web Application Development Backend Services

Cross Platform Services To Develop, Deploy, Manage and Test Web and Mobile Apps

I was building a web app using React on my local machine and needed to test it live. Since I have the files stored on my local computer, I needed to stage the app so others can test and use this web app. What I needed was a cross-platform open-source staging site that was functional, and provided real-time services.

“Backend as a service (BaaS) is a cloud computing service model that serves as the middleware that provides developers with ways to connect their Web and mobile applications to cloud services via application programming interfaces (API) and software developers’ kits (SDK).” [Techopedia]

6 Backend as a Service (BaaS) Providers

Why use a BaaS?

  • Development Time Saver:
    • Eliminate building your own Back End
    • Eliminate Back End maintenance
    • Developer can then focus on the Front End
  • It provides a pre-built backend API and hosting
  • Date security provided

The following services offer both Free and Premium model choices and are not listed in any particular order.

1. Google Firebase – a Backend-as-a-Service that started as a YC11 startup and grew up into a next-generation app-development platform on Google Cloud Platform.

There are both Free and Premium versions available. Just use your Google account to log in and you have access to start using this service. Firebase just adds to the full roundup of web developer tools available to you such as gmail, youtube, drive, etc.

Cons: One big disadvantage is Vendor Lock In (proprietary lock-in), the result of proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of competitors. So you cannot just switch to another service without switching costs.

2. Back4app – a parse server platform where you can create your apps faster – build the backend with no code, host with no infrastructure hassles and scale with no technical locks.

“Build your app faster and keep full control over your Backend. We deliver an open source and user-friendly platform that lets you build, host and manage Apps”

Parse server is currently the most popular and full-featured platforms available for developers.

Cons: Some developers are not fans of Mongo DB which Back4app uses while others miss a reliable command line interface.

3. Skygear – Open-source iOS, Android and React JS SDK for backend development. Building the next great app or … on a reliable backend. Skygear is an open source development kit for mobile, web & IoT apps. … cloud service.

Skygear is the new kid on the block so there are no reviews on this service.
It is a Backend-as-a-service (BaaS), serverless provider with all essential functions on the backend.
I have not tried it myself, but do plan to open a free account and give it a test drive down the road sometime.

4. Hoodie – The Offline First Javascript Backend. A fast, simple and self-hosted backend as a service for your (web) apps, Open Source and free. No need to write server-side code or database schemas. Makes building offline-capable software a breeze.

“At the moment, Hoodie is mainly for frontend developers who want to build their own applications based on it and for Node.js developers who want to help us extend Hoodie’s core by building plugins.”

Hoodie’s future goal is to be accessible for designers and people with few coding skills because we think this matters.

Cons: It seems Hoodie is really still in a Beta stage and has a small user community at this time.

5. Backendless – Develop apps with the most powerful mobile cloud backend. Our mBaaS has everything it takes to build the best of the kind mobile apps.

“Host your web applications in our powerful, secure and reliable hosting and file storage solution. You can store static files and generate dynamic content, run NodeJS scripts or use the storage for files for your mBaaS apps.”

Cons: 100 requests per month, limited as compared to the other services.

6. Kuzzle – Power your web, mobile & IoT apps with Kuzzle. Kuzzle is an open-source solution that includes a scalable server, … Build It! icon mobilebackend. Mobile Apps.

“At Kuzzle we are strong believers in community, transparency, technical excellence & innovation. That is why we made Kuzzle Open-Source and actively contribute to, and depend on, this ecosystem.”

Con: Kuzzle, has a different approach. No hosting version available, you are required to download Kuzzle and install it on a remote machine.


If you search the internet, you will find many more other BaaS solutions available for developers.
They differentiate themselves by offering varied features and options that may or not meet your needs.
In the end, you will have to test drive the service that best works with your web app.
If it doesn’t work out, move on to another provider, just like text editors, we have tried many and
in the end settle on the one that comfortably completes our tasks.

Bottom Line – Backend as a Service (BaaS) platforms are just a tool to help you be a success in your endeavors.

Does anyone have a BaaS service to share, recommend, or have any feedback?

Gerald Watanabe

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