Hello App developers!
If you haven’t yet checked out Parse.com, you owe it to yourself to hop on over and give them a try. Parse is one of the players in the Backend-as-a-service (BaaS) vertical. If you’re not yet familiar with BaaS, it’s basically where you use a hosted server and database for your app or web app. Imagine if you want to create a mobile app that, say, stores contacts, but not on the phone, and rather on the “cloud” or a hosted database. Traditionally, you’d need to write not just the app, but also the server code…say a PHP script running on a mysql database. Well, with a BaaS, you can focus on the mobile app part, and use the BaaS to store your data. And of course I’m simplifying it here. You can do so much more.
There are a few BaaS providers out there including Parse, Kinvey and Quickblox. Right now I’m writing about Parse but certainly check out the others too.
Where Parse really shines is in the API provided for various platforms. You can natively hook in with iOS, Android, Windows, Unity3d and more. Plus you can make pure http requests. And the API is very rich. I used the iOS API and very quickly created a little app with all the bells and whistles you’d expect, such as “drag to refresh” and more.
Parse.com also shines with the example applications to get you started. They are feature rich and well written, and the accompanying documentation makes learning a snap.
I did have some issues with multi-table queries (complex joins), but was able to work around most of them. They also have a active forum.
From a pricing perspective they have a free tier which will work for most new apps. And if you need to upgrade to a paid tier, congratulations, your app must be doing well.
So, go check out parse.com
And may you have some appiness!