Summary (TL;DR): In this article, we are going to discuss the top backend as a service (BaaS) platforms in 2022. We are going to explain the difference between frontend and backend, explain what backend as a service is, and offer you a list of the top 8 BaaS platforms.
Building effective and highly scalable applications and then shipping them out quickly are the skills that make you stand out from other developers.
The issue with this is that it would take too much time to build and manage everything on your own.
Therefore, you should try to leverage existing tools and Backend as a Service(BaaS) platforms that will help you build and manage your apps quickly without any hassle.
In this article, we are going to look at top Backend as a Service(BaaS) platforms to build highly scalable applications in 2022.
But before that, let’s quickly understand the difference between the Frontend and Backend of a website and the concept of Backend as a Service(BaaS).
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Frontend vs. Backend
The backend is the server-side code that is invisible to the end user but plays an important role in delivering a great experience to the consumer. It includes all the background tasks that are necessary for the effective functioning of our website like writing APIs and creating libraries etc. The backend is also called the server side of a website.
What Is Backend as a Service (BaaS)?
Backend as a Service or BaaS as the name suggests is the service where you are essentially provided the support and infrastructure to build your app’s backend. Here you don’t have to build a backend from scratch but leverage existing tools, SDKs, and APIs to quickly build a scalable backend for your app.
This helps you save more time, energy, engineering cost, and hassle of creating your own complex infrastructure. BaaS companies provide support for the services like Authentication, File Storage, Database, Geolocation, Push Notifications, Analytics, and many more features.
Once you have an efficient working backend created with top Baas platforms, you don’t have to spend much time on its maintainability and can focus more on delivering great user experiences, adding more features to your app, fulfilling customer needs, etc.
Top Backend as a Service Platforms 2022
Firebase is a BaaS platform backed by Google to help developers build and ship apps on Android, iOS, and the Web. It was founded in 2011 with Realtime Database as its first product. Over the years it has evolved quite a lot and today offers a wide variety of tools like Authentication, Realtime Database, Hosting, Cloud Functions, Cloud Firestore, Cloud Storage, Analytics and so much more.
Firebase is used by popular companies like Alibaba, The New York Times, The Economist, Lyft, Trivago, Gameloft, Duolingo, and many more.
- Cloud Functions
- Cloud Storage
- Cloud Firestore
- Realtime Database
- Performance Monitoring etc.
Supabase is an open-source Firebase alternative and one of the world’s fastest-growing open-source communities. It was founded in 2020 and is backed by companies like YCombinator and Mozilla.
Being a fairly new service, it doesn’t have as many features as Firebase, but it offers all the core features like authentication and real-time database, etc. for developers to build and ship their apps without much hassle.
In just 2 years of existence, Supabase has got more than 80,000 registered developers and $116 million in funding including a recent Series B funding of $80 million.
- Realtime Database
- File Storage
- Edge Functions
- Auto-generated APIs
3. AWS Amplify
AWS Amplify is a BaaS platform by Amazon to help developers quickly build full-stack applications on AWS. To make it possible, Amplify provides a set of tools like Amplify Libraries, Amplify UI Components, Amplify Studio, Amplify CLI toolchain, and Amplify Hosting.
With Amplify, you can configure a web or mobile app backend, connect your app in minutes, visually build a web frontend UI, and easily manage app content outside the AWS console. Ship faster and scale effortlessly—with no cloud expertise needed. (Source: AWS Amplify)
AWS Amplify is used by companies like Neiman Marcus, Noom, Amazon Music, Credit Genie, HyperTrack, and many more.
- Lambda Functions
- Push Notifications
- Amplify Hosting etc
Appwrite is an open-source, self-hosted backend as a service platform that provides REST APIs to handle all the core backend needs of the app. It’s a technology agnostic platform so it can work on any operating system, programming language, platform, or framework.
Appwrite provides you with a set of APIs, tools, and a management console UI to help you build your apps much faster and more securely. Between Appwrite’s different services, you can find user authentication and account management, user preferences, database and storage persistence, cloud functions, localization, image manipulation, and more. (Source: Appwrite)
Appwrite was founded in 2019 and has raised a total of $37 million since then including a recent Series A round on April 5, 2022.
- Auth & Users
- Geo & Localization
- Security etc.
Nhost is an open-source GraphQL backend as a service platform that helps you get a configured database and backend ready in minutes to deploy your apps quickly and focus more on the end users’ experience. It’s a front-end agnostic platform and works well with all front-end frameworks.
Nhost is a powerful feature-rich platform that comes with Postgres Database, GraphQL API, Authentication, Serverless functions, etc. It is agnostic to front-end frameworks and front-end hosting platforms.
Nhost is doing for the backend, what Netlify and Vercel are doing for the frontend.Nhost
It was founded in 2019 and has raised a total of $3.1 million in funding over 2 rounds and more than 3.2K stars on GitHub.
- GraphQL API
- Serverless Functions
- GitHub Integration
Parse is one of the leading backend as a service platforms in the world today. It was acquired by Facebook(now Meta) in 2013 and was made open source later in 2016.
It can be deployed on any infrastructure that can run Node.js and uses MongoDB or Postgres as a database. You can set up a Parse Server locally for development and deploy it later on services like AWS, Heroku, Digital Ocean, Microsoft Azure, etc.
Parse has a huge and vibrant open source community and SDKs to build apps for any platform be it web, mobile, desktop, or IoT. Companies like Prattle, Pinpo Tech, Rydite, Casperise, etc. use Parse Server in their tech stacks.
- Cloud Code
- Push Notifications etc
Backendless is a full-stack visual app development platform for building and managing full-stack applications without any prior coding knowledge.
Apart from the usual BaaS features like authentication, database, etc., Backendless provides Codeless to visually build backend logic and APIs without writing any code and UI Builder which is no code, drag and drop tool to build amazing frontend interfaces visually.
Companies like BetterCast, Second Warehouse, Bank al Etihad, BTC Market Tier, etc.
- UI Builder
- Marketplace etc
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Back4App helps you build a highly scalable and secure backend for your apps to ship faster and build quicker. As a backend as a service platform, it provides you with all the core features to build amazing apps like Real Time Database, Cloud Functions, Authentication, File Storage, and even Blockchain Storage.
Under the hood, it uses tools like the Parse platform, Redis, Docker, GraphQL, NodeJS, etc to build its backend platform.
Back4App is used by companies like Two4Tea, VantageBP, 1001Dubai, etc.
- Real-Time Database
- Cloud Functions
- GraphQL, REST & SDK
- File Storage
- Blockchain Storage
Backend as a Service is a fairly new and constantly evolving market with new features, new tools, and new platforms coming live every once in a while. As a BaaS developer, you should keep an eye on the platforms mentioned above and also on any new platform with the potential to rise to the top.
However, when it comes to selecting a BaaS platform for your app, you should keep in mind the features and complexity of your app, time and budget, and the level and number of your engineering team and select the platform accordingly that best matches your needs and helps you realize your vision in low time and cost.