It is a big moment for the team here at Mono Software: a very first time we are letting the world know about the details of our new service that boldly goes where no BaaS has gone before. While we have your attention, let’s explain a couple of basic terms.
Wikipedia saves us from the effort of inventing yet another definition of this catchy term:
Backend as a service (BaaS), also known as “mobile backend as a service” (MBaaS), is a model for providing web and mobile app developers with a way to link their applications to backend cloud storage and APIs exposed by back end applications while also providing features such as user management, push notifications, and integration with social networking services. These services are provided via the use of custom software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs).
Typically, Web and mobile apps require a similar set of features on the backend: user management, integration with social networks, content management, storage, etc. BaaS solutions provide a consistent way to manage backend data, so that developers do not need to “reinvent the wheel” each time they start implementing a new solution. Such services make application development much quicker, letting you focus on solving real business problems while capitalizing on the inherent scalability of cloud computing, instead of worrying about server and database infrastructure, security, versioning, scalability and maintenance.
There are numerous BaaS solutions on the market right now, and they are being used mainly as a low-level storage mechanism, with a convenient set of API to read/write application data in an arbitrary format, and an authentication infrastructure to prevent unauthorized access to that data. While this approach represents a huge step forward in terms of rapid application development – as infrastructural and scalability issues are not a concern anymore – it still operates on a fairly low level, and all frontend functionality still has to be provided from scratch. This means more work for you, dear reader, whether you are designer, developer, or something in between.
Baasic steps in and saves the day
Until now, the choices for building lean web or mobile applications without starting from scratch were quite limited – you would use a standard BaaS package and develop all frontend and business logic on top of it, or pick up an existing CMS or application framework and tweak its behavior. The former approach typically requires a lot of work in frontend and service application layers, while the latter requires you to adopt the development style and practices of the chosen framework. Such frameworks often suffer from feature bloat and “one size fits none” syndrome, where developers fight the framework instead doing the real creative work.
What’s in it for me?
Baasic allows you to pick only the pieces of functionality you really need and combine them in a way that makes sense in your domain, relieving you from the grunt work involved in writing all applications. You can take complete control of application infrastructure and architecture, while using your existing tools and following your standard development practices. It can even be used with static HTML-based sites, allowing you to add complex functionality to what would otherwise be a plain-old Web site running in static hosting environment.
OK, how can I start?
Right now, we are in a closed beta. Please let us know if you want to join our community of testers - your feedback will shape the way we build things, and we will even provide some goodies for your hard work.