What is Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)

Jun 20, 2017 | As a Service, General, Mobile

A few years ago, mobile application development became a little more complicated because developers couldn’t build features fast enough to keep up with market need. So the industry needed a platform to help developers manage the complex balance between need and supply. This need gave birth to MBaaS.

Mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) is a cloud computing architecture that provides mobile applications with access to servers, storage, databases and other resources that they need to run on – quickly and effortlessly. MBaaS is disrupting the traditional ‘Mobile Enterprise Application Platform’ for today’s businesses by offering more turn-key functionalities than conventional API management to create better user experience (UX).

This article elaborates about the different types of MBaaS, why it’s important, key benefits, and a quick guide to choosing the right MBaaS.

Types of MBaaS

There are two types of BaaS: Consumer BaaS and Enterprise BaaS. Consumer BaaS is for lightweight applications like games and shopping apps. Enterprise BaaS is used to mobilize critical and sensitive business data from enterprise systems.

Why MBaaS?

MBaaS can save money and time by bridging the gap between backend resources and frontend application through an integrated API and Software Development Kit (SDK). Most of the MBaaS platforms in the market come with an iOS library to assure flawless integration. Commonly, such services are featured with freemium model and services are price worthy. Just pay once before you start to use the app.

Because MBaaS minimizes the time it takes to create infrastructural elements, and it can also can save development resources and expenses. Other than these, other benefits of MBaaS include:

  • Shorter time to market – MBaaS provides a default set of backend services that helps expedite the overall development process as the developers don’t have to spend time in building this in every app that they create.
  • Real-time access to data – A quick integration is possible with MBaaS to existing software databases your business is already (ERP, CRM etc) using through APIs or SDKs. So while expediting mobile development to enable access to these enterprise applications, you won’t have to worry about the integration between mobile app and the existing enterprise applications.
  • Reduction in development costs – With infrastructure development eliminated with MBaaS in use, the major cost of developing a mobile app cuts down significantly.
  • Collaborative working – Many MBaas platforms provide options for collaborative working. Teams – frontend and backend, can work virtually seamlessly on source code.
  • Multi platform development – MBaaS enables a set of backend services such as push notifications and geolocation services. MBaaS provides SDKs for all mobile platforms that excludes the management of multiple backend platforms for mobile apps.

How to select the right Mobile Backend as a Service platform

With many MBaaS providers in the market, choosing the right one becomes a little difficult. Here is the list of few basic features that you should look for when selecting a mobile backend as a service platform for your business.

  • Choose an MBaaS platform based on the usage analytics as that can tell you about how well is it being used and the data it is capable of capturing.
  • Choose a database that matches with your mobile app requirement.
  • Keep an eye on the ease of its social collaboration.
  • A push notification service is a must have.
  • Make sure it accommodates your integration and security needs.
    Above all it should support your mobile development environment to offer all the functionality required for your business.

Moving Forward

MBaaS can help you deliver a richer user experience. It can also help you better understand your users, how they use the app and how the app is performing by using the analytics capabilities of MBaaS. This information will help you fine tune your app’s customer experience and quickly identify and fix any problems. Based on this intel, you will be able to regularly release new versions of your app with better performance, content and location service.

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