If you’ve worked in IT development, you likely have discovered that several routine tasks take up considerable time. You often work under tight time frames and/or under a budget. You may have built several libraries to handle various tasks or even established some solid frameworks to speed up your processes.
However, typically each of these still requires a considerable amount of coding. The growth in Backend as a Service (BaaS) tools has made it possible to convert many routine tasks into a series of modules or plugins, making it possible to perform high-level development tasks without writing realms of code, or in some cases, none at all. These low-code tools range widely in purpose and scope; some handle some particular tasks, while others can serve almost as a complete development environment
This post will look at some of the best-in-class BaaS platforms enabling you to go live much quicker and simplify the development process.
Linx allows users to create scalable and robust backend applications such as APIs, integrations and automations. With its drag-and-drop IDE, building processes is easy yet highly flexible.
Linx is designed with technical users in mind and is most powerful in the hands of a developer as it follows traditional coding principles. This means that components are added from top to bottom, similar to coding. It helps connect many pre-built components, databases, and a wide range of microservices and SaaS tools seamlessly.
Beyond simply plugging in different tools to work with each other, it allows users to complete many standard programming tasks, including a large set of pre-built functions, loops, and conditional statements. Applications and databases can be chosen from menus and dragged and dropped into your development environment without having to write a single line of code. All the available functionality also comes with the flexibility to customise your application as much as you require. You can use T-SQL scripts and queries, create command line scripts, and even add custom C# code if necessary.
Where Linx shines:
- API creation and consumption, including hosting
- Integrations, simple or complex
- Data management and provisioning
- Linx Designer IDE: Free – Build and test as many processes as you require.
- Linx Server: Flexible pricing starts at $49 per month. Free trial on the starter option.
Where Firebase shines
- Google integration and connectivity
- Analytics and performance monitoring of applications
- Remote configurations
- Applications that require high scalability
- Spark Plan: This is the Free plan with 1GB of total stored data in Firestore
- Blaze plan: This is a pay-as-you-go plan for data past 1GB. Use the calculator on their site to estimate your costs.
According to their website, ‘Xano gives you a scalable server, a flexible database, and a No-Code API builder that can transform, filter, and integrate with data from anywhere.’ Xano provides a database that is based on PostgreSQL. Each table created in the database gets its own customisable REST API.
Because Xano provides a fully hosted backend server, you do not need to worry about the hosting or maintenance of the server. Simply build your backend process and implement the logic. You can use Xeno to create APIs with a no-code platform that will interface with your data, integrate with other systems and provide services to your website or application.
Where Xano shines;
- Data Storage and management
- High scalability
- Data Imports
- Point-and-click process creation
- Free: 1 Workspace and 10,000 record limit
- Launch: $59 per month gives 3 workspaces and no record limit with a 3GB database size limit
- Scale: $199 per month gives 5 workspaces and no record limit with a 10GB database size limit
Backendless is a widely used mobile backend as a service platform (MBaaS) that excels in building mobile applications. It offers support for user authentication, data persistence, file storage, messaging and custom business logic.
It allows the user to create applications without writing any backend code. It also manages data, user authentication, push notifications, media such as audio and video recording and geolocations. The features are accessed through REST API, making integration with multiple front-end tools possible. However, they do have a UI builder that can assist in creating a front end for your application.
Where Backendless shines;
- Backend development for apps
- Ultra-fast geo-queries
- In-depth analytics on your application
- Supports object persistence with complex hierarchies
- Springboard: $0 per month with unlimited API calls per month, this plan is earned through Backendless training. The limitation is that it can only be used for development.
- Cloud9: $35 per month with 10M API calls per month
- Cloud99: $149 per month with 40M API calls per month
Back4App is an open-source mobile backend as a service platform (MBaaS). It allows users to quickly create their backend processes without worrying about the infrastructure. The platform is built on the Parse platform. This means that it should be fine integrating to other applications built on Parse (many social media applications are built on parse).
Back4App allows the user to manage data storage, create RESTful APIs (including GraphQL APIs), send push notifications and manage authentication. With all of this, it Back4App is great for quickly building the backend of a mobile application. It also offers blockchain storage and real-time databases.
Where Back4app shines;
- Mobile application development
- Cloud development
- Push notifications
- Online Games
- Free: < 10K requests per month with 250MB storage
- MVP: $25 for 500k requests per month with 2GB storage
- Pay as you go: $100 for 5M requests per month with 4 GB storage
Further reading: 28 API tools to design, build and host your next API.