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What is Backend as a service and its advantages

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Let’s answer the question of what is Backend as a service and its advantages. Backend as a service (BaaS) is a software architecture pattern that emerged in the early 2000s. It enables companies to outsource the functionality of their backend systems to a third-party service, who provides both data storage and management for their web applications. Although companies are increasingly choosing BaaS over the traditional on-premise server model, concerns have been raised about the impact this shift may have on security, privacy, and data reliability.

In order to address some of these issues, BaaS providers offer open-source code called in-process servers, which do not require additional servers or VMs to be deployed. This increases transparency over how information is stored and shared within an application.

How BaaS works

A company that provides a BaaS service typically has several backend systems managing different aspects of its web applications, perhaps from an internal development team, or even from a third-party service.

The BaaS model can be attractive for companies that do not want to maintain and scale their own server infrastructure. The startup ecosystem has created a range of BaaS providers that can meet the needs of virtually all companies.

Even though it may be more cost-effective to outsource to one of these on-demand BaaS providers, many companies choose to maintain their in-house data centre, instead of outsourcing everything to the cloud. Some organizations choose to use both models simultaneously by using open source tools and tools provided by major cloud storage providers (e.g., Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure).

BaaS providers also offer a variety of tools for a variety of platforms that make managing BaaS much easier for companies.

The BaaS model has several advantages compared to the on-premise server model:

Advantages of using BaaS

1) Bypassing legal compliance requirements

Using a BaaS provider can be a quick way to develop and deploy an application without spending money on setting up servers and systems. This may be particularly useful when it comes to developing applications for both the private and public markets. Companies that are subject to regulation concerning legal compliance requirements, could benefit from the BaaS model by being able to quickly develop tools for their customers that meet their legal requirements, and also by providing their customers with an application that does not give them access to the server’s hardware.

2) Lower cost initially

If a company uses a BaaS provider, they have lower costs and more flexibility over time. The costs of running an application over time doesn’t only include the initial cost of setting up and maintaining a server, but also the costs associated with updating and securing it. Depending on the type of application being developed, it may be less expensive to set up and use a BaaS provider.

3) Development flexibility

Using a BaaS provider can give companies the ability to quickly develop applications that can be deployed multiple times over different devices. This is because BaaS providers have extensive documentation on how to properly work with their API’s in order to create a web application that works well for users. Because of this, companies are able to focus more on developing unique features for their application instead of working on server structure and security measures.

4) Readily available support for all development languages

Companies that want to develop an application for multiple platforms can do so with the BaaS model. By using a BaaS provider, companies are able to write once, deploy many times, which reduces the cost and time involved in creating unique versions for each platform.

5) Better response times

When using a BaaS provider it is possible to increase the speed at which users are able to respond to events taking place in their applications. This is because there is no lag between having an event happen on one server and it showing up on another. Certain types of apps (such as social media apps) may benefit from this feature because it allows users to get information faster, resulting in increased engagement and customer satisfaction.

6) Individual storage and data management.

All information is on the same “platform” so it can all be managed and updated regardless of where it comes from. Apps using BaaS also allow users to decide how much memory and storage they want.

7) Promotes an “open” style.

To access new potential sources of income, companies can change their backend systems for customers who may be willing to pay for a certain level of service.

8) Lesser IT involvement is required.

This means less downtime and fewer internal delays in order to update changes to the database or storage.

Disadvantages of using BaaS

1) The application if inappropriately configured is not so secure; some attackers may get access to the database or storage, which may result in serious consequences for the company, including fines, lawsuits and destruction of data. The application is safer to develop with a custom-built backend system over using one built by a third-party service provider.

Looking ahead, BaaS providers will need to keep on updating their servers with new technologies and security measures. New vulnerabilities and attack techniques emerge every day, so companies will have no option but to move to a BaaS provider that keeps up with this. For these reasons, most companies choose to keep their application in the on-premise server model.

2) Vendor lock-in – It can be difficult to migrate information from one company to the next. Sometimes, BaaS providers will not allow their customers to move the information of an application, since this is considered a breach of contract.

3) The cost and maintenance overhead for getting out of a contract with a BaaS provider and implementing such a system on-site can be extensive.

4) Newer versions of the BaaS tend to become expensive due to the fact that companies would need to keep up with updates and software support over time – even if they do not require new features.

5) Limited visibility on private data

When using BaaS providers, there can be a lack of visibility on the data that is being stored by the server. The application hosted on a BaaS server is only accessible from one IP address, so it is not possible to identify who is accessing which information. For applications used in business environments this can pose a privacy risk.

Why Use Docker as a Backend as a Service?

One of the advantages of using Docker is that it allows for greater data transparency. By giving users access to the application’s backend code through its own internal web interface, therefore, users can gain better insight into how information is being processed and stored by the application.

Examples of BaaS Services

  • Microsoft Azure Storage
  • Google App Engine
  • AWS DynamoDB
  • IBM Cloudant DocumentDB

Conclusion

A BaaS service is an alternative solution that offers end-to-end software development and delivery environment in support of building and managing applications.

On the other hand, a BaaS application can be considered as a component that acts as an interface between an application’s backend services (usually those located on third party infrastructure) and any given device or platform (such as a mobile phone or tablet).

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