What is BaaS

Key Takeaways

  • BaaS Backend as a Service is a cloud computing model that outsources the development and management of backend infrastructure for web and mobile applications.
  • BaaS providers offer pre-built, scalable backend services, such as databases, authentication, and serverless functions, accessible through APIs.
  • This approach simplifies backend development and accelerates time-to-market, allowing teams to focus on building front-end features and unique application functionalities.

This article is a complete guide to Backend as a Service: what is BaaS and how they may save your money and reduce time to market based on our use cases.

Here, we define BaaS and how it can move the needle on your productivity gains and ROI. Acropolium takes pride in running a BaaS platform for businesses, which allows us to share something that can free up your developers’ time.

Acropolium’s Founder, Oleksii Glib, explained the BaaS definition: “BaaS is about NOT having to reinvent the wheel for every app or web development project you launch. It gives you a full-fledged infrastructure to spend less time fine-tuning frameworks or dealing with server-side challenges and more time “gussying up” your front end. That’s why BaaS is a great low-code solution for businesses, driving product quality improvements and cutting MVP costs.”

What Is Backend as a Service?

What is a BaaS? Let’s start our guide with the backend as a service definition.

Backend as a service (BaaS) is a third-party service that lets you develop an app or a website without bothering with its backend.

You shouldn’t confuse this service with Functions as a Service (FaaS), revolving around executing individual functions or units of code in response to events.

When using BaaS, you leave time-consuming and expensive backend tasks to a BaaS provider while channeling your efforts into the front-end. BaaS grants you access to a bundled infrastructure with tailor-made APIs and SDKs behind it. It saves you the pain of powering your development, managing user permissions, setting up cloud storage, and configuring user authentication. Your BaaS vendor takes care of this for you.

What is mobile backend as a service? MBaaS is focused on managing the backend of mobile apps, but not web projects.

BaaS as a service market size

With the rise of mobile and web applications and businesses emphasizing speed to market, the market of BaaS services is actively growing. Valued at $2.8 billion in 2022, it is expected to reach $27.9 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 23.0%.

It’s not surprising that large enterprises dominate the market, as they have enough resources to build and manage their own backend infrastructure. However, SMEs are expected to grow faster, driven by increased adoption of cloud services and a rising demand for affordable and modular solutions.

Why Should You Use Backend as a Service?

If your business is surrounded by proprietary applications, in one way or another, BaaS should be at the top of your list. It can be used for:

  • Game apps, whether on Android or iOS
  • SPAs (single-page applications)
  • Websites
  • Chatbots
  • E-commerce apps
  • Data management apps

What about trends? Experts highlight the following aspects:

  • Serverless architectures simplify development by eliminating server management, enhancing scalability, and reducing operational complexities.
  • BaaS services integrate AI technologies for intelligent data processing, sentiment analysis, and personalized app experiences.
  • BaaS platforms incorporate low-code capabilities, enabling faster app development and empowering non-coders.
  • BaaS solutions integrate with DevOps, facilitating collaboration, faster app deployment, continuous integration, and automated testing.

Many backend as a service benefits motivate the company to use such an approach to custom development.

Backend as a service benefits

Focus on the Front-End

Under this service, your developers are never sidetracked by aligning open-source Node.js routing frameworks or building the backend for new app features over and over again. By outsourcing these tasks to a BaaS provider, you can zero in on your front-end and keep improving the experience you deliver at the user level.

Lower Development Expenses

According to Glassdoor, the average backend developer’s annual salary in the United States is $104K. With BaaS, you don’t need to hire onshore or offshore full-stack specialists or expand your team with more staff to troubleshoot your applications as you leverage a BaaS vendor’s expertise.

What makes BaaS even more cost-efficient is that it also brings cloud technology benefits to the table. In other words, you can avoid dropping money on physical servers and other backend hardware.

Proven Backend Tools

Platforms come with baked-in functionality, although it may vary from one backend as a service provider to another. This functionality is available as a toolset of out-of-the-box solutions that you can use to implement your business logic and even get around the cross-platform app development problem.

For additional value, some BaaS vendors also offer app analytics tools so that you can measure your KPIs and know what features your audience expects you to add.

Advanced Security and Compliance

The security of the data being collected in your app or transferred between it and third-party services is the BaaS vendor’s responsibility. They have specialized expertise to make things safe at the web, database, and server levels while managing authentication and authorization processes. That’s how BaaS can help you deliver a GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant app for end-user security.

Accelerated App Development

Backend as a Service (BaaS) delivers reusable code components, eliminating the need for developers to start from scratch each time. At the same time, you can automate repetitive tasks, set up servers, integrate a content delivery system to files and databases, or encompass ready-to-use data models with APIs.

This accelerates prototyping and MVP development, lowering the project’s chances to fail. This way, you improve your market position by introducing top-notch features and swiftly getting user feedback for further improvements.

Scalability and Great Performance

BaaS providers often employ automatic scaling mechanisms that dynamically allocate resources based on demand. That means your solution easily scales up to match user or transaction growth, ensuring optimal performance. Similarly, it can scale down during periods of lower activity to save costs.

Horizontally or vertically? Both! You can add more instances of a particular service or component or increase the resources (such as CPU or memory) for existing instances.

BaaS Architecture and Key Components

BaaS uses a modular architecture that combines easy-to-manage and drag-and-drop functionality to simplify the complex backend for developers.

1. Modules

Let’s overview the core modules:

  • With a BaaS content-types builder, developers can manage entries and fields to frame how the data is served over the backend to users.
  • A content-types data module is where you can filter queries with GraphQL or APIs and perform CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) operations. A business logic programming option helps you control app data exchange processes.
  • A user-model module enables you to oversee how users log into your web or mobile app, manage what information they can access, and enable data sharing with third parties.

A BaaS platform architecture can also include add-ons for file storage, page and content builders, and state machine modeling, among other modules.

2. API

Today, BaaS platforms bet on REST APIs that help developers stay nimble with backend operations. REST APIs simplify the management and configuration of BaaS architecture modules, including authentication and database changes.

3. Data Channels

Data channels are the highways that data travel on to reach the ultimate backend destination, which is a REST API. Once the data from your app channels are fed into a BaaS API, it initiates interactions with databases, servers, and modules.

What Features of Backend as a Service Can You Get with a BaaS Platform?

Backend as a service meaning includes a large set of functionalities:

Define BaaS features

Data Storage

A BaaS platform provides unlimited backend storage for your app or website data. Your developers only need to set it up and watch the data flow consistently to where it can be securely kept and served upon request.

Data Manipulation Using an API

BaaS and APIs go together, even when it comes to data manipulation. This feature is vital for organizing, mapping, sprucing up, or otherwise modifying data to be further fed into the backend or delivered to users. Remember: their experience starts with how flawlessly your backend works.

User Authentication and Management

User modeling is a colossal chunk of backend functionality, allowing developers to manage roles, permissions, and groups. With this feature, you can control authorization scopes and user access to any part of your product.

File Storage

BaaS platforms take good care of file storage for mobile and web apps using specifically built modules. And you don’t even need to fret about backups. Your BaaS provider is permanently on guard against system failures so that your files are safe and sound, no matter what.

Analytics and Reporting

BaaS tools help developers gain insights into the performance and usage patterns of their applications. With these tools, you will easily collect and analyze data related to user engagement, conversion rates, and popular app features. Make data-driven decisions, identify trends, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and optimize user experiences.

With the dominance of iOS and Android among other operating systems (Windows and Linux), it is not surprising that BaaS solutions focus on features relevant to mobile apps — push notifications and social media integration.

Push Notifications and Messaging

With modern BaaS, you alert users of new messages, updates, promotions, or important events within the application. Push notifications are crucial for engaging users, providing timely information, and encouraging re-engagement with the app. You can also use messaging features for in-app chat or real-time messages.

Social Media Integration

How about incorporating social media functionalities into your solution? BaaS often includes features like social logins, sharing content on social platforms, and accessing user data from the networks. It simplifies and facilitates social sign-ins, reducing the need to create new accounts.

Choosing the Right BaaS Provider

How to choose a BaaS provider that best aligns with your project requirements, development preferences, and long-term goals? Consider these crucial factors:

  • Evaluate the features and services offered by the BaaS provider.
  • Access the performance and reliability of the provider, checking for service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee uptime and responsiveness.
  • Consider scalability capabilities to accommodate the growth of your application.
  • Ask for comprehensive documentation, development tools, and a user-friendly interface.
  • Pay attention to easy-to-use APIs and SDKs that facilitate seamless integration with your solution.
  • Partner with a vendor who prioritizes security (with secure authentication and data encryption) and compliance with industry regulations (like GDPR and HIPAA).
  • Understand the pricing model of the BaaS provider, including any hidden fees.
  • Choose a provider that allows flexibility in migrating to another provider or managing certain aspects of the infrastructure on your own if needed.
  • Research customer reviews and seek recommendations from other developers or businesses partnered with this BaaS provider.

Acropolium’s BaaS footprint

Acropolium has partnered with a BaaS platform by contributing to its development for the last ten years. This platform has proved its worth for many projects, including event planning systems, exhibition management apps, booking solutions, and more.

Our partner BaaS platform brings both traditional and mobile backend as a service under one roof. Its functionality is extensive enough to speed up web MVP development and app prototyping.

For BaaS projects, we call on our experience with other BaaS providers (Parse, Firebase, etc.), headless CMS platforms, AWS and other cloud computing solutions.

Here are some case studies we want to share:

  • The cross-platform addiction recovery app increased the flow of new rehab patients by 36%. Thanks to BaaS, the development budget decreased by 40%, eliminating further maintenance and support costs by 100%. In addition, the solution was built in just 4 months.
  • Our dedicated team also used BaaS to create a restaurant chatbot. It helped us reduce development costs by 75%, time to market by 60%, and further support expenses by 80%.
  • To meet extremely tight deadlines for a wellness cross-platform social network app, we employed a backend low-code solution. This also allows us to reduce the costs of software engineering by 40% and cut the budget for mobile development by 50%.

What is BaaS in numbers

Final Thoughts

Backend as a service is a hassle-free way to manage the backend using existing third-party platform functionality. BaaS allows you to save time for front-end development, quickly create prototypes and MVPs, and optimize your budget. Additionally, it provides access to various features and tools while enhancing security for your web or app project.

BaaS is associated with a bonanza of features for developers. The biggest of them revolve around data storage, data manipulation, user modeling, and file storage. How can all this BaaS stuff pan out for your app or web project? Contact or certified IT outsourcing company to find out. Give your business a boost while reducing your developers’ work hours.

Sources of Information