Backend as a Service

What Does Backend as a Service Mean?

Backend as a service (BaaS) is a strategy for developing software applications that outsource backend computing services to a cloud service provider.

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BaaS plays an important role in low-code/no-code (LCNC) software development, serverless computing and NoOps. The benefits of using a BaaS provider include lower engineering costs and faster time-to-market for software applications.

In the early part of this century — before cloud computing gained wide-spread acceptance — BaaS providers were usually called MBaaS providers because the services they offered met the unique needs of mobile app developers.

Today, the term BaaS is sometimes used as a synonym for Platform as a Service (PaaS), but technically, they are not the same thing. Over the years BaaS has evolved to meet the needs of citizen developers and unlike PaaS, does not allow server-level access.

Techopedia Explains Backend as a Service

BaaS platforms use cloud application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect desktop and mobile apps with third-party cloud services. Popular back-end services in the cloud include :

  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • API management
  • Data and database management
  • Email and SMS push notifications
  • Infrastructure management
  • Location-based services
  • Social media Integration
  • Storage and automated data backups

Popular BaaS vendors include:

8base – According to their website, 8base lets citizen developers build powerful backends without needing backend service development skills.

AWS Amplify – According to Amazon's website, AWS Amplify allows citizen developers to scale applications effortlessly with no cloud expertise needed.

Backendless – According to their website, Backendless provides citizen developers with a visual development platform that provides access to backend services with no code required.

Parse – According to their website, Parse is currently the most popular open-source framework for LCNC backend services.

Gamesparks – According to Amazon's website, Gamesparks is a fully-managed AWS service that makes it easy for citizen developers to build, optimize and scale backend services for video games.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.