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Joy of StackMob

by Martin Monroe on Jun 26, 2013 |

In the beginning of MBaaS (back in 2010), there was StackMob. Since then the mobile ecosystem has become flooded with competitors in this new approach to app dynamics. InfoQ takes a closer look at the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) provider StackMob.

 

Developers are able to log into StackMob using their GitHub credentials. When you begin your app and are adding the title, you can’t use spaces but underscores “_”, are allowed instead. Your app will be issued both public and private keys. You can plug in right away and access a wealth of abilities and extra features like analytics, monetization, social media, and geolocation from StackMob and Partner Modules right from the get go.

 

Developing your own coding for StackMob’s many offerings like authentication and push notifications would take even experienced programmers many extra hours, days or months, depending on your speed and agility with servers and the like.

 

StackMob offers 6 SDK’s; iOS, Android, JavaScript, Java Client and Custom Code. Four of StackMob’s six offered SDK’s are built upon their RESTAPI’s. These are secured by OAuth 1.0 and OAuth 2.0.

 

New Android developers can download the Android SDK bundle. It includes everything that you will need to get started (except maybe patience). It comes with Eclipse and a host of Android tools. It is available in a 32-bit or a 64-bit version.

 

Developers that already have their own version of Eclipse or some other IDE will take a customized approach to their Android SDK download. StackMob is also offering an early access preview of Android Studio, an IntelliJ IDEA based development environment for Android.

 

There has been much hullabaloo lately about developers and the other players in the mobile ecosystem not concentrating enough on protecting the privacy interests of their app customers. StackMob’s site’s privacy practices have been certified and validated for transparency and accountability by the TRUSTe organization. Stackmob.com has been awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal in accordance with EU Safe Harbor and Trusted Cloud programs for maintaining the highest standards of protecting your personal information.

 

However, according to StackMob’s privacy policy, which is somewhat hidden and unmarked as a normal link might be, at the very bottom of their home page, the TRUSTe’s program only covers information that is collected through stackmob.com and StackMob Services and does NOT cover information that may be collected through StackMob’s mobile applications.

 

When you interact with StackMob’s site or services, they “receive and store certain personally non-identifiable information. Such information, which is collected passively using various technologies, cannot presently be used to specifically identify you.”

The use of the word presently seems to imply that someone is hard at work figuring out how to employ those “various technologies” to do just that, “to specifically identify you” through means of that stored “certain personally non-identifiable information.”

 

Here are some more curious excerpts from StackMob’s privacy policy and a few gems from their Terms of Use:

  • The site may use such information and pool it with other information to track the domain names of their visitors’ Internet Service Providers
  • StackMob ties some of the information gathered to their customers’ personally identifiable information
  • StackMob collects information under the direction of its clients
  • The use of cookies by their partners, affiliates, tracking utility company and service providers isn’t covered
  • StackMob reserves the right to modify their privacy policy without notice

 

StackMob partners with Third Parties to display targeted advertising based upon your web browsing activity. These Third Party agencies use Flash Cookies (local shared objects) and Web Beacons or Web Bugs and images to collect and store information. Your browser’s tools cannot remove Flash Cookies. Flash Cookies are different from browser cookies because of the amount of, type of, and how data is stored.

 

StackMob is free to reproduce, use, disclose, distribute and exploit any unsolicited information without limitation or attribution. StackMob has no responsibility or liability for the deletion or failure to store any data or other content maintained or uploaded by their service. You agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless StackMob, Facebook and its affiliates harmless from any and all losses and injury (including death) arising out of or relating to your use of the Service. StackMob and including without limitation Facebook, make no warranty that the service will be accurate, reliable or secure. Use StackMob at your own risk, the service is “as is”. StackMob and Facebook expressly disdain all warranties of any kind.

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nicaprog@gmail.com by Cesar Sanz

So, it is adviced to use StackMob or not for real applications?

Re: nicaprog@gmail.com by martin monroe

Since Stackmob recently announced that they have been acquired by Paypal and will be discontinuing offering their services to developers, it is not advised to use Stackmob.

Anypresense (mostly for enterprise), Kii Cloud or Kinvey are good services to check out.

It is advised to use a backend provider if you wish to save the time and effort of programming your own backend. But you may be inconvenienced if they are acquired or go out of business.

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