To Live and Code in Kinvey MBaaS

by Martin Monroe on Feb 23, 2013 |

In this second in a series of articles about the organizations back of the burgeoning category of Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), InfoQ takes a gander at Cambridge, Massachusetts company Kinvey, Inc. Founded by 3 University of Texas, Austin alumni. With a little help from investors Boston Seed. Kinvey’s third party data integrations, support for multiple platforms, notifications, versioned API’s and business logic features expedite the developer’s backend.

One important choice that smartphone app developers have is whether or not to invest the time to set up their own back end cloud services. With the explosive growth of MBaaS providers, it may be observed that many are choosing the easier method offered by companies like Kinvey. There is little inbetween.

Kinvey recently added Bright Cove’s App Cloud to its list of platforms. Like Kinvey’s other platforms, adding a feature rich backend to your app is accomplished by downloading the library and dropping it in. Here’s the complete list of developer platforms that Kinvey supports- App Cloud, iOS, Android, HTML5, Node.js, PhoneGap, Titanium, & REST API

Kinvey would appear to be a good choice for beginning developers. Kinvey’s prices for its backend services are all upfront. There are plenty of tutorials, samples and how-tos available on their site for each platform. As well as free eBooks for iOS and Android on building a mobile app complete with a backend.

The iOS ebook, for example, written by Randall Cronk & Michael Katz, contains many pearls on how to fast track your app, like how to use; Xcode, the Model View Controller pattern, frameworks to ‘provide app-specific behavior in an application delegate object’.

As might be expected, everything is a bit skewed towards encouraging the user’s patronage of Kinvey’s MBaaS. So take it all in with a grain of salt.

Speaking of such ancient wisdom, Claudio Tesoriero, a commenter on the influential Michael Facemire blog, noted the potential difficulties of putting all of your digital eggs in one MBaaS basket:

What stopped us (from using) a baas provider for some projects of ours is the "vendor lock in" problem. What if a baas provider will change its pricing plan, or (go) out of the business?
To change the Apps so they can use another backend could be very painful and probably expensive.


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