BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) definition & meaning
BaaS stands for “Backend-as-a-Service” is a cloud service model allowing developers to outsource all backend aspects of application development to third parties. BaaS solutions also allow developers to focus solely on the application development process. BaaS solutions come with pre-written software that runs on servers, including database management, user authentication, push notifications, social integration, geolocation, logs, cloud storage, hosting, and remote updating. BaaS vendors also provide developers the APIs and SDKs for them to integrate the backend functions required. BaaS vendors also take care of managing servers, virtual machines, and containers, which are crucial for applications to keep running. Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service, of MBaaS, is a branch of BaaS focused on mobile applications.
BaaS solutions include various server-sided functionalities, such as database management, cloud storage, user authentication, push notifications, remote updating, hosting, and platform or vendor-specific capabilities. When compared to BaaS, the custom backend provides more flexibility and customization options. On the other hand, the custom backend comes with higher development costs, it takes longer to create, and requires backend professionals to manage. Outsourcing the backend development also helps customers to comply with GDPR privacy requirements, which is a complicated process especially for small to medium-size businesses.
The most important benefit of BaaS is allowing developers to focus only on frontend development. Most of the tools used in BaaS solutions are running in the cloud, which is another important advantage. BaaS includes three layers, foundation, applications, and connections. The Foundation layer includes servers, where the customers’ programs run and backup information is stored. The application layer is where the BaaS solution handles requests, such as logins. And the connections layer allows the server to access the internet. However, not all BaaS solutions scale themselves to meet the demands of increasing traffic. Thus, in some cases, customers may need to contact their BaaS vendor to increase the plan.
Backend-as-a-Service sounds similar to the Platform-as-a-Service model, however, the difference between BaaS and PaaS is while PaaS vendors don’t include capabilities like user authentication or push notifications, BaaS vendors include them. BaaS is also similar to serverless computing but, while serverless applications are able to react to events and can run on any machine connected, BaaS lack these features.
The Backend-as-a-Service market is rapidly growing recently. The popularity of mobile devices and applications accelerated the market. Researches say that the BaaS market will grow from $2 billion in 2020 to $6 billion in 2025, which means a compound annual growth rate of 23.9%. The most popular BaaS providers are, Back4app, Parse, Firebase, CloudKit, Backendless, Kinvey, AWS Amplify, Azure Mobile Apps, Kii, Kumulos, Gamesparks, 8Base, appwrite, and Kuzzle.