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What is Backend as a Service (BaaS)?

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • Oct 20, 2021
What is Backend as a Service (BaaS)? title banner

In the development of any web-based or mobile-based application, there are two aspects- the front end and the back end development. The software that we see and interact with is the frontend part, but the backend is the part that handles all of the technical work of the software including database management, cloud storage, user authentication, push notifications, hosting, and many more. 


Backend development is a very hard feat to achieve, but BaaS can help in making the job way easier. Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) is a third-party service that allows you to build an app or a website without having to worry about the backend. 


In this article, we are going to discuss all the aspects of BaaS including:


  • What is BaaS?

  • Working of BaaS

  • Key Components of BaaS

  • Advantages of BaaS



What is BaaS?


Backend as a service (BaaS) is a cloud computing service architecture that acts as middleware, allowing developers to link their Web and mobile apps to cloud services via APIs and software developers' kits (SDK). 


It is a third-party service that lets the developer build an application or website without making any changes in the backend of the software. So, it helps the developer do all the backend services in one go, and put their main focus on the front-end development. 


According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., “ The global market for Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) is projected to reach US$31.6 billion by 2020, driven by the rise of app-driven economies worldwide and the ensuing indispensability of mobile applications in the creation of economic value”. 


(Related read: Software-Defined Networking (SDN): An Overview)


Cloud storage, push notifications, server code, user and file administration, social networking integration, location services, and user management, among other backend services, are all included in BaaS. These services have their APIs, making it very simple to incorporate them into applications. 


Developers won't have to create a new backend for each service that the apps utilize or access if they provide a consistent approach to handle backend data. Although some of the features of BaaS are comparable to those of other service models such as SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS, BaaS is unique in that it focuses particularly on the demands of Web and mobile apps.


Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) is a kind of BaaS designed particularly for developing mobile apps. While some sources regard the words BaaS and MBaaS to be almost identical, BaaS services are not required to be employed in the development of mobile apps. Google Firebase and Microsoft Azure are two BaaS and MBaaS vendors.


(Also read: 7-Top Trends in Software Development)


Working of BaaS:


The tools used in BaaS mostly run in the cloud. Vendors frequently construct BaaS products in layers. The three layers are:


  • Foundation layer: Servers occur in the foundation. Others back up your data while others operate your programs.

  • Application layer: Requests (such as logins) are handled by BaaS products at this tier.

  • Connection layer: At this layer, the application servers connect to the internet.


The core idea of BaaS is "API-first" development, which means that an API is built first and then used to build various mobile platforms (IoS, Android, etc). An API and SDK serve as a link between the frontend and the backend (which handles security and data). This is in contrast to another common strategy, "mobile-first," also known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), in which a mobile web page is developed first, followed by the backend product for each platform. 


PaaS is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to construct apps. Like serverless computing and BaaS, it eliminates the requirement for the developer to construct and manage the application backend. PaaS, on the other hand, excludes server-side application functionality like push notifications and user authentication. PaaS provides greater freedom to developers, whereas BaaS provides more functionality.


Typically, the mobile-first strategy has focused on top-down development, with developers first designing the app's home page, then developing distinct products for each platform, effectively producing self-contained and self-managed applications. 


The API method is based on the idea that all platforms and apps, despite their peculiarities and more sophisticated requirements, share basic foundation features and demands including push notifications, user management, and storage.


(Related blog: What is Quantum Computing -as -a -service?)


Key Components of BaaS


To simplify the complicated backend for developers, BaaS employs a modular design that combines easy-to-manage and drag-and-drop capabilities. There are three parts to this architecture, according to acropolium.


  1. Modules


These are content-types function, content-types data, and user model modules. Developers may use a BaaS content-types builder to handle entries and fields that define how data is provided to users on the backend. 


A content-types data module is where the user can use GraphQL or APIs to filter queries and execute CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) activities. Within this module, some BaaS providers additionally give a business logic programming option to assist users to control app data exchange procedures.


The BaaS strongbox of authentication procedures and permissions is the user-model module. It is used to govern how users enter into any online or mobile app, what information they have access to, and whether or not data may be shared with third parties. A BaaS platform design can include more modules than these. It can also have modules for file storage, page, and content builders, and state machine modeling, among other things.


  1. API


The second layer of the BaaS architectural cake is an API. Today's BaaS solutions rely on REST APIs to keep backend processes flexible for developers. REST APIs make managing and configuring BaaS architecture modules, such as authentication and database updates, easier. Another advantage is that they make BaaS useful for every app you can imagine, from games to chatbots.


(Recommended read: How to Extract & Analyze YouTube Data using YouTube API?)


  1. Data channels


Data channels are the roads that data takes to get to its final destination, which is a REST API. When users feed data from the app's channels into a BaaS API, it starts interacting with databases, servers, and modules. These channels, in particular, resemble the circulatory system of a BaaS platform design.


Advantages of BaaS:


BaaS's reusable services offer several advantages over traditional front-end development. According to this blog written by Lumen, the benefits of BaaS are:


  1. BaaS stops the redundant development of the stack


Rather than having to build a stack from scratch for each mobile app they produce, a BaaS service may handle most of the underlying work. 


Instead of spending hours developing customized stacks that have to be re-created, modified, and reassembled to meet the demands of each new app platform, their only difficulty would be connecting to an API. 


Instead of beginning from scratch every time, developers may construct exactly what they need on top of existing structures.


  1. BaaS allows better approachability


BaaS offers the ability to seamlessly integrate apps across platforms if each app has the same fundamental basis. This provides many advantages, including simpler data sharing, improved cloud storage accessibility, faster startup times, and a better overall user experience.


  1. BaaS generates a variety of results from a single model


Consider BaaS to be a "first home." Each user begins with the same basic pieces and gradually adds to them to build their own personalized "home." Because the basic parts of the home are all the same, other users may be able to better understand, interact with, and even improve the "house," resulting in a unified backend with a larger and more diverse user base.


(Related read: What is Big Data Analytics? Definition, Advantages, and Types)




Using a backend to remove some of the development duties off our plate has several advantages, including easier app development, shorter development time, and more platform accessibility. But there are also some issues that a developer must consider before implementing BaaS into their project. 


The major goal for developers working on BaaS solutions should be consistency in consumable APIs and SDKs. This means that each one should be able to be consumed in the same way over and over again on the backend. 


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Consumers will be less confused since they will only have to learn the patterns and code once for consumption. In a BaaS solution, mobile developers will also have to take this the main retrospect of BaaS into account when designing and using APIs and SDKs. 


So, it is essential to conduct proper research before switching to a BaaS provider. In this article, we have discussed BaaS and its components, working, and its advantages. 

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