There's a prevailing sentiment that in web development, the "F" in frontend development stands for fun, while the "B" in backend development stands for boring. (BTW - that's not what we think 😄)
Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) provides developers with a way to connect their web or mobile applications to backend cloud storage and processing, without the need for backend infrastructure setup and maintenance.
Instead of developing the backend from scratch, developers can use standardized APIs and services provided by the BaaS platform.
There are numerous benefits to this approach to backend development – 6 of which we have already covered here – including a few that aren't quite as obvious.
The not-so-hidden benefits of BaaS
Equipping your team with BaaS is kind of like when Mario picks up the super leaf to turn into Racoon Mario. Frontend developers gain Fullstack powers.
One of its primary advantages is rapid app development. By eliminating the need to construct backend functionalities from the ground up, BaaS significantly reduces time-to-market, making it especially valuable for mobile and web app developers.
BaaS also makes it easy to integrate features such as user authentication, push notifications, and data synchronization – which is particularly appealing if you’re developing mobile applications – and real-time updates and third-party service integrations make it indispensable for dynamic web platforms.
With BaaS, you can tap into shared resources rather than setting up and maintaining dedicated backend infrastructure.
As your user base grows, BaaS can typically adjust resources automatically to handle increased workloads, and ensure that apps remain responsive and efficient without manual intervention. This approach can save you money, because you only pay only for what you use and can avoid overhead associated with infrastructure maintenance.
Many BaaS platforms offer Software Development Kits (SDKs) for multiple platforms, so apps can be deployed across various devices and operating systems without too much modification.
And, BaaS providers continually update their platforms to include the latest features, performance improvements and security patches, so you always have access to the latest tools and technologies.
The hidden benefits of BaaS
While these primary benefits of Backend as a Service (BaaS) are well-known, there are some hidden advantages to using BaaS. Here are five of them:
Collaborative environment: One underrated advantage of BaaS is how it fosters teamwork. BaaS platforms often come with tools that foster collaboration among developers, designers and other team members. No matter where your team members are located, these tools make it easier for everyone to work together.
Built-in analytics: Many BaaS platforms offer built-in analytics tools that enable developers to monitor user behavior, app performance and other critical metrics, out of the box, providing valuable insights without the need for third-party integrations.
Seamless transitions: BaaS offers a more smoother transition between development and production environments. Uniform backend services ensure consistency, reducing the chance of unexpected issues when moving from one environment to another.
Global reach and speed: Some BaaS platforms automatically distribute data across global data centers and integrate with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). This ensures faster data retrieval and better app performance for users, no matter where in the world they’re located.
Future readiness: Technology is always evolving, and BaaS providers have the incentive to keep their platforms updated with the latest technologies and best practices. This means that applications built on these platforms are more likely to be compatible with emerging and future technologies, ensuring longevity and reducing the need for an overhaul.
When to Use BaaS
Any scenario in which building, maintaining, or scaling a custom backend would be time-consuming or cost-prohibitive can be a potential use case for BaaS.
In addition to mobile apps and web platforms, BaaS is useful for the growing IoT sector, because it allows you to build scalable solutions for managing the deluge of real-time data that IoT devices produce.
BaaS can also be used for prototyping new products. Startups and innovators can quickly develop and test functional prototypes without having to invest heavily in backend infrastructure.
BaaS solutions can manage product listings, user carts and dynamic content, making them invaluable for online gaming, ecommerce platforms and other content-driven applications, as well.
Directus: BaaS Made Easy
When scouting for BaaS providers, scalability is an important factor.
Can the BaaS vendor support growth without compromising performance? Does it offer integrated services like data synchronization, user authentication and real-time updates? What about security for protecting your company’s data and granular user management? Is the user interface intuitive, and is good documentation and support available?
In light of these questions, Directus stands out in the BaaS landscape.
The platform is open-source and flexible, so you’re not locked into any proprietary systems, and you can tailor your backend precisely to your needs. What’s more, Directus offers a user-friendly interface and is dedicated to keeping data structures pure to ensure data integrity.
With robust community support and a rich set of features, Directus is a solid choice for BaaS.
Directus is a major ally for any developer wishing to quickly create robust and scalable applications without giving up the flexibility and power of a complete backend.
Josias Yahse Koffi