Backend as a service (BaaS), also known as mobile backend as a service (MBaaS),[1][2][3] is a service for providing web app and mobile app developers with a way to easily build a backend to their frontend applications. Features available include user management, push notifications, and integration with social networking services.[4] These services are provided via the use of custom software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs). BaaS is a relatively recent development in cloud computing,[5] with most BaaS startups dating from 2011 or later.[6][7][8]


Web and mobile apps require a similar set of features on the backend, including notification service, integration with social networks, and cloud storage.[9][10] Each of these services has its own API that must be individually incorporated into an app, a process that can be time-consuming and complicated for app developers.[11] BaaS providers form a bridge between the frontend of an application and various cloud-based backends via a unified API and SDK.[3]

Providing a consistent way to manage backend data means that developers do not need to redevelop their own backend for each of the services that their apps need to access,[10] potentially saving both time and money.[11][12]

Although similar to other cloud-computing business models, such as software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), BaaS is distinct from these other services in that it specifically addresses the cloud-computing needs of web and mobile app developers by providing a unified means of connecting their apps to cloud services.[13][14]

Service providers

Each BaaS provider offers a slightly different set of backend tools and resources.[9] Among the most common services provided are notification service, file storage and sharing, integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, location services, database persistence and queries, messaging and chat functions, user management, running business logic, and usage analysis tools.[14][15]

BaaS providers have a broad focus, providing SDKs and APIs that work for app development on multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, HTML5, and others.[15]

Business model

BaaS providers generate revenue from their services in various ways, often using a freemium model. Under this model, a client receives a certain number of free active users or API calls per month, and pays a fee for each user or call over this limit. Alternatively, clients can pay a set fee for a package which allows for a greater number of calls or active users per month.[10] There are also flat fee plans that make the pricing more predictable. Some of the providers offer the unlimited API calls inside their free plan offerings.[16] While BaaS is most commonly offered as a commercial service, open-source options are available.

See also


  1. ^ Monroe, Martin. "The Gospel of MBaaS (Part 1 of 2)". InfoQ. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  2. ^ Monroe, Martin. "The Gospel of MBaaS (Part 2)". InfoQ. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b Kin Lane (3 June 2012). "Rise of Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) API Stacks". API Evangelist. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  4. ^ Carney, Michael. "AnyPresence partners with Heroku to beef up its enterprise mBaaS offering". PandoDaily. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  5. ^ Alex Williams (11 October 2012). "Kii Cloud Opens Doors For Mobile Developer Platform With 25 Million End Users". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  6. ^ Aaron Tan (30 September 2012). "FatFractal ups the ante in backend-as-a-service market". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  7. ^ Dan Rowinski (9 November 2011). "Mobile Backend As A Service Parse Raises $5.5 Million in Series A Funding". ReadWrite. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  8. ^ Pankaj Mishra (7 January 2014). "MobStac Raises $2 Million In Series B To Help Brands Leverage Mobile Commerce". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b Lane, Kin. "New Features From BaaS Provider AnyPresence". API Evangelist. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Ryan Lawler (26 March 2012). "Parse offers its mobile backend-as-a-service on a freemium model". GigaOM. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b Alex Williams (11 July 2012). "Kinvey Raises $5 Million For Mobile And Web App Backend As A Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  12. ^ Michael Facemire (2 September 2012). "Enterprise Mobility: How Fast Can Development Go?". Michael Facemire's Blog. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Understanding the Basics of Backend as a Service (BaaS)". Mobile City. Silicon India. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  14. ^ a b Dan Rowinski (17 April 2012). "The Rise of Mobile Cloud Services: BaaS Startups Grow Up". ReadWrite. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  15. ^ a b Robin Wauters (30 May 2012). " raises $1m, offers a "backend-as-a-service" platform for app developers". The Next Web. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  16. ^ "MongoDB Stitch - Backend as a Service". MongoDB. Retrieved 21 June 2017.