Knowledge base

Why Backend as a Service is the Key to Successful App Development

Artem Arkhipov
Web Expert at Techmagic, full-stack developer, coach and speaker. Passionate about JavaScript, Cloud Computing and Serverless.
Why Backend as a Service is the Key to Successful App Development

In an era where technology has radically changed our day-to-day lives, developers understand that the speed at which you build, create, and release new products often spells the difference between mass adoption or flop.

Given these circumstances, project teams constantly look for solutions to accelerate development and automate basic tasks to lessen costs, save budget, and focus members' energy elsewhere.

BaaS providers offer the tools to handle features common to many web applications. With its first iterations dating from 2011, BaaS is a recent yet invaluable cloud computing development that eradicates developers' need to redevelop their backend services.

What is BaaS?

BaaS is short for Backend As A Service - it is a cloud-based service model that enables developers to outsource all the backend functions of their web or mobile applications. This frees up valuable time, allowing developers to focus on designing and maintaining the user interface and user experience.

This model could also be called Mobile Backend As A Service when building applications for mobile devices. This service differs from other cloud-computing business models as they specifically address the web app's need for common backend features, including user management, social network integration, push notifications for both email and SMS, and cloud storage.

BaaS providers have released well-documented APIs and SDKs that help developers quickly set up their backend through ready-made code functions and standardised environments.

Like website hosts, BaaS providers deliver their service through APIs, Rest Interfaces, or GraphQLs. You could configure your backend through a provided interface. Contrastingly, you could also build your own backend - though this will likely be more expensive and push back your product launch date. Node.js is a popular backend solution for this - here’s a list of companies that use Node.js for their backend.

In terms of cost, many BaaS providers offer freemium models of their services. No matter the BaaS provider you end up with, there are often free starter packages for small-scale startups looking to get their project deployed, though further use of their resources will begin incurring costs.

Why Should You Use a Backend as a Service?

baas as a service

Time to market is one of the many advantages a BaaS platform offers. Let's quickly discuss the different benefits of using Backend as a Service:

Focus on Priorities

Project development has four essential steps, as follows:

  • Scoping and Requirements
  • UI/UX Design
  • Development and Testing
  • Beta Testing and Deployment

Each step is just as important as the last, and the entire process, from discovery to pre-launch, would usually last around 7-12 months. While these figures depend heavily on the app's level of complexity, product-market fit is at the forefront of every excellent development team's mind.

That said, using a BaaS will allow you to focus your resources and prioritize other key project elements. Whether it's to improve the front end, scale your marketing, or find new investors, a BaaS allows your focus shifts to the core competencies of your business and improves your chances of finding success in the markets.

Support and Reliability

BaaS Platforms are third-party providers with ready-made systems and well-documented resources. A well-known BaaS usually has experienced customer service personnel ready to answer your questions. On top of this, using a BaaS will grant teams access to the platform's community members, filled with experienced developers with real-world experience with using and building with the platform.

The application backend handles code functions, server configurations, and customer data. You need these functions to be up and running at virtually all times. BaaS providers come with experienced IT staff who understand the risk of business problems and ensure that the entire system runs smoothly.

Many models even go so far as to provide redundant infrastructure to remove the possibility of apps failing due to server breakdowns. Though this may be an added cost to the business, customers knowing that your website or application is always accessible only strengthens their brand loyalty.

As backend maintenance is a responsibility shouldered by the service provider, take solace in that you essentially have a backend team for your project at a fraction of the cost.

How we built

an E-commerce analytics app using JS and Serverless on AWS

Learn more

Reduced Time To Market

There’s a reason the term first mover advantage exists. Unless you’re projects’ followers are extremely loyal, expect your customers to jump ship should a similar product

The iterative development process could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 5 months, depending on the feature list of your web application. The development stage will require the dev team to build the front and backend of all app versions in parallel. Whether it's for the web, iOS, or Android, concurrent development creates the opportunity to compare code and reuse composable sections that speed up the development process. This benefit holds especially true when using SDKs built specifically for cross-platform development, such as Flutter, React Native, and Unity.

BaaS systems share in these benefits such that they cut down the time to develop the app by providing ready-made tools that could be selected and assembled according to your needs. BaaS vendors often also offer SDKs that already integrate well with Android, iOS, and web applications.

Composable code snippets cut down development time in half and allow companies to focus their resources on product-market-fit and building a better user experience for the consumer. First-mover advantage leads to a larger market share, improving your brand value perception and bottom line.


The world is more connected than ever. As today's applications are often made available globally, system vulnerabilities and security threats should be a high priority for every business.

Application security features could come in many forms, examples include authentication and authorization – but from a developer's perspective, these security features' level of importance falls short of data encryption, access logging, and data backups.

While security aspects do vary from one provider to another, you can focus on other business aspects with the knowledge that you essentially have a dedicated team of professionals updating security patches and providing a better-maintained environment than a self-coded backend.

Performance and Scalability

BaaS platforms were designed to deploy thousands of applications with varying performance needs. Needless to say, a reliable BaaS will have the necessary robust infrastructure needed to roll out and effectively manage your application. Examples of these features include multi-region CDNs, convenient auto-scaling, and secured data centers.

Established, robust infrastructures mean scalability is a non-issue with BaaS. Where self-built backend servers allow you to customize every aspect of your backend, servers must be upgraded or migrated manually should you decide to scale your business. As mentioned before, BaaS providers handle that for you.

Pay attention to the fact that:

mobile backend service - baas services

Apart from development costs, many BaaS platforms are predominantly credits-based, meaning users only pay for the features and resources they've used. Where other business models may offer different packages or promotions to their users, BaaS providers understand that smaller companies don't maximally utilize these packages' resources. Credits-based models mean companies only pay for the resources you use instead of overpaying for those you don't – another argument supporting project scalability with BaaS.

BaaS Architecture and Critical Components

The backend web architecture normally comprises a server, a sequence of logical expressions, frameworks to structure your code, and databases to keep private information.

Because the BaaS handles your backend systems, you don't have to know all this. Instead, you should understand your provider's basic architecture and critical components. Whether you go with the traditional or mobile BaaS solution remains the same.

Foundations and Modules

In a BaaS or mBaas solution, the foundation layer stores the application's database and files. These layers are often a cluster of servers that store everything your application needs to run.

The BaaS will also store modules for managing entries, performing CRUD operations, and providing permission in this layer. These are not the only operations a BaaS platform could perform, as it could also offer file storage, content builders, and state machine modeling. They also serve as frameworks that guide developers to properly structure their code, business logic, and other aspects of their infrastructure.

APIs and Application

To access the Foundation layer, APIs are used to provide calls and allow the software to interact with the backend. APIs allow your future project to communicate and interact with the servers and databases of the BaaS.

At this point in time, the application could push requests to the data layer and pull information to be presented to the end user.

Connection Layer

A BaaS platform can often be accessed through the cloud. An application will then need a secure connection to the internet to connect to backends, conduct health checks, and perform functions. The connection will distribute traffic as load balancers specify, determining enabled services. Some features are only made available to specific load balancers in the interest of resource allocation.

What Features of the Backend as a Service Can You Get with a BaaS Platform?

baas services

As the startup race heats up, aspiring tech trailblazers will want to seriously consider BaaS platforms to speed up development and push out their MVP and test the market response to their product.

To do that, you'll need to understand what a BaaS platform could offer you. Here's a standard feature list of most BaaS and mBaaS platforms:

Database Management

Self-maintained servers will certainly face storage capacity issues assuming constant use. Without redundant servers, however, your business becomes vulnerable to system failures and shutdowns. Maintaining uptime is crucial to improve your brand's perceived value and increases your chances of getting more system traffic, views, and sales. Often used as a metric for reliability, customers feel better working with a company that is constantly accessible.

From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense to leave database management to an experienced and trusted third-party provider, provided that your team lacks the necessary experience required to maintain the upkeep of a server.

With a BaaS provider, you can continue your daily operations knowing that your data is safe and sound.


APIs are essential to access and interact with your BaaS or mBaaS provider. Interestingly, many providers offer both REST and GraphQL APIs - the biggest difference is the type of data sent to the client.

Choosing the API your application would use is a matter of understanding your project's requirements. Whatever your choice, APIs are a necessary function that all BaaS models have given the need to manipulate data.

User Authentication and Modeling

People are the backbone of any business. Everyone has a role in the business lifecycle, from customers and salesmen to developers and executives. Subsequently, it holds that each person should have some level of access to the application – and the backend is the system that handles user roles and permissions.

Everything from creating accounts to assigning roles and authentication is the responsibility of the BaaS. This becomes a doubly important feature when you're dealing with applications that process highly sensitive information.

Push Notifications

Push notifications alert your customer on any important events that may have happened in-app. Many BaaS providers provide ready-made functions that allow your backend servers to send notifications to a client on a particular device. In doing so, you drive returning traffic to your web app or site, increase brand recognition, and add an invaluable customer point of contact.

Social Integration

Many mBaas solutions offer built-in social media integration that performs actions on mediums like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. As the world becomes increasingly connected,

From a business perspective, granting access to social media integrations provide interesting data on your users' behavior patterns. Sharing patterns of users can provide interesting data on what your users find valuable on your platform. Product usage metrics are core vitals that grant insight into how your users interact with your product. These data points can tell your development team what features they should improve and which ones they can deprecate.

Plus, social media posts are essentially free marketing for your business.

How we built

a BPM app using Javascript stack and Serverless on AWS

Learn more

How To Choose The Best Mobile Backend As A Service (MBaaS)

Now that you understand the core components, architecture, and features of a BaaS and its mobile version, the mBaaS, you might be tempted to try out this service for yourself, especially as most of them have free trials that offer resources enough for small one-person projects.

That said, the dozens of viable BaaS options could leave even the most experienced developer confused. In the context of web design, there is a trade-off for everything - there's no one size fits all solution.

Here is a step-by-step guide to choosing the best BaaS platform you're trying to use.

Understand Your Project Requirements

Every application has a general set of requirements, no matter how small. The app being small could be a requirement in and of itself!

To accomplish this step, think about your app and what you want it to do:

  • Will you be interacting with a database?
  • Will you require users to sign in:?
  • Are you looking to send push notifications?
  • Does your application need a file storage?

Think about the core functionalities of the application, write it down, and work your way into the details.

Backend Knowledge

Take an assessment of yourself and your development team. Do you have the necessary backend knowledge to accomplish what you want? Are you an experienced developer with experience in web architecture?

Regardless, while a BaaS does help developers focus on building their application’s front-end, backend knowledge is still required to make full use of the platform’s features.  Even no-code environments require knowledge of backend tools, technology, and software architectural patterns.

As you pick out the BaaS platform you look to use, consider how much you know about backend architecture, to begin with. You might also want to look at companies that have used the same backend platform as a benchmark.

Try Different Platforms

In line with our last point on ensuring you can handle your chosen BaaS, you might want to keep your options open and explore different platforms. While reviews and walkthroughs will provide an adequate understanding of in-app navigation, there's no alternative to on-hand experience.

Most BaaS and mBaaS products provide a trial period where you can use their resources completely free up to a certain point. The limit could be users, days, or storage.

In that time, do your best to explore the platform and try out as many of the features as the trial would let you. Sometimes, these platforms will have relationship managers reach out to users to convince them to stay. Relationship managers will offer free sessions to show users around the platform and help them get to know it better. Take advantage of every single promotion these platforms will provide. Constantly research and test out new BaaS and mBaaS platforms because it's extremely difficult to migrate out once you've integrated your project.

Researching Security and Compliance

Security is a fundamental concept to think about. Certain regulatory and compliance requirements will apply to you depending on the application you're attempting to build. While GPDR remains the most wide-ranging of all data standards, specific compliance standards exist for certain industries. It's best to familiarize yourself with the standards that apply to you.

For instance, personal health information falls under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance requirements. For fintech applications, much of your activities will likely fall under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Sarbance-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).

Failure to comply with many of these compliance standards will lead to heavy fines or suspension, especially regarding financing.

Modeling Performance

Performance can either make or break an application. Similar to real-world sales, it's easier to make a sale when you have a product on hand than if you had made the customer wait 3-5 business days.

The same holds true for your application. If you plan for your app to go global, having multiple CDNs strategically located and distributed across different parts of the globe would be important.

Data formatting should be another consideration when it comes to resources. You could take a look at your requirements and determine the type of data storage you need for your workload.

Data volume, velocity, and variety all impact workload requirements and, subsequently, application performance. Figure out if you want to use relational databases (SQL) or non-relational databases (NoSQL).

Finally, scalability and the ability to onboard future users should be another consideration you might want to consider. As your app grows in users, features, and data, the underlying infrastructure should scale alongside it. You'll want to do this without incurring a major disruption to your business.

Conceptualizing Costs

Once you've understood your project's requirements and performance needs, it's time to model costs and financial projections. By creating projections, you'll better understand the number of users, data, and CDNs you'll need to build and scale your projects.

We'd already mentioned how BaaS platforms are credits-based, but if you found that the resources you need fit well into a project plan, this might be an area where you could save money.

If you’re working with a company that has mobile app development services, they’ll likely leave a quote for how much the whole project will cost.


BaaS platforms are perfect for those attempting to launch their projects more quickly and efficiently. They allow business owners to focus on their products' core components without worrying about data breaches or functionality.

That said, using BaaS platforms still requires knowledge and expertise. If you're looking for a hands-free approach to building your next project, talk to us at Techmagic and tell us about your project.

Interested to learn more about TechMagic?

Contact us


  1. What are the features of BaaS?

    BaaS platforms cover your application's backend features, including user authentication, two-factor authentication, social integration, push notifications, APIs, and geolocation.

  2. Should I use the backend as a service?

    Using a BaaS platform is dependent on your systems requirements and experience.

  3. Where can I host the mobile backend?

    You can host your mobile backend on popular BaaS providers like Firebase, AWS Amplify, Heroku, and Digital Ocean.

  4. Is the mobile backend the same as the web backend

    A mobile backend is different from a web backend as a website predominantly uses functionalities over an HTTP protocol, whereas a mobile application would interact with the data through web service APIs.

Was this helpful?
like like
dislike dislike
Subscribe to our blog

Get the inside scoop on industry news, product updates, and emerging trends, empowering you to make more informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

Let’s turn ideas into action
RossKurhanskyi linkedin
Ross Kurhanskyi
Head of partner engagement