Which is Best for an Android App Backend? Google App Engine, Parse, Firebase or AWS

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A strong app’s backend ensures its success and improves credibility. Let’s discuss here all the available technologies for Android app backend development.

There are lots of factors that play a vital role in making mobile apps successful – backend is one of those. You app will fail to deliver the best in the absence of a robust backend system, no matter how beautiful it is.

The app’s backend functions as a server of mobile application, which stores data and is also responsible for sorting out various information that are not visible to end users. These are only a few excerpts of the function of mobile app backend. The backend system does much more for betterment of your mobile app, apart from these.

This blog is going to explore some popular options for Android app backend and helps you choose the right ones for your app.

What is Backend?

Backend as a service (BaaS) serves as a way of connecting mobile app to its backend cloud storage, while providing robust features that include push notifications, user management, social networking integration, etc. BaaS is a new development, when it comes to cloud computing.

How to Set Up Android App Backend?

In case of Firebase backend service, one can set up Android app backend in multiple steps listed as follows.

  • First create an account on Firebase.
  • Once you are done with this, you will then receive a URL from the service provider.
  • After this, you will be able to import client libraries into your Android application.
  • You can call libraries using reference URL of the app’s.

Do One need a Server for Android App?

Server for your Android app requires only if it doesn’t use local storage. In case, your app uses location storage, then you really don’t need to have server. Android apps get placed and are hosted by Google Play Store. But, you need to opt for web hosting package, if you’re really seeking for remote storage.

Some Best Platforms that you can Opt for your App Backend

This section of the blog post is going to cover a detailed description of Google App Engine, Parse, Firebase and AWS, along with certain advantages and disadvantages.

Google App Engine (GAE)

Also known as App Engine or GAE (in a short form), Google App Engine is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms. It’s also referred to as an important service to create and host apps on Google’s infrastructure. The USP of GAE is that it automatically allocates additional resources to server to handle the increased load in a better way.

Advantages

  • The major benefits can be described as GAE doesn’t scale. Even if empowering billing, the whole augmented system can support 500 requests/ second only. In case of increasing the threshold, you can reach Google’s disposal that eliminates those caps and makes it higher.
  • GAE includes free use of quota and provides a full of scalability. And it doesn’t need any server administration.
  • Deploying and re-deploying is quite easier and quick with GAE.
  • Google is blessed with the largest number of servers globally. It has top-class privacy policies, which apply for every app developed, with use of Google infrastructure
  • Google’s every product is known for offering reliability and quality performance – GAE is not an exception.
  • It doesn’t require any engineers of technical person to manage server.
  • It enables you to easily move your data to other environment without any hustle.

Disadvantages

  • GAE lacks in stability.
  • It’s certainly tough to process data transformation with those of existing libraries. Besides, it also doesn’t support any native file system base library.
  • It fails to provide any kind of complete text search API.
  • It’s not easier to process unit test. The other limitation of GAE is that it’s not capable of easily resolving the root cause issues and also doesn’t support add SSL to site.
  • GAE is also not capable of tweaking server software.

Read More: Node.js vs Golang 2019: Choose the Right One for your App Back-end

Parse

Developed by none other than Parse Inc. itself, Parse is another popular backend as a server. Parse Inc., was finally acquired by Facebook, but was shut down in 2017. Since then Parse has been an open-source BaaS. Parse is considered to be the top-most open-source BaaS platform, which provides a complete SDK for creating mobile app backends on Windows 6, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, JavaScript, etc.

Advantages

  • Parse is extremely simple to use and enjoys having a popularity and the market demand.
  • Parse automates image cache performance. It also includes automatic email verification and password resets.
  • It makes development quick; thanks to Parse class that displays data in table. On the other hand, TableViewController or PFQuery is fast.
  • Parse free tier lets you do many important things. One can avail features like push notification to approximately 1 million devices monthly, with zero amount of money.
  • Parse includes SDKs for every platform and can easily handle desktop apps, mobile apps, etc.

Disadvantages

  • When it comes to relationship tables or classes, it often becomes highly complicated with Parse.
  • Parse also includes certain kinds of service limitations. It’s unable to support streaming.

Firebase

Firebase is another popular option for Android app backend. It makes your app superfast, even without the requirement of managing infrastructure. It is in fact a well-managed platform that offers features such as authentication services, data synchronization, file storage, messaging and a lot more. Firebase lets a mobile app development company create or prototype mobile backend services, with a quite efficiency.

Advantages

  • Firebase is a highly advanced and powerful hosted BaaS.
  • It includes JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), which clearly indicates that there’s no barrier existing with objects and data.
  • Angularfire makes it possible of 3-way data binding.
  • It doesn’t require any server infrastructure to power up application with data.
  • It includes a massive size potential.
  • It’s highly secure and serverless and requires minimal set up.

Disadvantages

    • It comes with query limitation and indexing limitation.
    • It’s not widely tested or used for Enterprises.
    • It doesn’t include aggregation.
  • Firebase doesn’t include any high-standard reporting tools.

AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) help customers in building a highly agile, secure and scalable backend for their applications. It removes the necessity for customers to develop and manage backend resources for every important mobile application feature. Thus, it reduces costs and boosts productivity.

Advantages

  • AWS platform is expressed in a manner that even a person who is new to this can use it hassle-free. Thanks to AWS Management Console, which makes it possible to use for both new as well as the existing applicants.
  • The major benefits of using AWS is that it doesn’t include any capacity limitation. It provides capacity at a highly reduced cost and thus helps organizations launching different projects smoothly.
  • AWS caters to organizations by letting them hire a server, even within a minute. One can make a selection of their requirements and then can proceed, even without consulting anyone.
  • AWS is committed to provide a fully secure environment. It lets you pay only for the services that you use. It’s end-to-end approach plays a crucial role in securing and hardening the infrastructure.

Disadvantages

  • AWS includes a default set of limitations on certain resources consisted of volumes, images and snapshots. It offers limited details for resources, which are managed completely by Amazon VPC Console and Amazon EC2.
  • Security is something that matters a lot for app backend. However, AWS limits certain features that are not meant to be changed at all.
  • Another drawback with AWS is that it charges for an immediate support and then, you can easily make selection for any best package among business, developer and enterprise.
  • AWS also comes with general cloud computing issues, especially when moving to cloud like limited control, downtime and backup protection.

Conclusion:

Be it GAE, Parse, AWS or Firebase, all of these technologies have an equal demand for Android app backend development despite having advantages and disadvantages. So, choose the right option matching your project requirements.

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