Software development kit

What to consider when parsing through your Parse alternatives

What to consider when parsing through your Parse alternatives

At the conclusion of January, Facebook had officially shuttered Parse, disabling the API on an app by app basis.

As a Backend as a Service (BaaS) product, the development platform provided SDKs and APIs that allowed developers to quickly build their apps without having to build a backend from scratch. Facebook did’t present much insight into the motivation to shut down the platform. But Parse’s customers, following the 2013 acquisition, comprised heavily of small to medium sized developers that had a lower propensity to spend.

While Facebook was burdened with having to answer to post-IPO investor concerns about desktop growth plateauing and uncertain mobile revenue, the Parse acquisition was a quick fix, helping secure Facebook’s grasp on widespread mobile adoption.

Despite Parse being the backend backbone for 60,000+ apps at the time of the acquisition, Parse, like many low-cost BaaS solutions, had limitations for businesses and developers who wanted to scale their app. Amazon, Microsoft and Google, who acquired Firebase afterwards, all followed Facebook’s suit, but aggressively doubled down on maximizing the assets in their developer platforms, while Facebook stood pat with Parse after accomplishing what they needed to do to establish their mobile adoption.

Realizing the peak of “mBaas”

The resulting shutdown of Parse should be viewed as a wakeup call to developers that a BaaS solution alone cannot be a long-term choice for sustainable digital, mobile and progressive web businesses.

The 2016 announcement of the shutdown gave developers time to find alternative solutions to migrate their applications. While a BaaS solution facilitates a quick time to market, API-centric development, and innovation, the drawbacks have become more evident.

  • Business data is more likely to be exposed on a cloud-based shared database. Customers starting to value data privacy more will be turned off by a solution that can be exposed with the vulnerabilities of a shared database.
  • As a business grows, extending the backend will be difficult because of the limitations BaaS offers for individual solutions. This will become a concern if your business needs to extend the…

Xamarin Live Player makes debugging mobile apps as easy as scanning a QR code

Xamarin Live Player makes debugging mobile apps as easy as scanning a QR code

Debugging mobile apps on a desktop device is a pain, especially if you’re a new developer trying to get started. You have to install a bazillion resources just to start, and testing an iOS app with a Windows PC is a hassle, to say the least. Xamarin’s new Live Player wants to change all that, and make debugging an app as simple as scanning a QR Code.

Normally, debugging an app means installing gigabytes of SDKs and emulators, which can take…

Microsoft launches Xamarin Live Player preview for debugging Android and iOS apps without SDKs or emulators

At its Build 2017 developer conference, Microsoft today released Xamarin Live Player in preview. The company called the tool “a live coding environment,” which essentially means developers can build, test, and debug apps without having to install SDKs or emulators. You can install the Live Player extensions for both Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2017 for Mac right now and download the Xamarin Live Player apps from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

Here’s another way to look at Xamarin Live Player. Developers can already build for Android using Windows or Mac. Developing for iOS, however, requires a Mac. Xamarin Live Player removes that requirement and instead asks you for an iPhone and Visual Studio 2017 for Windows.

Microsoft acquired mobile app development…