Just in case you haven’t heard, Parse just went belly up, what now? Yesterday Parse, acquired by Facebook in 2013, dropped the bomb on their blog that they would be shutting down its mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) on January 28, 2017. Since the acquisition, Parse has not generated much revenue so it has been decided to use those resources elsewhere. The news left many freelancers and companies in panic, however there are several reliable alternatives out there. And by alternatives, I mean platforms that offer similar conveniences as in user authentication and legit APIs to handle objects, not just alternative Parse deployment options in which Parse has already provided.
Firebase is an extremely solid option. You can store data and authenticate users just like Parse and there is even a free Udacity course on how to use it. Can’t go wrong with this one, apps like Instacart and Twitch have gone with this solution.
AWS Mobile Hub
Parse was originally built on top of Amazon Web Services so this makes them an instance runner in the race. Although AWS Mobile Hub in still in beta, Amazon has a proven track record of delivering reliable cloud solutions. Mobile Hub has push notifications and cloud code features similar to Parse and even includes a testing framework. Apps like Tinder and Netflix rely on AWS Mobile Hub with great confidence.
By far my favorite, and the one I’ve chosen to migrate DineMob’s backend to is ClearBlade’s Novi Platform. ClearBlade’s partnered with Amazon and Google to deliver a complete Parse-like mobile solution that also extends to IoT like Parse did last year. Novi has syntax almost identical to Parse and includes even a few features that go beyond Parse’s offering like real-time messaging for chat apps.
Microsoft Azure should not be slept on. Their mobile platform is extremely robust as it mirrors every feature you get from Parse including users, storage, push, the whole 9. If you are a huge company like Orbitz, who relied heavily on Parse, this may be a solution that helps you sleep at night. Microsoft Azure also handles media superior to Parse if you’re building apps that use video and audio. Companies like NBC News and Heineken stand on Microsoft Azure as their mobile solution.
Recently making some noise in the startup community, IBM Bluemix should also be in this discussion. Surprisingly they have a free plan and offers features similar to the others mentioned above as in NoSQL objects, push notifications, and social media authentication. We can only assume live video streaming is next with the acquisition of Ustream this year. Companies like GameStop and United Way are using Bluemix.