Open Source Mobile Backends
There has been large amounts of press coverage for commercial mobile backend services. the develop community is gaining awareness of these services and the benefits they provide. However, there is less information avaliable about open Source mobile backends .when using an open source mobile backend,the developer provides its own servers and installs the mobile backend software on the servers. This differs from commerical backend companies. Commerical companies provide both the hardware and the software and provides the developer access to the backend.
Advantages of open source mobile backends
Commercial services and open source backends both have their own advantages and disadvanteges. The main advantage of the commerical backends is ease of use. Using a commerical service frees you from the task of setting up servers , writing backend code. you can start building in minutes. The main advantage of an Open source backend service is control . although it takes longer to set up and get running, the developer is able to customize to suit his or her own needs .
Trusting an outside company with your mobile backend presents many risks, and he control that the open source backend provides protects the developer from many of the risks . One of the risks present in commercial backend systems is the company discontinuingthe service. This is a very real risk today. Currently , there are many companies that are competing very closely with each othe. They offer similar features and target similar coustomers. There is a good possiblity that some of these companies may shut down , and the developers who rely on their software willhave to lookfor other alternatives . Another irsk to the develop in using mobile backend services is losingcontrol of data . The developer must trust the company to protect the data , and prevent against security breaches
Another advantage of using a mobile backend service is cost. commerical backend services can get expensive, especially when an app uses a lot of backend resources. An open source solution is a lower cost option when an app has a large number of users , and needs to make extensive use of the mobile backend .
When should I use mobile backend services?
Mobile backend services are best used when a developer is building an app for a large number of users . In this situation, the advanatages of open mobile backends are at their highest. The developer is able to implement their own scalibilty and security measures , and is able to fully intergrate the mobile backend into their existing systems .
What open source backends are avalaible
One of the open source backend systems avaliable is Usergrid. Usergrid is developed by Apigee . Apigee offers a hosted version of Usergrid and also allows you to download the software , and run it on your own. Apigee acquired Usergrid in January 2012 . It is a well funded company that is able to provide good support for the platform . the requirements for Usergrid are JDK 1.6 ( http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html and Maven ( http://maven.apache.org/ ).
Another open source mobile backend is Lean Engine. This software runs on Google App engine and is written in Python. This software is still in an early stage of development. Lean Engine is not a company, it is a project run by a group of developers . These developers provide support for the product and can help with any issues that you encounter using thier software .
open source mobile backends are a viable option for many developers, and There different options avaliable . Hopefully in the future , there will be even more open source options for developers .