Firstly appeared on seeweb.it
The news arrived just a few days ago: Facebook shut down Parse after acquiring it for $85 billion in 2013.
We took the chance to ask a comment to Federico Pacilli and Claudio Tesoriero, founders of BaasBox, the Italian competitor of Parse. In fact, all the developers who used Parse to create their apps for both iOS and Android shall migrate to a new platform by the end of the year. To migrate to BaasBox – i.e. backend as a service in a box – could be a valuable choice since it can be used both as a Paas service or as a “open-source” box and it can be used on all providers such as On Premise and other Iaas.
The BaasBox architecture is cloud-oriented. It is extremely scalable both horizontally and vertically and it is free from hardware, suppliers and geographically redundant. It was born as an open-source baas and it can be installed on every platform.
Q. What do you think about Parse shutting down? Did you expect it?
A. We can’t say we expected it, not at all! We thought that the project would have had an improved longevity after the Facebook’s acquisition. When Facebook acquired Parse it wanted to expand its business to the mobile and cloud worlds. Parse appeared as an open door to the mobile developers and the users of their apps. We thought Facebook wanted to use it as a huge marketing platform, shared by all the apps made with Parse. But it counted just 15 million end-users! Less than 1% of Facebook’s users. And for them they had to maintain a huge infrastructure to guarantee a freemium plan for the thousands of developers bearing huge financial losses. I suggest you read this article because it explains well enough all the underlying causes.
Q. How important is it to have control of the full technological stack?
A. We always said this, well before this news arrived: to have control of your technological stack is everything. You can definitely rely on a service, but shortcuts are hardly ever a good strategy especially if you are doing an app with a well-defined business model. Your provider can change the pricing plan at any moment and make you go out of business. Even worse if you decide to leave the business as Parse did.
Q. Many are migrating from Parse…
A. Yes. This is certainly a big opportunity for us. In the last three days we doubled downloads and subscriptions to our mailing list. But to tell you the truth, BaasBox is way different from Parse and what is happening is not too comforting. Parse has been the first-mover in our industry, they invented the mobile backend-as-a-service model and its failure leaves us to think back to the roots of our business. We have to think that currently our “biggest competitor” is still a developer (or development team) that builds the backend by himself. I fear such news marks a slow down for our industry.
Q. What is the difference between Parse and BaasBox?
A. In a word: control. Using BaasBox, no developer would have found himself forced to migrate somewhere else by the end of the year. We do offer a service too, but our strength lies in the opportunity of installing BaasBox on every cloud platform avoiding every form of lock-in. By now, more than 42,000 developers have used BaasBox and more than 3,000 apps now on the stores are based on our back-end. We think that our long-term proposition would be the winning one because it accepts the cloud challenge while, at the same time, it lets a developer have full control of his creation.
Q. If a developer wants to migrate to BaasBox, what must he do?
A. He can send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to help him with a quick and painless migration. After the 1.0. release we will create an automatic importer to manage the migration from Parse to BaasBox.