Farewell Parse, hello Mobile Application Development Platforms

 

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Parse, which is part of Facebook just announced that they are shutting down their Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS).  Parse’s cloud hosted MBaaS will be fully retired in a year,  on January 28, 2017.  The company is asking their users to start their mobile app migration plans and is offering an open source Parse-compatible Node.js/Express API server and a tool for database migration. Trending Developer community feedback is mixed, it includes kudos from many because they are offering an open source path forward,  something that of course we welcome at Red Hat.

This shutdown isn’t too surprising, considering that Facebook’s 2013’s acquisition of Parse was at the time a major boost to promote company focus on developers and on mobile app development, but was never intended to become a business on it’s own and target enterprise mobility.   While Facebook continues to grow their prosperous social media business, it’s clear that  MBaaS required much more attention; addressing high priority support inquiries, bug fixes, growing complex cloud operations, and a different type of marketing and sales.

After reading about the announcement, memory of PayPal closing down StackMob came to mind. Different circumstances around the acquisition and plans that PayPal had for the acquired MBaaS technology, but this shows us how the 2 most successful MBaaS providers in terms of user adoption have shared the same fate.

Very few pure MBaaS players remain in business. While mobile app developers still have plenty of options out there, MBaaS-specific features remain a great way for developers to reduce development time by not having to reinvent the wheel for backend features like push notifications and data sync.

In the enterprise arena, where there is an increased number of enterprises implementing a mobile strategy, it is imperative to reduce time to market, support scalability and have appropriate security and support for their mobile app initiatives. A Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP) is the answer to that call. At Red Hat, we offer Red Hat Mobile Application Platform which includes  Node.js-based MBaaS in addition to a full set of platform features for user management, app lifecycle management, resource monitoring, analytics, app binary build farm, centralized control of security and Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) tools among others.

Now,  some might say that the Parse’s announcement underscores the importance of owning or having full control over the backend features and integrations. There is an answer for that with Red Hat. We offer the MBaaS on our award-winning OpenShift Enterprise on-premise cloud offering with a clear path to open source where enterprises can have full control of their code, features, and integrations behind their firewall.

And that brings us to a key requirement for enterprises. Red Hat’s world-class engineering organization works in collaboration with the open source community and our customers to offer a fully supported platform with a subscription model that includes uptime SLAs and high-quality enterprise support with the latest technologies, trust that it’s secure and the assurances you need.

Enterprises that depended on Parse now face making some decisions.  We believe we have all the ingredients to offer an enterprise grade Mobile Application Development Platform that includes MBaaS functionality that eases the burden of mobile app integration with backend services and complex enterprise business systems.

 

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