We in SashiDo, strongly believe in the “no vendor lock-in” policy. We want our customers to stay with us because they like the service we are providing, not because they are hostages of proprietary software. We are providing managed Mobile Backend as a Service using Parse Server (open-source backend engine) and our mission is to give to the mobile developers the easiest and cost-effective way to create functional and beautiful apps. We take care of apps’ infrastructure, scaling, security, database maintenance, backups, and Parse Server deployment to give the developers the time and energy to focus on their business idea.
We are really passionate about Parse Server, and we are here to give you 5 reasons why you should consider using Parse Server and SashiDo for your backend.
Companies come and go. Just recently Telerik (a Progress company) decided to discontinue yet another MBaaS, forcing their clients to completely rewrite their code. And there’s absolutely no guarantee that this will not happen again. It’s not hard to imagine just how much additional expenses will occur to all Telerik Platform clients. Of course, they have their official alternative provided by Progress - Kinvey, but the new platform is so different that they will have to spend months in order to get their apps up and running in the new platform causing a huge delay in their current roadmap. And who will compensate them? No one.
Open Source Parse Server is a completely different story. It gives you vendor independence or how we like to call it “no vendor lock-in”. There are already several companies that offer Managed Parse Server hosting - SashiDo, Buddy, Back4App and more. Even if one of them decides to pivot or discontinue its offerings, the others will stay. And that’s not all - if you are unsatisfied with one company, you can always migrate to another (often free of charge) without rewriting your code. Or you can choose to host your app in your own Parse Server setup in Heroku or Digital Ocean. Basically, you have plenty of options none of which will drain your development budget which definitely makes the Open Source Parse Server more attractive than any proprietary MBaaS on the market.
Open Source Parse Server is the better choice if you planning long-term projects. Migration from one MBaaS to another will always come with additional expenses for development. And sometimes these expenses can go as much as the original development cost for your app.
Choosing Parse Server will guarantee you that you’ll never be forced to migrate to another backend solution. Even if one Parse Server hosting provider disappears you will always be able to move your app to another provider or get the public source code and host it on your own servers. Your app can live as long as you want without the need for unanticipated budget allocation for development.
Parse Server is maintained by developers with the common goal to make it better and feature-rich for other fellow app developers to use. Everybody can contribute to the open-source project and the decisions about what features to develop next are based solely on what the developers need.
On the other hand, companies that offer a proprietary backend solution often prioritize new features developed based on how much money they will be able to make out of them. And sometimes if a certain feature is not considered as profitable enough to make sane to be developed - it’s never started.
Cybersecurity is no joke these days. We witness major data breaches even from big companies too often to think there’s no way this can happen to us.
Companies that provide proprietary software often rely on security through obscurity principle, meaning that if no one outside the company know the exact implementation then the code is secure.
Almost every data breach is caused by human mistakes. Unfortunately, humans do make mistakes and security through obscurity principles may seems to cover up these mistakes nicely. The truth, however, is that nowadays hackers are capable of finding exploits even when the source code is not available for them to use.
No project is protected from human mistakes, not even the open-source one. But what makes open source more secure, is the way how open source communities work.
First, the project’s code is out there for everybody to see. Everybody who is interested can evaluate the code and if they see a vulnerability or just a small bug in the code they can suggest a fix. Instead of being automatically applied, this fix is to send as a suggestion for the people involved with the project. They review it and accept it only when they are sure the quality of the solution meets the project requirements. Finally, when a solution is accepted, it is merged with the master branch of the open-source project and the fix is available for everybody to use immediately. This makes the time between identifying a possible security breach and distributing a fix way shorter in the open-source projects than in the proprietary software.
Although we haven’t witnessed major data leak caused by an MBaaS provider yet, it’s not a guarantee that will not happen in the future. And if you are afraid that your data may go in the wrong hands, it’s better to trust what you can see for yourself, than what others claim, but no one can see for sure.
If you are using a closed source MBaaS, provided by just one company, and you know that you’ll spend thousands of dollars for development to migrate to another MBaaS, you’ll accept some percentage of price increases as long as it’s not too drastic. It’s not exactly a monopoly, but the result is almost the same.
On the other hand, if you’re using Open Source Parse Server, you can switch providers at no development cost. When your provider increases its pricing, you have the power to decide whether this increase is reasonable or not and to take action to migrate elsewhere if necessary.
Open Source Parse Server is cool and the list with the benefits you will have with it does not end here. The truth is that it has something to offer to everyone. And we can all agree here, there’s nothing better than having provider alternatives because competition makes the world go round.