Just over a year ago I wrote about Backend as a service (BaaS) and warned people to be careful and do their due diligence. My main concerns were over service levels, scaleability, data visibility, calculating costs and long term continuity of service.
Well, Google have quietly released a BaaS for Android developers that seems to solve most of these concerns. Mobile Backend Starter, announced at Google I/O, became available yesterday that uses Google App Engine. It allows you to easily setup a backend for data storage, authentication and messaging (GCM). An example client is also available.
It all looks good. However, most companies need to centrally manage both Android and iOS data on the same server these days. Also, I wouldn’t know how to go about predicting costs. Finally, what with Google recently shutting down some services, I no longer trust Google to support all their offerings into the future. I can see Mobile Backend Starter mainly being used for small ‘homer’ projects. That’s homer being ‘at home’ rather than Simpson!
If you are interested there’s a walkthough on Brad Abram’s Blog.