Farewell, Parse.

A bunch of developers were greeted with this email today morning (morning for me anyway)

Facebook had a great tool in Parse. Developers loved it, the SDKs were great, the Dashboard looked dead simple, and best of all, the Free plan was AMAZING.

I have used Parse for quite a few projects and it has worked really well. The best parts:

  • No headache of managing own DB instance
  • SDKs for Android, iOS, JavaScript, etc. Even venturing into IoT
  • Great Analytics and Push Notification service

All for free.

That is what I believe led to Parse being shelved. The paid plans provided good upgrades, but it was never meant to be a production backend solution.

With simple queries (to retrieve a file) taking about 4 - 5 seconds in the foreground, performance was a major factor. Hence the major users were developers using it to power their own projects/websites. And for them (including myself) the free plan was more than enough with 30 requests/sec.

I was also looking forward to using their hosting service for a static website and Parse’s Cloud Code features were always one of their highlights.

The shuttering of Parse has come as a surprise to the developer community as it was one of the stars in recent F8 conferences. SDKs for Apple’s watchOS and tvOS had just been released with more updates promised.

But, with Parse gone, I am looking for alternatives to Parse, mainly a fully managed Backend service without worrying about instances/load balancer/database. Backendless seems promising with an API engine, database and hosting.

But it will be difficult to replace the simplicity of the Parse platform. Parse is now open-sourcing their Parse Server project for local hosting as well as releasing a migration tool to migrate DB data to MongoDB instances like MongoLab.

Check out their farewell post and migration tutorials here.

Please let me know of alternatives. Cheers.

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