SaaS: Parse: back-end as a service

Nowadays, there are a lot of businesses and startups are growing up in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). Recently, Facebook giant bought Parse [http://parse.com] innovative startup in this field. Parse is a back-end as a service. It is not a ready to use product for the concrete client, but a service for software developers that can help a lot. It can speed up the development process and reduce costs, as it solves the problem with back-end or server side in the most cases the project needs. Parse fits to a demo or a prototype ideally, because the main goal here is to build first working version as soon as possible with minimum resources.

Easy start

You can start using Parse right after quick registration, actually, as any modern Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. There are several environments: data, push notification (suitable for mobile applications), analytics, social services integration, code in the cloud and hosting. On the other hand, Parse can be applied to various platforms: mobile, desktop, web (HTML, JavaScript), Unity, PHP. Just download test project as start point or follow instructions to integrate Parse into existing solution. Generally, Parse provides a set of collections, so, we can put objects into those collections in the way similar to document-oriented storages, like MongoDB, then handle those records by CRUD operations in asynchronous way.

User accounts

Any modern service based on social API’s needs some kind of user accounts system with persistence storage. Parse provides such solution. Client can access their profiles and share their information in secure manner. Such User entities have special methods signUp, logIn, become, etc. It supports ACL, password reset, roles and easy built-in integration with Facebook accounts. There is a set of approaches and recommendations at line of security that help to keep user’s information and application’s data safe. You can configure specific authorization scenario in the settings of the application, like allow to login via Facebook only with providing Facebook application ID, Twitter consumer key or other such information.


Analytics module of Parse allows to send specific tracking events. There can be sent a set of additional parameters (dimensions), then the data collected for some period can be aggregated by those dimensions to extract useful business information. As it is very important for further development of any project, Parse looks very cool Software as a Service (SaaS) for both software developer and business analytics.


Android and iOS application has ability to send push notification from Parse.com push console, REST API or cloud code.

There is geospatial feature available to query object related to some area by its latitude and longitude coordinates. There is Backbone integration out of the box you can use in your even existing project. Parse uses Backbone’s View almost as is. It needs jQuery for DOM manipulation, at least.

Parse is a free, robust and easy to use back-end solution for your next project. Plenty documentation, tutorials and examples are available. Just create a robust facade for your persistent layer to call it via wrapper of your own interface. Then later you will be able to switch to another implementation instead of Parse, if you really need it.

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