The Free Plan from Backendless is designed to act as an educational sandbox where you can explore the platform and learn the fundamentals of Backendless.
When you sign up for a Backendless account after May 22nd, 2023, you begin with an application on the Free Plan. You can have up to five (5) apps on the Free Plan at any given time, which is super valuable – we’ll tell you why below.
The Free Plan is your first step on your Backendless learning journey. We have laid out the Ideal Backendless Learning Path here.
You will be able to work your way through much of the Learning Path using just the Free Plan. This will give you a great foundation for building your own applications with Backendless.
If you choose to pursue becoming a Backendless Certified Engineer, you will likely need to switch to a paid plan to complete all necessary tasks.
Free Plan Limits
The Free Plan is not designed to be a development plan. Apps on the Free Plan may be published just as apps on the Scale Plan can, however if you are anticipating more than very minimal traffic, you are likely to hit the plan’s limits quickly.
The limitations of the Free Plan are designed to give you the flexibility to experiment with the platform and complete Missions, but most developers will want to switch to the Scale Plan to begin development on projects you intend to publish.
The Free Plan’s limits are:
- 50 requests/minute
- 1000 requests/day
- 10 data tables
- 15,000 database records
- File storage 1GB
- 2 API event handlers and/or timers (Codeless or with code)
- Objects in Cache – 10
- Atomic Counters – 10
- Development team – unlimited
- No Column Visibility
- 1 Custom API key
- 2 Custom Security roles
- 1 KB hive
- 5 Operations in transaction
- 10 RT connections
- 10 listeners per RT connection
- Pub/Sub messages – 100,000
- Push notifications – 100,000
- Cloud Code deployment size – 1 MB
- Cloud Code Execution time – 5 seconds
- Cloud Code timer frequency – 300 seconds
What happens if I exceed the Free Plan limits?
Upon exceeding any limits, the application will immediately be blocked from processing any API requests. If you exceed API usage limits, all requests will be blocked (fail) until the exceeded time (end of current minute for per-minute usage, end of current day for daily usage) resets.
Alternately, if you exceed a fixed limit such as data storage, file storage, timers, API services, etc., then the app will be indefinitely blocked and you will have 30 days to correct the problem or upgrade to a paid plan, otherwise the application will be deleted. (Exceeding such limits is most likely to occur if you downgrade to the Free Plan from another plan.)
Why 5 apps on the Free Plan, then?
With such limitations, you may be wondering why you would want to have five apps on the Free Plan. There are a few reasons for this.
First, in regard to learning the platform, you will be able to have one primary app that you use to complete Missions, but then you will also have the ability to create additional apps to complete other tasks or try other features.
For example, you may choose to create a new Free Plan app each time you start a new video course, in order to keep sample datasets separate and avoid confusing yourself.
Additionally, if you want to explore one of our many App Blueprints, which are primarily designed to showcase specific functionality within the platform, you can do so by spinning up a new Free Plan app.
Another reason you may want multiple Free Plan apps is if you are wanting to sketch out the early stages of a new application before committing to development fully. Building on the Free Plan lets you get a basic feel for how well the platform will be able to support your app’s use case. If you’re still not sure if Backendless is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask our team on the support forum, Slack channel, or Telegram channel.
How to upgrade to a paid plan
If you choose to use the Free Plan for early development, you can easily upgrade to a paid plan at any time. Simply navigate to Backend > Manage > Billing to switch plans.
You will need to create a payment profile by following the link in the Billing section or visiting your Account > Billing and selecting the Payment Profiles tab. To reach your account, click on the profile icon in the top right corner of Backendless Console.
Can I “park” an app on the Free Plan?
“Parking” means downgrading to a Free Plan from a paid plan while you retool, develop further, wait for funding, etc. You can park your app on the Free Plan, but it is not recommended – and will likely not work. Because of the data and file storage limitations, a fully or nearly complete app will likely exceed the Free Plan limits, at which point it will be blocked and eventually deleted.
We recommend using the Scale Plan to park your app. As long as the app is no longer receiving external API traffic, the cost for storing it on Backendless is nominal ($15 per month on the lowest tier).
Can I publish an app on the Free Plan?
Technically, yes. However, even if the app is small and simple, the API usage limits will prevent the app from being commercially viable. If the purpose is for a personal or internal tool with few users and minimal traffic, then give it a shot, it may work for you!