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It has been a long journey from the early days when the Backendless team sat down to discuss what we wanted to do with the platform till today when I am writing this blog post. The idea for the 4.0 release was started as a uniform vision for a major cleanup of all the issues which were getting in the way. Normally, a cleanup would not warrant a major release, but the breadth and depth of changes we made can certainly justify bumping “3.x” into “4.0”. After all, the new release is not just about fixing and oiling the parts, it is a fundamentally better and stronger product. It gives us a solid foundation to increase our developer base 10x without any impact on the service uptime and response time and ultimately to elevate Backendless Marketplace as an open API services platform. The 4.0 release is exciting for many reasons. It has the right amount of new, exciting features and offers a magnitude of improvements where Backendless just feels better as a product.

You will quickly notice that Backendless Console looks a bit different. Some parts of it changed slightly and others were completely redesigned. Getting started with Backendless is now even easier thanks for the ‘Download Project Template’ feature.You can now edit and deploy the server-side (CloudCode) right in the console. The API docs have a completely different navigation structure with all of the documentation content rendered on a single page (works great for searches too!).

To learn more about the release, access the downloads and the docs, please visit the Backendless 4.0 page. We plan to update the page throughout the Beta process and beyond. We’re already working on blog posts describing features, webinars and YouTube videos.

We hope to get your feedback about the product from you. Since it is a Beta release, some things may not work exactly right. Please let us know what you find. We welcome absolutely any and all feedback. The best way to share it with us is by posting a topic to our support forum.

Enjoy!

2016 was a pretty big year for Backendless. There is a steady stream of developer sign-ups for the Backendless Cloud version, fueled in part by the impeding closure of Parse. The ever increasing API traffic generated by the apps and the growing developer activity resulted in stability problems towards the end of 2016. There were outages and timeouts and we were working around the clock to stabilize the system. There were multiple changes as a result of that effort. We have expanded the server capacity by adding more powerful servers, made changes in the core product to improve stability and enhanced the monitoring facility (the system is being monitored 24×7 by our system administration team). The result is exactly what we wanted to see – the system has been running smoothly ever since.

The changes we made required a sizable investment. With tens of thousands of apps running in Backendless, it is getting very costly to maintain the service. That combined with our single-free-plan-pricing-model called for changes in the way we approach billing. Indeed, the free plan we have today gives away a lot with minimal financial upside for the company. These are the primary drivers for the change – starting February 1st the Backendless Cloud will switch to support new pricing plans. Here’s a brief overview of the changes:

  • There are three pricing plans to choose from.
  • The entry level plan will remain free and will include the minimally required set of features one would need to build and launch an app.
  •  Once you need more backend resources, you can switch to a paid plan.
  • There are two paid plans: Cloud 9 ($25/month) and Cloud 99 ($99/month).
  • Paid plans have functional limits which can be increased or removed by purchasing function packs from the Marketplace.

You can see the new billing plans on the Backendless Cloud Pricing page.

The timeline for the change is as follows:

  1. The service will be updated with support for new pricing on February 1st.
  2. If your application uses more resources than provided by the new free plan, you will be notified by email.
  3. If the free plan does not meet the needs of the application, a paid plan must be selected no later than February 7th.

If you have any questions, please contact the sales team at: sales@backendless.com.

happy-new-yearWe wish you a happy, peaceful, prosperous, productive and totally Backendless new year! We have grand plans for this year and are very excited about all the cool things we have been working on which we will be releasing very soon. The new version 4 of Backendless is absolutely remarkable and we can’t wait for you to try it out. Thank you for building with Backendless and here’s to a great new year!

Posted in Uncategorized

Backendless Pro is the limitless version of the Backendless Platform. You can install it on your development computer, your own data center or run in the cloud. Wherever you decide to run the product, all the functional limits which you’d find in our Cloud version are removed, thus Backendless Pro provides the limitless capabilities.

To simplify the process of deployment Backendless Pro in the Amazon Web Services environment, the product is now available in the AWS Marketplace. Amazon offers a 14 days trial during which the fees for the software are waived. There are many advantages for launching Backendless Pro in AWS. The most significant is the ability to leverage the AWS services to achieve maximum scalability of your backend. See the video below for an overview of the deployment scenario:

Posted in Backendless Pro

We continue the “Backendless U” series and today we discuss different ways the Backendless Platform is packaged.

We started a new series of video posts with the project codename of “Backendless U”. We plan to discuss “all things Backendless” which include the company, customers, product architecture, features, but most importantly provide information enabling you to build better apps with our technology. Here’s the first introductory video.

google-signin-backendlessWe supported Google Sign in for a while, however, the feature was not properly documented. Not anymore )) The documentation has been updated for Android and iOS SDKs. Using the “Login with Google” function, an app can provide a way for the users to login using their Google credentials. Once a user is authenticated, Backendless creates an internal account and starts a logged-in session.

See Backendless documentation for details:

Android SDK

iOS SDK

For anyone developing business logic in JS, we have put together some suggestions for troubleshooting your deployment. The page is added to the product documentation. One of the new features described in the doc is the ability to redirect console.log  messages to Backendless logging. Once your JS code is deployed to production, messages from the console.log  calls will be routed to the log file wit the SERVER_CODE  logging category.

About a year ago we made a decision to drop the barrier of entry for Backendless Standalone. At the time when we released the free version of Standalone Backendless, we made a bet that users will go for the “enterprise standard” of server redundancy by introducing a second (non-free) instance and thus removing a single point of failure, increasing scalability and fault tolerance. Unfortunately, the amount of the revenue derived from that model is not sufficient to cover our expenses. We are staying focused though and are dedicated to providing value for Backendless users and customers. In order to maintain the focus and build a better, stronger, more reliable and scalable product, we made a decision to stop the distribution of Standalone Backendless and replace it with a new product called Backendless Pro.

So what will happen next?

  • Starting today we stopped distribution of Standalone Backendless and it is replaced by a new product called Backendless Pro.
  • You can install Backendless Pro on your Linux, Mac OS or Windows machine.
  • You can launch a pre-packaged virtual machine or you can start a cloud instance, right from the browser.
  • The product does not have any limits which one would experience in the Cloud version of Backendless.
  • Backendless Pro must be licensed; it means a license key must be purchased for it to run.
  • If you’re not ready to purchase, you can request a trial license.
  • Without a license key, the product will run for two hours after a restart and will operate in a single-threaded mode.
  • We offer special discounts for pre-revenue, non-funded startups with less than 3 people in the team.
  • Support is included with every license of Backendless Pro, including trial licenses.
  • If you currently use Standalone Backendless, it will continue to run and we will be happy to assist you with an upgrade to Backendless Pro.
  • If you downloaded and installed the product prior to today and planned to purchase a support plan for your deployment, please contact our sales at sales@backendless.com and we will be happy to work with you. However, without a support plan, we will not be able to provide support for it.
Here are a few Backendless Pro highlights:
  • Backendless Pro is more scalable out of the box.
  • Backendless Pro now comes with the formal product documentation.
  • The product is more production ready for users who care about building stable, reliable and scalable apps.
  • Customers have more options on how to pay for the product; on-boarding is now even smoother.
  • Customers deploying Backendless Pro in the AWS environment have an easy way to launch and pay using a familiar workflow (pay-per-use model).

Stephen King wrote in 11/22/63, “Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?”. I envision that some users of Standalone Backendless will feel that way. If it is going to be of any consolation – it was not our intent to take something away from you. After all, you are welcome to continue using it, albeit I strongly encourage considering Backendless Pro.

I hope you will understand our decision. It was a lesson learnt for all of us. A free, unlimited product was too good to be true. We made every effort to make sure that the new product is better than ever. We hope you will stay with/join the Backendless world and we’ll make the future together.

BLOG-WindowsOur vision for Backendless Platform is a system that lets anyone run Backendless-powered apps on any device while the backend can be hosted in any environment. The Standalone Backendless is a special packaging of the platform you can install on your own servers. The best part of it is that you can run Standalone Backendless on a single server without incurring any licensing fees, that’s right, single server/VM mode is free.

Initially we packaged Standalone Backendless for Linux and Mac OS X environments, as well as virtual machines for Amazon Web Services, Digital Ocean, VMWare vCloud Air, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud Platforms. One of the missing pieces was Windows. And it is no more. Starting today you can install the Backendless Platform on a Windows workstation/server and get the entire stack of the Standalone Backendless distribution. This is very exciting for us and I am sure many of you will take advantage of the fantastic opportunities Backendless will bring for your apps. To get started, head on to the Backendless Downloads section on our website and download the Standalone Backendless for Windows installer.