The Backendless Platform is built to run anywhere. We have had that vision right from the very first release of the product. Many of you are familiar with Backendless which we host in the cloud, however, exactly the same technology stack is also available as an on-premises solution, which we call Backendless Pro. With the release of version 5 of the product earlier this year, we tasked ourselves to rebuild how Backendless Pro is being distributed. Previously, it was available through a downloadable installer which led to difficulties in configuring and scaling the software. We decided to base the architecture on Docker where each component of the Backendless technology stack would be running as a separate Docker container. There are multiple benefits of this approach:
Backendless can be distributed through DockerHub where we publish images for each components.
Using Docker Compose we can define and run Backendless as a multi-container application.
It is significantly easier to instrument and scale separate containers.
Customers can easier upgrade their installations.
I am happy to report that the new Backendless Pro version 5 is now available. You are welcome to give it a try and run your own installation of Backendless Pro – the unlimited version of our platform(30 day eval licenses are automatically generated). You can find the instructions for installing and running the product on the GItHub page for Backendless Pro.
The following features are automatically included into the latest distribution:
Real-time publish/subscribe messaging
Codeless business logic
Build and manage API services with Java, JS or Codeless
Push Notifications to Android and IOS
User management + APIs
File management + APIs
Soon we will be publishing the updated documentation on Backendless Pro. Please contact us on the Backendless support forum or Slack have any questions.
It has not been a year since we released version 4 into GA (it went live on July 3rd, 2017). There were 48 “point” releases between then and now, but we also have been hard at work on the next major version of Backendless – version 5. The new release will be backward compatible – when the release goes live, your applications will continue to work as before. If you decide to upgrade the client-side libraries, you will get access to all the functionality in the new version. What does the roadmap for version 5 look like? See answer below:
Real-time Database – your app can subscribe to receive real-time updates when new objects are created in the database, or existing objects are updated or deleted.
Real-time Publish/Subscribe messaging – we changed the subscription model so the published messages are pushed to the client applications instead of the current “pull” model.
Real-time logging console – See and inspect your app’s log messages in Backendless console in real-time.
Remote Shared Objects (RSO) – This is a jewel of real-time messaging. Unless you had experience with RSOs in the Flash/Flex world, it will be a new concept for you. Wait for the release and be prepared to be amazed.
Redesigned Push Notifications Support – we have completely rebuilt support for push notifications. Virtually every push notification feature available in the latest Android and iOS versions will be supported in Backendless 5.
Mobile Landing Pages – We added a simple CMS (content management system) so you can create a landing page for your mobile app and host it in Backendless.
Zapier Integration – Connect your Backendless backend with 1000+ external services and APIs available in Zapier. Virtually every single API in Backendless would be available as a trigger or an action in Zapier.
Phone-based Authentication – We added 2FA and the users of your apps will be able to login without any stored passwords.
Integration with External databases – This is a feature available only in Backendless Pro. It will let you connect your Backendless app with an external database (Oracle, MySQL, SQLServer, PostreSQL)
Docker-based architecture for Backendless Pro – Backendless Pro is changing to be based on Docker. This will allow for better management, scalability and software updates.
The real-time functionality is what slated for the 5.0 release. Other listed features will become available with the subsequent minor version releases.
We are very excited about Backendless 5 and I am sure you will love it too!
Backendless Pro, the standalone version of Backendless, is now officially released and is available for download. The new release includes the latest version of the Backendless Platform. Version 4, which was originally launched only for the Backendless Cloud product is a major improvement over the previous version.
The version 4 release includes:
Completely redesigned Backendless Console;
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to work with you. However, without a support plan, we will not be able to provide support for it.
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.