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Backendless News (19 posts)

codeless 300x200 - Announcing Codeless ProgrammingWith the release of Backendless Cloud v4.1.0 we added an amazing new feature called Codeless Programming. Using Codeless anyone can develop in Backendless without any knowledge of a programming language. The environment is fully visual and lets you create API/IoT Services, Backendless API Event Handlers and Timers. The system can be used to create programs of any complexity. Created logic can be deployed to become an instant API service accessible via REST API as well as dynamically generated native SDKs.  Codeless programs can be either independently standing services or can extend and enhance a Backendless application.

We are happy to announce that Backendless 4 has been released out of Beta. It is now the default environment and all new apps are created in version 4. Now that the Beta is over we have enabled billing in version 4 and you can choose a pricing plan for your application. This can be done using the Manage > Billing section in the Backendless Console. There are four pricing plans to choose from. The details of the plans can be found on the Backendless Cloud Pricing page.

We have introduced a few changes:

  • There is now a free, 14 day trial of the Cloud99 plan. If you created an app while Backendless 4 was in beta, the trial has also been enabled for it. When the trial is over, the app is switched to the Free plan.
  • The “Development team” feature is now enabled for all plans, including the free one. It means you can invite other developers to your app regardless of the plan it is on.
  • We have increased the “Cloud Code Deployment Size” limit for all plans. This is the cumulative size of all the code and dependencies it uses in megabytes. The new limits are 5mb for the Free, Developer and Cloud9 plans and 10mb for the Cloud99 plan.
  • We have completely removed the limit for the number of push notifications in the Cloud99 plan.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us with 4.0 beta. We are very excited about the release and have a lot of very cool features in the works.

If you have an app in 3.x:

We will continue running the 3.x environment, however, we encourage you to migrate your app to 4.0. The free plan in 3.x will be available until November 1st, 2017. After then, the plan will be discontinued. Applications on the free plan in 3.x would either need to migrate to 4.0 or switch to a paid plan before November 1st.

If you have any questions, please contact us on the support forum or the Slack channel, we will be happy to assist you.

We are preparing one of the final Beta builds for Backendless 4. The build should be released early in the week of June 19th. We plan to release the service out of beta shortly after that. One of the important changes in the upcoming service update will be the introduction of deployment models. When the service is updated with that build, it will be necessary to redeploy your business logic (API Services, Event Handlers, and Timers) using the latest release of CodeRunner. If you do not do that, any existing business logic in the Backendless 4 apps will stop working.

We realize it is going to cause an inconvenience – we really wanted to avoid it. However, the service is in beta and we thought you’d cut us some slack.

If you have any questions about this, please ask either on the support forum or our slack channel.

We have published an update for the 4.0 deployment of Backendless – 4.0b3. The update includes the following changes:

  • Fixed problem with developer account confirmation via link in email;
  • Fixed “Login with Twitter” for developer accounts;
  • The “Manage” screen in Backendless console rendered blank in Safari;
  • Fixed error with app deletion;
  • Fixed a bug which caused invocation of unrelated API event handlers on object deletion;

backendless4 banner - Backendless 4.0 in the Cloud has arrived
It is finally here! Backendless version 4.0 Beta 1 is now available in our Cloud! This is a major release packed with some amazing functionality. New management console, generated project templates, online server-side code editing and deployment, AWS lambda integration – these are just some of the new features you will find in version 4. To learn more about version 4, visit the Backendless v4 product page.

Please keep in mind that this is a Beta release and we need to hear from you. If you encounter a problem, please send us an email (support@backendless.com) or post to the support forum.

Enjoy!

4.0 plus logo - Backendless 4.0 Beta 1 is here!
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.

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.

notify nearby - Powered by Backendless: Notify Nearby launchesAs you may heard from a TechCrunch review, Notify Nearby has launched its app which is now available in the iOS appstore. The app lets you follow retail brands to receive announcements and merchant updates. It also features a very cool iBeacon integration where you could get notified about any specials right as you pass by a brand store you follow. The app is powered by Backendless and uses a variety of platform’s features. We are very excited about the app’s launch and wish the Notify Nearby team a tremendous success with it.

We are happy to announce availability of Backendless installers for the Standalone Edition build. Standalone Backendless is an installation of the product which runs on your own servers, either on-premises or in the cloud. The product comes with a free license for development and production purposes so long that the entire installation runs on the same computer or virtual machine. The product can be easily configured to scale out and include additional instances. In that case a commercial license is required. You can find the download link on the Backendless Downloads page on our site.

standalone backendless - Standalone Backendless v.3.0 is available
Enjoy!