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Backendless News (17 posts)

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;

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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!

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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.

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-nearbyAs 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.

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Enjoy!

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We are so excited to report that Backendless has been updated with the new version 3.0.0. This is the most important release we have ever done. The importance of it is on so many levels that it will affect everyone! First of all, we made Backendless more affordable than ever. There are three variations of Backendless:

  1. Backendless Cloud. This is our main, centralized installation of the service. There used to be three pricing plans, and with the 3.0 release, all the pricing plans we used to have are gone – there is only one “pricing plan” and it is FREE. You do not need to upgrade or choose a more costly plan ever. The backend includes all the Backendless features and is available so you can build very powerful and innovative apps. Of course the free level has some limitations which you can either remove or increase by purchasing individual Function Packs from our brand new Backendless Marketplace. Yes, we now have our own server-side app store and it is absolutely awesome (more about it later).
  2. Backendless Standalone. This is the version of Backendless which you can run on your own servers, either in the cloud or your own data center. Starting with 3.0, we offer this version of our product to you at no cost, without any functional limitations! That’s right, you can run your own private installation of Backendless for FREE. You might be asking, what’s the catch? The product license is free of charge so long that all of components of the Backendless product run on the same server or virtual machine. Whenever you need to start introducing scalability, fault tolerance, failover, etc, or in other words, whenever you introduce a second machine or a VM in your Backendless setup, a commercial license is required.
  3. Managed Backendless. This is a specialized installation of Backendless which we provide just for your applications. The backend runs in a complete isolation from all other apps, the entire installation is there to support your apps. This is the most secure and reliable installation you can get. There are no functional limitations on the functionality. Managed Backendless is monitored 24 x 7 and it is automatically scaled to provide a consistent response time and is backed by the commercial SLAs.

The release is also packed with some amazing features. Below is a list of the most notable ones:

  • Backendless Marketplace. This is our own server-side app store. It is the key component of the Backendless Platform. The Marketplace is where you can find many products and services which will enhance your backend. We plan to rapidly evolve it and soon will allow anyone to contribute to it, but for now, it includes Function Packs – a special type of “product” that lets you remove or change limits of Backendless Cloud and Database Connectors (see below).
  • Database Connectors. Backendless Marketplace includes 4 database connectors for the Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases. When you install a connector into your app, the Backendless Data Service API will communicate with the data from your own database. The connectors are available at no cost until the end of 2015.
  • Backendless SDK for PHP. if you are a PHP developer, you can take advantage of Backendless with an SDK built specifically with you in mind. The SDK provides beautiful, clean, object-oriented API for all Backendless functionality. The SDK is open source and we welcome your contributions.
  • Custom business logic in PHP. To support our vision of a polyglot system even further, we added support for custom server-side code in PHP. Previously it was only Java and JavaScript and we welcome PHP to the family of server-side languages we support. Backendless console can now generate service handler and timer code for PHP and we also created a special PHP CodeRunner which is a container for custom server-side business logic.
  • Logging improvements. Backendless logging has been updated with integrations supporting Loggly and ElasticSearch. Using these integrations, Backendless submits log messages from your app to the corresponding service. Once the logs are available in Loggly or ElasticSearch, you can analyze them using the tools available in these services. Additionally, we added support for custom log message formats, which you can configure right from Backendless Console.
  • Data constraints. This is a feature many users have asked for and now you can mark individual data columns as indexed, not null (required) and unique. This is a very powerful feature that can significantly improve the performance of your application.
  • Google+ login. We have expanded support for social logins which already included Facebook and Twitter. Now you can configure your apps to allow users of Google+ can use their credentials to login to your app. Also, we modified Backendless console to allow app developers to login with the Google+ credentials.

We plan to publish detailed review of each feature in the near future. There is also going to be a series of webinars dedicated to the 3.0 release.

Enjoy!

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It feels great to be recognized as a leader. Backendless is featured to be one of the top solutions for the global mobile application development in the DZone’s latest research guide, the Guide to Mobile Development – 2015 Edition. This guide features key findings from a survey of 500 + authoritative IT professionals which have led the precise exploration of the mobile market offers to emphasize the best of them. This study results in helpful and valuable articles from the industry experts, useful infographic that depicts common pain points for mobile developers and a solution directory of the leaders in mobile web frameworks and MADPs. 

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