Marc Chriqui, an executive with experience in product management and application development, was hired by a client to create a component to advance their legacy software product. When Marc delivered a solution built with Backendless, it became clear that the potential extended far beyond bolt-on solutions.
Marc Chriqui of Delevante Technologies quickly discovered that his client’s legacy product could be completely remastered with Backendless. After initially seeking a bolt-on solution, the project grew in scale thanks to Backendless’ capabilities.
Like many companies over the past few decades, Marc Chriqui’s clients had created a bit of a monster with their technology. Rather than focusing on a single, cohesive development strategy, each new iteration of the product had come with some new technology Frankensteined onto it. Year by year, the product grew in complexity, as did the need for increasingly specialized development skills to maintain and expand it.
“[The] company … found itself in a challenging situation with legacy code and some technology decisions weren’t a great fit for the requirements…”
– Marc Chriqui, Delevante Technologies
A common problem with software development is finding developers with the right mix of skills for the job at hand. The more languages and tools used to develop a product, the more difficult it becomes to find appropriate talent.
The project Marc entered was built on a complex, full-code PHP environment. It was reliant on technologies that, according to Marc, “didn’t offer ease of advancement with the product road map.” Needing to find the right niche talent to continue building out the product meant that it was “very, very difficult to keep the product moving forward.”
At first, Marc did what he was asked. Marc explored no-code and low-code options, seeking to find an elegant solution to supplement the existing legacy software. While Marc wanted no-code/low-code for speed of development, he still wanted the flexibility of using code if the need arose.
“[In addition to AppGyver], I also evaluated WaveMaker, Xano, Bildr, DraftBit, and Microsoft Power Apps before selecting Backendless. Overall Backendless won on: integrated front- and backend building, no-code ease of use/rapid development (for a professional developer), extensibility, cost, and hosting/scaling options.”
Once Backendless was chosen, development moved rapidly and the initial requirements were delivered. The Backendless component not only achieved the intended goal, but it changed the scope of the entire project.
“[T]he scope started with developing a small piece that would … represent a key component of the overall feature set that was needed. Sort of like a bolt-on strategy to connect into existing software, even though overall there were some … challenges [with the existing software]. But then with the success of, let’s call it, the initial component that was delivered on the Backendless platform, it was a pleasure to work with and everyone felt the value and wanted more of the same.”
Backendless’ Codeless programming system was a game-changer, both for Marc and for the client.
“Backendless was really able to get me, as a… sort of generalist full-stack developer, into quickly ramping up on concepts and getting features developed without having to worry about syntax.”
With a small team – often doing all of the development work himself – Marc was able to easily manage both the UI and backend development simultaneously. The ease of integration between the two, along with the shared Codeless syntax, made development fast and smooth.
The fact that Backendless offered a full stack experience, rather than having to work with a hybrid of two or more platforms or tools, made the choice easy. The fact that Backendless also offers the ability to host the application on your own servers was icing on the cake.
“I understand Backendless as a managed platform, but there are options for decoupling from the platform and deploying on other servers. Which is good. And that kind of flexibility was a winner for us.”
With Backendless, Marc could begin with a shared hosting cloud solution (Backendless Cloud) while knowing that, when the time comes, he can easily transition the project to on-premise with Backendless Pro.
“What we wanted was optionality. We know that like every other company, every other online platform or SaaS company, you sort of crawl, walk, run. And as the project is small you want things to be coupled. But as things scale, you want the option to scale out and separate concerns.”
Marc speaks glowingly about Backendless now. The platform has seemingly provided everything he could ask for and more.
“Our speed of development has been outstanding. We’re able to crank out development and features super fast with a small team … we’re just super pleased with the platform’s features as well as its extensibility when needed. But also … things move quickly when you have a responsive support team and questions are answered really quickly which ends up removing a lot of bottlenecks. And it’s great to see that even the core development team gets involved in answering questions, even all the way to the CEO. Mark [Piller] gets involved and answers questions himself. It’s nice to see. It’s nice to see the whole company being customer centric.”
Marc recommends Backendless as a solution for organizations of all sizes as well as for developers of all skill levels.
“I think Backendless, in terms of organizations, can serve from startups to enterprises across the board. So the entire life cycle can be part of the journey. And in terms of developer profiles, I think this is a really good fit for professional developers or experienced developers…
“[S]killed developers generally appreciate low level things. However, they’ll see some productivity boosts with some of the tools that are offered. And they can just focus on getting their stuff done and rolling out features really, really quickly. And in terms of what we could call, maybe citizen developers or non-skilled developers, they would have a tiny bit of a learning curve, but I think that this is a really good fit for them to become productive and at the same time grow from where they are to develop advanced features and go more towards what experienced developers might be producing.”