What specific functionality within Backendless has been the most valuable for you when building Lifebook?
Karim: Building the database in Backendless is literally the easiest way you could build a database. Connecting to Backendless is so easy being that you do not need any extra configuration files. The setup is so easy and the database is the most useful piece of Backendless because it’s so quick and easy to use.
What led you to choose Backendless over other mobile backend as a service (mBaaS) platforms?
Karim: In addition to Backendless being so easy to use, I have found that most of the other backend as a service platforms available online right now are shifting towards NoSQL, and I’m not sure every developer right now is capable of that. I’m also not sure every business model and database design is compatible with NoSQL. Backendless is sticking with SQL which I think is great. I also really appreciate that Backendless is still moving forward with new technologies, like the addition of real-time database with is an amazing new function you’ve added, cheers to that.
What added complexity did you find when building a business that is more than just app, but also features a physical product?
Abdul Rahman Tafech, “Chief Executive Oxpecker”: We have gotten to the point where our printing stations are very practical and low-cost to set up, and when you see the albums you’ll know what we mean about the beautiful hand-crafting that goes into them, but the process to get there was extensive. We started out not knowing anything about printing pictures. Printing photos is not like just printing anything else; photo paper uses chemical compounds to produce that shine. There was a lot of detail and research that went into finding a printing machine and finding paper suppliers as well as suppliers for the album covers themselves. There was also a lot of time on the creative side trying to nail down the business model, price point and whether we would be a high-end or budget-type product, etc. It was a lot of asking people, friends and family, and figuring out where the market is going.
What are your future plans for Lifebook?
Abdul: Ultimately our goal is to open a small printing station in many countries around the world that can create the handmade albums, allowing us to reach customers around the world while maintaining our low price-point. Right now, everything is sourced in Lebanon, but we are looking to bring on investors to help us grow to be available globally.
For lean startups like Lifebook that are looking to get from idea to prototype to published app quickly and efficiently, Backendless is the perfect solution. Backendless offers fast and easy setup, easy database design and connectivity, and the ability to connect to, and scale with, many different mobile and web-based applications.