Introducing the Scale Variable Plan

by on May 22, 2023
Introducing the Scale Plan

Effective June 1st, 2023, Backendless pricing is changing. The reason for the change is multi-faceted, but the ultimate goal is to apply fair pricing across all apps based on resources the app uses. Read on to learn more.

The change to Backendless Cloud pricing is a shift from a fixed monthly price with multiple plans to a single plan with a price that will adjust daily based on the number of server resources consumed by your application.

In other words, Backendless Cloud customers will be billed a tiered daily rate (see chart below) based on the maximum (peak) number of API calls aggregated on a per-minute basis processed by Backendless servers on a given day. In most cases (1), the billing occurs once a month for the previous 30 days of usage.

The new plan, called the Scale Plan, is available on June 1st, 2023. The Scale Plan starts as low as $15 per month. See below for additional details on the Scale Plan’s contents.

Like Cloud 9 and Cloud 99, the Scale Plan continues to support unlimited team members. You will still be able to have unlimited developer seats for working on your apps at no additional cost.

To give existing users time to adjust to the new pricing system, we will be maintaining the current Cloud pricing plans for a time. The Cloud 9 plan will remain available to existing apps until August 1st, 2023, while the Cloud 99 will remain available to existing apps until May 1st, 2024.

For all apps created on or after June 1st, only the new Free Plan and the Scale Plan will be available. On August 1st, 2023, all apps on the Cloud 9 plan will be automatically switched to the Scale Plan when their billing cycle resets in August unless that app is switched to the Cloud 99 plan.

Pricing Transition Timeline

To view your historical usage stats and preview the estimated pricing for your app, visit Backend > Manage > Analytics. This will help you understand your past usage as well as determine which plan is best for you while the Cloud 99 plan remains available.

View concurrent request analytics in Backendless Console

For some users, the price paid each month will remain largely unchanged. For still-in-development apps and low-usage apps that remain in the lowest pricing tier for a month, the monthly price is $15 – less than our previous Cloud 9 monthly price of $35.

Pricing Estimator

When you visit your app analytics, the estimate is based on the selected range of dates and the peak number of requests per minute processed for each of the days. You can also click “Show All Tiers” to see what pricing looks like at other tiers that your app hasn’t reached.

How Tiered Pricing Works

The price you will pay is based on the daily peak API requests per minute. It is highly likely that your app’s pricing will vary day-to-day, but it is also likely that you will be able to identify trends that will allow you to project costs into the future.

How does Backendless calculate the “request per minute” number? The calculation is done for every 24 hour cycle. We aggregate the calls on a per-minute basis. Then we find the minute with the highest usage. This becomes the number of requests per minute associated with the day correlating to the 24 hour period.

There will be 16 pricing tiers available when the pricing change takes effect.

Tier Daily Price Requests per min (in 24 hours)
1 $0.50 0-5
2 $0.99 6-10
3 $1.75 11-20
4 $2.15 21-50
5 $2.95 51-100
6 $4.25 101-200
7 $7.00 201-300
8 $12.00 301-500
9 $25.00 501-750
10 $45.00 751-1,000
11 $65.00 1,001-2,000
12 $95.00 2,001-3,000
13 $145.00 3,001-4,000
14 $170.00 4,001-5,000
15 $190.00 5,001-7,000
16 $230.00 7,001-10,000


There is no “upper limit” to the tier structure. If your app generates more than 10,000 requests per minute, your app will not be throttled. You will be notified when reaching the upper tiers, at which point you will be able to decide how best to proceed.

For example, if your app is approaching the highest tier in the chart above on a regular basis, we recommend you contact our team as you will likely benefit from Backendless Pro, which has fixed annual pricing, or Managed Backendless, which is an implementation of Backendless Pro on your own server infrastructure but maintained by our team.

The New Scale Plan

As we mentioned previously, once the transition is complete, there will only be a single Backendless cloud pricing plan called the Scale Plan; there will no longer be separate Cloud 9, Cloud 99, and Cloud Enterprise plans.

Instead, the Scale Plan will have the following features and limits:

  • Functional limits of the current Cloud 9 plan (view here)
  • Access to all function packs for expanding limits and adding features

Additionally, the Scale Plan includes functionality previously limited to the Cloud 99 plan:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Column visibility control
  • Multiple custom domains per application

Leveling the Playing Field

It has undeniably been a challenge for app development tools to find the right balance on pricing. While a “fixed monthly price with fixed limits and expansion packs” approach can work, it often will have undesirable consequences.

For example, under our existing pricing structure, it is possible for an app with a small database and limited API usages – ultimately a low impact on server capacity – to pay the same price as an app that has a small database but very heavy usage. The latter app in this scenario has a much greater impact on server resource utilization, and thus impacts other apps as well. Therefore, we believe that impact should be factored into the price.

Rather than creating a nebulous new “unit of work” factor that you have to painstakingly calculate as you build, we chose to use peak requests as our measure of usage for three reasons:

  1. We believe this is the most accurate way to measure the impact an app has on server performance, and thus the best measure of impact on other apps.
  2. We believe this measure is the most straightforward to calculate, meaning you can anticipate your costs and project out into the future with relative ease.
  3. We believe using this unit of measurement will make it easier for you to evaluate your app’s consumption and identify areas where efficiency can be improved; in other words, you can review your API request history and likely see precisely where spikes are occurring, and then use tools like the Deep Save API and Transactions APIs to optimize your API calls.

With a platform as feature-rich as Backendless, where one user may be using the database only, one user may be using API management, one user may be using push notifications, and another user may be using UI Builder and all other features as well, it is impossible to have a perfectly fair pricing model that is also easy to understand.

We believe we have chosen the option that fits the most use cases while appropriately pricing the most scarce resource: server capacity.

What Else Is New?

In addition to the change in pricing, we are also going to be changing the free availability of the platform as well.

First, effective immediately, new Backendless apps will begin on the new Free Plan rather than a free trial. There will no longer be a free trial available since the Free plan would remain free in its perpetuity. Users may have up to five (5) apps on the Free Plan on a single account.

The reason for the change is that the existing free trial system could be abused by developers with no intention of becoming a paying customer. In effect, these accounts are consuming server resources at the expense of paying users, and we want our paying customers to be confident that they are getting the absolute best performance possible.

Consequently, we will also be phasing out the Springboard Plan on January 1st, 2024. All apps currently on the Springboard Plan will need to switch to a paid plan (or our new Free Plan) by that date. We will send periodic reminders to ensure you don’t lose any work.

The New Free Plan

The new Free Plan is now available. Unlike the Springboard Plan, the Free Plan is production-capable. However, it is much more limited in storage capacity than existing plans.

The Free Plan’s limits are:

  • 50 requests/minute
  • 1000 requests/day
  • 10 data tables
  • 15,000 database records
  • File storage 1GB
  • 2 API event handlers and/or timers (Codeless or with code)
  • Objects in Cache – 10
  • Atomic Counters – 10
  • Development team – unlimited
  • No Column Visibility
  • 1 Custom API key
  • 2 Custom Security roles
  • 1 KB hive
  • 5 Operations in transaction
  • 10 RT connections
  • 10 listeners per RT connection
  • Pub/Sub messages – 100,000
  • Push notifications – 100,000
  • Cloud Code deployment size – 1 MB
  • Cloud Code Execution time – 5 seconds
  • Cloud Code timer frequency – 300 seconds

The Free Plan is primarily geared toward education and learning the platform via Missions and video courses. As mentioned above, you can have up to 5 apps on the Free Plan, so they can serve as early development environments, be used to complete Missions and video courses, or be used to explore App Blueprints.

Why the change?

When we launched the Springboard Plan with the rollout of version 6 of our platform, the intention was to provide a development plan for users working to get their application built before launching with a paid plan. For many users, it served precisely this purpose.

Unfortunately, we also saw the plan being used as a permanent parking space for apps in progress or apps that launched and failed or were otherwise unpublished. These apps then take a disproportionate amount of server space to maintain, again detracting from resources available to paying users.

Thus, we will be discontinuing the Springboard Plan. Instead, to keep an app in development or “parked”, you will simply need to remain on a paid Cloud plan, which at the lowest pricing tier will only cost roughly $15 per month.

This added cost to you will benefit all Backendless users as it will allow us to remove some clutter while maintaining the revenue needed to give all paying customers the best user experience by maximizing server resources.

Why Change Now?

As a young company, it is inevitable for the economics of a business to evolve as the business model develops.

Backendless has been a dual-purpose company from its inception. On one hand, the company provides a robust app development platform that enables users like you to build modern, cross-platform apps in the cloud. On the other hand, Backendless Consulting uses the Backendless platform to build applications for clients.

As we continue to focus on the product side of the business, the economics dictate that we find a balance in our pricing. Up to this point, Backendless Consulting has subsidized the server hosting offered by Backendless Cloud. In order for the cloud service to become self-sustaining, pricing must change to adequately reflect the resources consumed by cloud users.

We are not VC-backed, and we’re proud of it.

Backendless has been growing for almost 11 years without taking in outside capital to sustain the business. As a result, we can innovate faster and bring you a product that we as developers would most want to use.

The pricing changes announced in this article are designed to not only keep the (server) lights on, but to support the platform as a whole as we release more new and innovative tools to enable you to build complex, full-featured apps faster than ever before.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I’m on the Scale Plan, when does my payment method get charged?

At the end of the 30-day billing cycle, your app’s total usage will be calculated and your card will be charged. Additionally, any of the following events will trigger a bill for the app:

  1. Running a database export on the app
  2. Cloning the app
  3. Switching the app to the Free Plan

How do I access the Cloud Enterprise security features?

Since the Cloud Enterprise Plan is no longer available, you can now add all of the enhanced cloud security features (Panic Mode, HIPAA Compliance, Audit Log, and Session Manager) to your existing plan using the Enterprise Security function pack. This function pack is available now in the Backendless Marketplace.

What if I’m currently on a monthly Cloud 9 or Cloud 99 plan?

Until August 1st, 2023, no action is necessary. After that date, if you are on the Cloud 9 plan, when your billing cycle resets you will need to switch to either the Cloud 99 plan or the new Scale Plan. Of course, you also have the option to make the switch at any time prior to that date.

If you are currently on the Cloud 99 plan, or join or switch to the Cloud 99 plan by August 1st, 2023, you will have until May 1st, 2024 to determine your best course of action. After that date, you will have the option to switch to the Scale Plan or you may choose to explore Backendless Pro or Managed Backendless as alternatives, depending on your API usage.

At any time, you may switch any paid plan to the Free Plan. However, if your application exceeds the Free Plan limits, it will be blocked from processing requests.

When can I no longer purchase the Cloud 99 plan?

The Cloud 99 plan will remain available to all apps created before June 1st until August 1st, 2023. After that date, the plan will remain available until May 1st, 2024 only for users who were on that plan as of August 1st, 2023.

What if I’m currently on an annual plan?

Your app will remain on your chosen plan until the billing cycle concludes. At that time, your application will be switched to monthly billing on the same plan, if available. Your options for plans will vary based on the schedule discussed in this article.

What happens when Springboard Plans expire?

On or before January 1st, 2024, each app currently on the Springboard Plan must be switched to a new plan. The plans available to switch to are determined by the timeline previously discussed. If you do not switch to another plan, the app will be blocked from processing requests on January 1st and deleted after 30 days.

We want to hear your thoughts. We have created a topic on our support forum where you can share your comments and concerns and we will be happy to address them.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with us, and as always, Happy (Codeless) Coding!

Originally published May 22nd, 2023. Updated June 2nd, 2023.

(1) Some events in the application can also trigger billing, such as cloning your application or running data export. In these cases, Backendless will bill for the time period between the previous billing date and today.


I am currently developing an app, I am just over three weeks into development. Backendless is really a great tool for mobile backend. So my question, since my plan expires in 5days time, can I continue on the scale plan immediately? Because from what I read, this plan is only available from the 1st of June which is over 5 days away. How do I bridge those four or five days in between? I don’t mind the scale plan at all, by the way! 👍😉

Hi Kamohelo,
Great question! Please contact our team at when you’re ready to make the change. We’ll be able to make the switch manually for you before June 1st. Be sure to include your app ID in your email.

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