The Bottom Line: Backendless is a powerful front-end and back-end builder that excels at creating enterprise-level apps for large businesses and organizations. But, due to its steep learning curve and low-code nature, it doesn’t appeal to all audiences.  

長所:

  • Gives you the ability to customize your front-end builder and your back-end. 
  • It can be used to create web and native mobile apps for publishing in the app stores.
  • Allows for on-prem (on your own server) hosting. 

短所:

  • Complicated pricing plans, with add-ons which can make monthly payments very expensive.  
  • Backendless’s Codeless language, which you need to know for building your backend, has a learning curve and will take some time to figure out.
  • Although it offers a small- to medium-sized business plan, Backendless is more geared towards enterprise-level organizations. 

 

Pricing: Backendless offers a free version that not only lets you learn the app-building interface, but also provides perks like unlimited API calls. The paid version starts at $15/month (billed monthly) and provides lots of security features and more storage and database space. 

However, Backendless also offers “a la carte”  features, such as more storage space, enhanced security, and API consumption (the amount of data you take back to your app from every API call), which can add up substantially.

Backendless Review: What is Backendless?

Backendless is a low-code web app and native mobile app builder, providing you with the tools to create your app’s front-end, back-end, and database. 

When you sign up for Backendless’s free version — after answering a few questions about your app-building experience — you can jump right into four app-building options: 

  1. Create a New App from Scratch: Use this to create an app without using a premade template — only a blank canvas. 
  1. Create a Training App: If you want to learn how to use Backendless, here’s a great place to start. You’ll get to build your own app in a guided environment, using a preloaded database, APIs, and more. 
  2. Create a New App from a Template: Like most other app-building platforms, Backendless provides you with templates to jump-start your app ideas. Backendless provides a total of 17 templates for creating the following types of apps:
    • Social and Communication
    • Business and Service Management 
    • Booking and Scheduling 
    • E-commerce and Marketplace
    • Education and Training 
    • Specialized Utility 
    • Landing Pages

While many of these templates are free, you’ll find that some of them cost about $5. 

 

  1. Create an App from a ZIP Archive: This option appeals to developers. Essentially, it lets you create a new app using the source code from another one. 

We highly recommend you select the Training App option and tinker with it for a few days. This will help you learn the basics of Backendless’s building interface. Then, select how you want to start building your app, and jump in!

Backendless’s App-Building Interface 

Like most other app-building platforms, Backendless has a drop-down dashboard on its left-hand side. At the top, you’ll find a “Manage” button that allows you to check your API Keys (and enter new ones), adjust your app’s security settings, and more. 

The left-hand drop-down dashboard is separated into two sections: The top part provides the tools for building your back-end, which is your app’s control center. It fetches user data, provides security features, and accesses your database. 

The bottom part is for building your front-end. Your app’s front-end is the part of your app every user sees and interacts with, like your app’s screens, buttons, text, and features.  

Building Your Back-end 

Immediately under the “Manage” button, you’ll find functions for adjusting your back-end. You’ll be able to view and edit your database, work on its schema and structure, and edit your logic. 

Building your app’s back-end requires some technical knowledge. You’ll need to know the basics of connecting APIs, how logic functions, and how to structure a database. 

Importantly, you’ll also need to take some time to learn Backendless’s unique “Codeless” block-building system. This system isn’t coding per se, but it involves a learning curve that follows similar logic to coding languages and writing programs. 

For instance, gaining an understanding about the functions of each block and how they interact with each other to execute tasks is important for laying your app’s groundwork. 

Learning Backendless’s Codeless language can’t be done straight out of the box. Luckily, Backendless provides a useful guide that’s packed with everything you need to know about its Codeless language. 

If you want more resources to turbocharge your Codeless learning, check out Backendless’s Codeless Fundamentals Course on its YouTube channel. These interactive video lessons, about 4.5 hours in total, will help drive home key Codeless concepts, enabling you to better understand Backendless.  

Building Your Front-end on Backendless 

Backendless’s front-end building experience is refreshingly less technical than the back-end one — you won’t need to use much of your Codeless knowledge when you’re cobbling together your front end. 

To get started, simply click the “Front End Builder” button on the left-hand drop-down building interface. Then, an editing box will appear. 

Push the “Layout” button (it looks like a cross inside a square) to discover the elements you have available. Drag them over to your building canvas at the center of your screen. 

Edit each element by clicking on the “Paintbrush” button at the top of your editing box. Use this to adjust each element’s size, position, color, and more. Conveniently, you can also configure each element’s back-end function by selecting the “Logic” button at the top of your screen. 

Is Backendless Right For You? 

Backendless is an excellent low-code app builder, but it has a limited audience. Select Backendless if:

  • You’re comfortable with technical concepts, like modeling a database and structuring its schema, and you have a good idea of how APIs and algorithms work at the technical level.  
  • You’re building an app for a large-scale enterprise.  
  • You have basic coding skills in JavaScript and Java, and you have the time to learn Codeless.  

ただし、次の場合は、他のアプリビルダーを確認する必要があります。

  • You’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small- or medium-sized organization and don’t need to scale your app to reach a mammoth-sized audience. 
  • You’re on a budget. 

What Kinds of Apps Can I Build With Backendless?

While it does come with a learning curve and takes some time to get the hang of, Backendless is a powerful app-building platform. You can create almost any app you can imagine — you just need to be able to put in the time to learn it. 

Backendless comes packed with powerful functionality that can scale. Enterprises, take note: Big organizations, like Dell, Kelogg’s, Accenture, The University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Michigan have used Backendless to create and scale their own apps. 

Importantly, Backendless lets you publish your app to the web, so users can access your app with their browser as if it were a website, and to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Having your app available on the web and the app stores allows you to reach a maximum number of users.  

Backendless Pricing: Is it Worth it?   

Try out Backendless’s free version to start learning the Codeless language. You’ll also get unlimited API calls, technical features like concurrent Java threads, and a Cloud Code feature.

Upgrade to the Scale Plan, starting at $15/month (billed monthly). While the Scale Plan offers better security features, more storage, and the ability to send up to 500,000 push notifications, businesses looking to scale might need more functionality, such as greater storage space or more API keys. 

Backendless recognizes these limitations, and offers nearly 20 individual services at monthly rates. For instance, you can get an additional 50 data tables at $25/month (bringing your total to $40/month), unlimited cloud-code scripts for $60/month, and more. 

You’ll also be charged for hourly API usage, which is how often your users request data from the APIs you have plugged into your app. For a full range of API usage costs and add-on services, visit Backendless’s pricing page.

If you’re looking for enterprise features, like hosting your app on your own server and scaling it, check out Backendless Pro. You can host your app on your own server starting at $10,000/year

Got multiple servers? Backendless has a plan for this, too, at $50,000/year. 

And if you’re a huge organization, like a Fortune 500 company, and need a fully managed server, Backendless has a plan for you — you just need to contact them for pricing. While the final costs ultimately depend on your specific needs, we estimate that pricing will exceed $100,000/year. 

Backendless Alternatives: What Other Tools Should You Try?

Did you read this review and realize that Backendless isn’t for you? No worries, try out these Backendless alternatives:

  • FlutterFlow, for developers who are looking for an app builder that they can supercharge with their own code. 
  • Betty Blocks, if you’re an enterprise and want an easy-to-use drag-and-drop building interface to build apps that you can scale. 

評決 

It’s judgment day! Should you get Backendless now, shortlist it, or avoid it?

Get Backendless now if you have technical knowledge, the time to figure out its steep learning curve, and want to develop an app that you can scale. 

Shortlist it if you’re a large organization, but not sure how much time you can dedicate to overcoming the learning curve. 

If you want a simple app builder that you can use right after signing up, get Adalo. You’ll be able to create a professional-looking app that you can design to your own tastes and needs without any technical experience, and without a tough learning curve. 

After you finish building your app, you can publish it to the web, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store. When you choose Adalo, you’ll be able to make a very powerful and flexible app that you can get in front of a huge audience.

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