[FoRK] outsourcing back end

Gordon Mohr gojomo-forkxent at xavvy.com
Wed May 8 10:39:20 PDT 2013

On 5/7/13 10:49 PM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
> I'm working on a new browser app, and I'm considering an architecture with
> these axioms:
> - As much as possible on the client
> - Outsource backend infrastructure
> For example, Backbone on the front, static resources on Heroku, dynamic
> backend resources on Parse.com or Firebase.
> Comments welcome. Is this wise at this point, or should I wait a couple
> years for things to shake out?

My impression, more from following broad trends than implementation 
experience, is that what you describe is a good, ripe approach if it 
fits your app.

There's lots of frameworks and hosted services all dancing around the 
same rich-client, generic-REST-backend architecture. In addition to the 
two you mention (Parse.com and Firebase), see also:



(Parse and other variants like http://helios.io/ add services that are 
especially appropriate for native mobile-apps as well as rich-web apps.)

And, REST drop-ins for other popular frameworks (Rails, Django, etc) 
mean those are back-end options, as well.

Sure, there's so much evolution happening you might pick one that hits 
limits or gets orphaned, but for simple back-end needs they all have 
enough of a family resemblance, occasional transitions (to get a new 
feature or pick a better host) shouldn't be hard. So, no waiting for 
things to shake out, just go and adapt if/when necessary.

(Not sure why you highlight Heroku for 'static' stuff: while it works 
they tend to discourage it, and nudge you towards using something like 
S3 for any bulk static serving.)

- Gordon

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