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What does FB-owned Parse closing mean for app developers?

Recently, the news broke that Parse is shutting down. With Parse retiring its service, many developers are wondering how to find a tool they can trust for the long haul.

Parse, a Mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS) provider, was owned by Facebook, a huge and popular company, giving it the appearance of being both cool and stable, which is part of what makes this all such a shock. But Facebook, at its core, doesn’t build developer tools. That’s not their business model, and it never has been. Facebook is very successful at what they do—serving ads—and when Parse no longer contributed to that goal, they were under no obligation to maintain it.

Many developers who relied on Parse for their products and their livelihood now face the unpleasant task of having to migrate their data and move on to something new. For independent developers, it will take weeks to months to find an alternative back-end tools provider. Companies that used Parse for their larger and complex apps will be also affected and for them the process could take even longer.

Fortunately for developers, there are plenty of other services to choose from. However, they shouldn’t make the mistake of choosing just any mBaaS vendor. Companies that are profitable, stable and independent to host the applications, won’t simply abandon their services, thus it’s important to do a “background” check on a potential partner.Moreover, developers should consider whether the new platform is compatible with their application’s logic, if all the data stored on the app will be migrated successfully and whether the platform is appropriately secured. Lastly, it is easy to get attracted to the latest shiny thing but when it comes to your business, stick with someone you can count on standing by you.

Burke Holland is the Director of Developer Relations at Progress.
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