Cloudbase.io Review

20 Oct 2013

The Cloudbase.io service helps in managing a back-end of a mobile application. In this article, we are going to review the features of this backend-as-a-service platform.

When To Use?

Primary use cases for using cloudbase.io:

  • MVP
  • demos
  • mobile projects that require simple online server-side

For these cases, cloudbase.io appears to be the right solution to:

  • save time - you can easy and quickly setup and use the service
  • save money - you don’t need to spend money on server-side implementation (you pay just for cloudbase package - free, basic, professional, or elite)

But arguments above will depend on your final needs concerning a project you want to develop. For really complicated server API that won’t be the best choice and can only play a role of some temporary solution.

Review

Data Storage

Current service provides users with powerful cloud database management system: you can interact with remote database, in a same, convenient way as it was placed on the local storage. According to their documentation - database is placed on the local storage and can be accessed immediately (this is doubtful benefit because you, probably don’t want your users to have your full database cached locally).

But, in fact, if you run android sample application - you will notice, that data is always retrieved from service and never cached. I wasn’t able to find any trigger, enabling or configuring data cache so seems, that user will have to implement cache by himself.

Data Structure

Data in the base is stored as collections (they act as a database tables and support simple operations). You can  add/update/search or perform some calculations over an objects called documents. I wasn’t able to find remove command. You also may attach list of files to each document.

Offline Mode

Though that there is no response cache implemented in library  - one important feature is implemented there: offline requests. You can place simple boolean flag to the request, notifying library, that in case if there is no internet connection available - it should be placed to request queue and triggered as soon as connection is available.

Geospatial data

Another interesting feature is geospatial data  - you can attach location marker to your document and retrieve documents according to user’s location. It should be useful for augmented reality applications, based on the street views.

Other Features

There are few more “bonus” features in this library: You can use it in order to send/receive push notifications, receivers may be splitted to multiple channels, so you can send message to the separate channel, if needed.

PayPalYou may also use this library in order to log some debug data, or user actions. Cloudbase library provides users with helper class, designed to send Emails and, even to deal with PayPal transactions.