Parse Discontinues Service. Now What?

Founded in 2011 and purchased by Facebook in 2013, Parse is one of the leading hosting services for web and mobile apps. The platform was an integral part of Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote last year, so it came a shock to many when Parse announced they would be discontinuing service. Now what are developers suppose to do?


Developers have one year to transition their programs from Parse to other services. Parse even offers a migration guide for moving everything from Parse to your own MondoDB server. The point of Parse, however, was to keep developers from being involved in infrastructure decisions and scalability concerns. Hosting your own MongoDB may not be the best option for all Parse applications and indeed lacks complete support for all that Parse provided developers. So we have compiled a list of alternative services to help you find the right solution and to make a smooth transition.


What did Parse offer?

Before we get into the alternative platforms, let us recap the basics of the Parse services. With Parse, you could develop for mobile, desktop and web, and even Internet of Things (IoT) devices. For these systems, Parse featured three main services:

Core

Push

Analytics


What do I do now?

If you are looking to move everything over to one comprehensive system, then Amazon Web Services (AWS) is for you. They basically offer the same services as Parse for mobile and IoT applications and managed NoSQL solution like AWS's DynamoDB will most likely not be shuttered anytime soon. You could also setup the Parse open source platform on an AWS EC2 server and host your services on your own boxes. If you just need to move a small application, then consider DigitalOcean for hosting the Parse platform.

Digital Ocean

DigitalOcean is the perfect solution if you only need simple servers for basic websites. With SSD hard drives and plenty of developer resources at your disposal, DigitalOcean makes it easy to get up and running quickly. While they lack a lot of managed services, their basic server offering is wonderful and with a little infrastructure know-how you can have the Parse platform self hosted rather quickly. Once you do pass the 1GB level, you may have to consider how to handle load balancing and horizontal scalability. The main benefits of DigitalOcean are:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

From file and archive storage to load balancing and database migration, AWS products feature everything you need to host and develop robust applications for mobile, web and IoT. Within AWS are many levels of self-managed, auto-managed, and ad hoc services, so you can fully customize your backend service needs. Some of the main features of an AWS-powered application include:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

AWS EC2 servers are an excellent cloud server solution for hosting web applications and services for mobile apps.

Amazon DynamoDB

DynamoDB replaces the Parse NoSQL solutions. It offers fast and flexible managed databases to your stack.

If your app only needs key-value storage like Memcached and Redis then AWS Elasticache is exactly what you want.

Amazon Lambda

AWS Lambda handles code processing in response to events triggered by connected apps and works seamlessly with DynamoDB.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

AWS S3 replaces the Parse file storage system and features an easy way to pull stored information across web-connected devices.

Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS)

AWS EFS attaches scalable file storage to an EC2 server when the latency of S3 is not going to cut it.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)

AWS SNS is a scalable way to handle mobile push notifications and other mobile app event messaging.

Are there any other options?

While AWS includes all the features of Parse on the same ecosystem, and both DigitalOcean and AWS are capable of self-hosting the Parse platform now that it is open-sourced, there are some alternatives you could use. Here are some other platforms and tools to consider:

OpenShift

www.openshift.com

Heroku

www.heroku.com

Docker

www.docker.com

Rackspace

www.rackspace.com

How do I move forward?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has several advantages over other platforms available for hosting web and mobile application services. Since AWS offers separate services, you do not have to run a big infrastructure but you gain the flexibility of easy scalability. Also, you only pay for what you use, which helps manage cost. Everything is metered which means a lot of the services are just as affordable as fixed-cost alternatives. If you do have a large infrastructure, use Amazon CloudFront to absorb some of your traffic and a separate RDBS if necessary.

If you have additional questions or simply want to talk through your current system and options, give us a call. We would be happy to help you come up with a plan to transition from Parse to another service.