The perks of Parse Server

Peruna Keremidchieva

After announcing the official shutdown of the hosted Parse service, an open source version was released. It can be deployed to any infrastructure that can run NodeJS, works with the Express web application framework and can be added to existing web applications, or run by itself.

Parse Server is the best open source option to explore for those who search for alternative for the Hosted MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service). It has the potential to be one of the largest open sourced projects in GitHub. So for those who still can’t get over the fact that Parse will be shut down – have no fear, Parse Server offers much more that you expect.

Why Parse Server offers more?

Few years ago programmers had to deal with a lot of stuff – database, servers, user accounts, front-end, network and hardware maintenance etc. Everything had to be build individually and a lot of skills and knowledge were needed to cope with the entire building process. What made Parse so awesome was that it gave freedom to the developers to focus on the actual building of the app and to not think about the backend. The frustration that Parse’s users felt after learning the bad news of closure is understandable.
The good news is that with the use of other providers, Parse’s awesomeness can be available even after January 2017. Parse Server is self-hosted, so you can choose to use Parse Server hosting provider such as SashiDo, run it on your local machine or you can use your own cloud-based server.
There are few differences between Parse.com and the Parse Server, as follows :

  • You can test and develop your app locally on Parse Server, which is so useful especially when you want to check something before official update.
  • Parse had east-coast data center and offers no other location, Parse Server can be hosted anywhere, which means you can choose the most convenient region for you and be closer to your users.
  • Parse stored all files in their Amazon S3 bucket. Parse Server: adapters are being written to allow developers to choose which database platform and file storage system they'd like to use.
  • With Parse Server you have to bring your own database, but you receive several pluses like: index management, performance tuning, backup and restore functionality, and all of the other cool features your database provides. If you decide to host the Parse Server on Third party provider you don’t have to deal with managing database, because it’s included in the service so it’s one less thing to worry about.
  • Parse enforced a 1,000-object maximum on queries, a 3-second time limit on database triggers, a 15-second time limit on cloud functions, and an overall 30-second limit on all requests. This was needed because it powered a lot of apps, but now this limitation is gone since you’re running just your apps.
  • With Parse Server you can use all official npm modules, not only Parse Cloud Code modules, which is great, because this means a lot more variety of packages for you to include in your application. Check out how to do it on SashiDo with our Twilio Cloud Code integration. The principle is the same with any npm package. We provide GitHub integration, which makes npm modules management even more simple.
  • New features were included in the Parse Server such as Parse LiveQuery, allowing you to easily include real - time operations in your application. Check out our tutorial on how to use them on SashiDo.
  • Parse Open Source community is growing huge. Mobile developers join forces in order to improve the product. There’s constant pull requests, bug-fixing and updates (almost 40 in the last couple of months).

The best thing about the Parse Server is that it’s free and open source: you can change whatever you want and need. And there’s a lot of people who are like you and wish to contribute for the community. One of the most popular products (such as Wordpress, Linux kernel, MySQL etc.) became so popular and developed so much due to the reason that they were open source. Here you can read an interview with the biggest contributor to the Parse Server: Florent Vilmart and what motivated him to do this outstanding job.

The old Parse is about to reborn because of Parse Server and this is a great option to start something new, better and make it your own. It’s up to you whether to host it by yourself or use Parse Server provider such as SashiDo, which will take care of all the time and effort - consuming server-side part. This is actually our passion and what we’re good at. We have experience with Cloud hosting and we’d love to manage the Parse Server for you so you can have the freedom to focus on your applications.

In the meantime, happy coding :-)

Peruna Keremidchieva

SashiDo's community manager & customer happiness freak.

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