Appcelerator Announces Arrow to Extend Their MBaaS Platform

As part of an effort to extend the reach of its mobile application development framework into the realm of APIs, Appcelerator today unveiled Appcelerator Arrow.

Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie says Appcelerator Arrow is a mobile back-end-as-a-service (MBaaS) platform made up of Arrow Builder for creating APIs and Appcelerator Cloud for deploying them.

While organizations can opt to use Appcelerator Builder to invoke legacy systems, Haynie tells ProgrammableWeb that the company is also making a case for building back-end service on a cloud platform based on a schema-less data store, which is based on an implementation of the MongoDB NoSQL database that is optimized for mobile applications.

Driving that shift into the cloud, adds Haynie, is a desire to be able to employ JavaScript on both the client and server sides of an application versus trying to manage the overhead typically associated with legacy applications and services that were never designed to support mobile computing scenarios.

While Haynie concedes there is no shortage of tools for building REST APIs, organizations building mobile applications don’t want to have to switch between development environments to create the applications and the APIs they access. Appcelerator Arrow is designed to provide a complete framework for building and deploying mobile applications using an MBaaS that can be deployed on a public or private cloud, says Haynie.

In the case of Appcelerator, Haynie says that not only means the ability to deploy applications on multiple mobile platforms, but also tools for testing both the applications and APIs they access as well as providing access to analytics applications that measure how well those applications are being used.

With the launch of Appcelerator Arrow, it’s clear that Appcelerator is moving into a fairly crowded mobile application development platform (MADP) field. In the enterprise, much of that sector of the market is dominated by IBM, SAP and Oracle. But the rise of mobile applications has also seen the rise of a raft of other MADP offerings that have gained traction to various degrees.

Adoption of MADPs within enterprise IT organizations, however, is still relatively nascent. Most enterprise IT organizations are still approaching mobile application development in isolation, which means they tend to use different sets of tools and back-end services for each application.

But as the backlog for mobile application development continues to increase, it’s generally expected that enterprise IT organizations will adopt a more systematic approach to developing mobile applications using a common MADP.

Be sure to read the next Backend-as-a-Service article: moBack Unfurls MBaaS Platform Based on REST APIs


Comments (1)


I wanted to share my experience with selecting a mobile backend for my app. I used to run my applications (I have several in the app store(s)) on Parse and was pretty happy with the backend until Facebook decided to shut down the service. After that I have evaluated all listed options and was not happy with any of them for various reasons. Firebase was not a good fit because the of their approach with JSON document being a database - I did a stress test with million nodes in the tree and the service was not performing well. AWS and Appery are quite complex and become expensive very quickly while Azure and Appcelerator are quite limited in the capabilities. Kinvey is both limited and super expensive once you start doing something more serious in the app. In the end I chose Backendless ( for my backend. The service has native SDKs for all major mobile and web platforms. The usability and developer experience is by far the best I have seen. The service has an extremely flexible server-side code model where I can deploy Java and JS server-side code to override default handling of the API and to create my own API services. My apps leverage social (Facebook, Twitter, Google) login, geolocation, file upload/download, push notifications (iOS, Android) and of course data persistence, which has really awesome support for complex relations. Check it out if you are looking for a flexible and very reasonably priced backend.