Appcelerator Arrow Provides API Builder for Apple Watch

Last week, ProgrammableWeb reported on the release of Appcelerator Arrow, a mobile back-end-as-a-service. Arrow exists as a toolkit to help developers build and run mobile-optimized APIs. The browser-less capabilities of Arrow provide specific value to the mobile world. Arrow allows developers to build mobile APIs and apps for devices that do not maintain a browser (e.g., Apple Watch).

"We've been working on Arrow for more than a year. Our customers helped us design it, and we've actually been using it ourselves internally to build a number of our own capabilities that are coming out as part of this release," Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie told eWeek.

Appcelerator's Titanium platform has long provided a toolset for developers to build apps for mobile devices. Appcelerator looks to extend similar functionality for the back end with Arrow. Mobile devices, especially browser-less mobile devices, present a unique set of challenges for developers, including battery, bandwidth, payloads and smaller screens. Appcelerator considered all such challenges when it constructed Arrow into two basic components: Builder and Cloud.

Arrow Builder constitutes Appcelerator's next-generation API Builder. The Builder enables developers to quickly construct and launch APIs, data models and data connectors programmatically or with a visual wizard. Arrow Cloud provides an elastic and scalable cloud infrastructure to run and manage APIs. The Cloud supports push notifications and ArrowDB, which includes a schema-less data store.

The number of tools to build mobile apps and APIs continues to grow. Many seem similar and utilize similar platforms to offer services. Arrow offers a unique, homegrown platform that addresses specific issues in a mobile environment that could give Appcelerator a leg up on the competition.

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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 is quite complex and becomes expensive very quickly while Azure is 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.