Facebook Shuts Down Parse, Shocking Developers

Parse, a popular multi- Platform cloud storage service, surprised the tech comunity today with a blog post announcing that they will be shutting down. Parse has given it’s current users one year from now (January 28th, 2017) before it closes its services.

A year after being founded in 2011 Parse had over 20,000 developers on it’s platform. The company continued to grow throughout the subsequent years, reaching 500,000 users in 2014. It’s popularity led to being acquired by Facebook in 2013.

Parse offers a set of tools that make it easier for developers to focus on Front-end mobile development, while providing an intuitive Web-interface that creates a logical database in the cloud, taking care of things like Authentication, data storage, and push notifications.

In today's announcement, Parse co-founder Kevin Lacker took to the community with a message, assuring it's userbase that they will make the transition as seamless as possible. “We enjoyed working with each of you, and we have deep admiration for the things you’ve built,” Lacker stated. 

To that extent, Parse has also announced that they will provide a data migration tool that will transfer data from Parse to any MongoDB database. Additionally, Parse is also going to release Parse Server, providing companies with the ability to run most of the Parse API functionality on any Node.js server. In addition, they have provided a migration guide for developers to start the transition.

In terms of reasons why Facebook is choosing to close Parse, the company has indicated that their resources are better-spent on other projects.

“Moving forward we want to dedicate more resources to high-impact products and services in areas like analytics, monetization, discovery, and authentication…As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to wind down support for Parse.”

Parse was no doubt an expensive project for Facebook, from it’s acquisition in 2013 at over $78m, to fierce competition from the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, it has most likely placed undue stress on Facebook’s team without much monetary yield.

The cost of infrastructure and development, when measured up against what the competition is providing, meant Facebook had to eventually throw in the towel. More so, Facebook’s mobile advertising business is booming, possibly they are looking to consolidate their lines of business to focus more on their cash cows.

Thankfully, Parse is providing a generous sunset period for developers to transfer their data easily, thanks to their data migration tool. Additionally, developers can host Parse themselves via Parse Server on top of a Node.js server, on Heroku, or on any MongoDB-powered server. Developers looking to transition to a completely new cloud-based platform have several options. Microsoft Azure (which we have covered here: Microsoft Announces Azure App Services) or they can try Google Cloud Platform (which we have covered previously here: Google Cloud Platform Simplifies Mobile Back-end Development). 

Be sure to read the next Cloud article: CloudKit Adds Support for Server-to-Server API Access