There are currently two opposing trends in mobile development, claims Jennifer Riggins in her post on the Nordic APIs blog. While the mobile-first approach is useful if you are targeting only iOS users, it can hinder quick development for future audiences on other platforms, so Riggins encourages developers to adopt the API-first approach for its versatility, scalability and speed of development.
Where mobile-first focusses on building a landing page website and then building the product in iOS, API-first begins with the API, which allows websites and apps on different platforms to be built on top of the same basic conditions. The BaaS (Backend as a Service) strategy is a way for developers to link their application and software to cloud-based storage, making it easier to link with SDKs and quickly reach subscribers across many different devices.
BaaS does have the downsides of being very data-centric, a reliance on the client to deal with the logic, and the increased security risk of every client being in an untrusted environment. However, it does eliminate boilerplate code and redundant stack setup for each app from within a single model.
According to market research firm Markets and Markets, BaaS will be worth $7.7bn by 2017, so there is clearly a lot of confidence in this approach. And when considering that it allows developers to build, deploy and manage the entire API lifecycle from this single source, and that providers are offering SDK support for more languages, it is difficult to argue against an API-driven BaaS strategy.