Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Kinvey boosts enterprise mobile apps

Martin Heller | Sept. 11, 2014
An MBaaS (mobile back end as a service) such as FeedHenry, Kinvey, or Parse is a kind of PaaS (platform as a service) for server-backed mobile applications. Kinvey bills itself as a complete mobile and Web app platform. It has extensive client support, integrates with the major enterprise databases, and offers a back-end data store, a file store, push notifications, mobile analytics, iBeacon support, and the ability to run custom code on the back end.

The online Kinvey documentation includes guides, tutorials, samples, and references. In general, I was able to find the information I needed, but it wasn't always easy. All the documentation is organized by the client technology. That helps to keep you from being confused by seeing different notations at once, but makes it hard to compare the capabilities and samples of different clients. According to the company, most of Kinvey's users already have a favorite client technology, which means that organizing the documentation by client is the right thing to do. However, Kinvey is now developing more documentation in the form of high-level white papers and other traditional publications, to meet the expectations of enterprises.

Kinvey offers an online app cost estimator, which is designed to illustrate the development savings you can realize from using an MBaaS. If you pick all the highest-complexity choices (five client platforms, 12 pages in the app, and so on), this estimator will tell you that a DIY app would cost you about half a million dollars, while an app using Kinvey for the back end would cost about half that. Take that with a grain of salt, and look at the formulas behind the estimates before giving the results any credence.

Bearing in mind the potential savings, Kinvey's pricing is straightforward for independents and smaller businesses, starting with free and running to $1,500 per month per back end. Note that many apps can share a single back end, so this pricing is much more favorable to the customer than per-app plans. According to the company, the $1,500-per-month business plan can be considered a starting point for negotiations of enterprise plans.

Kinvey supplies basic analytics and usage metrics for users, storage, and API calls for all plans. Kinvey's Premium Analytics add-on, which I did not test, enables you to drill down from high-level aggregate analytics, through a host of different user segments, to the behaviors and actions of individual users.

Overall, Kinvey is a worthy competitor to FeedHenry for enterprises. From the perspective of an agency, independent developer, or small business, Kinvey offers reasonably priced starter plans, while FeedHenry is laser-focused on enterprise customers. Kinvey lacks the nice online drag-and-drop forms builder found in FeedHenry, but FeedHenry forms are not useful for serious, large apps — they are mostly for simple data collection apps, such as customer surveys or site inspections.

 

Previous Page  1  2  3  4 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.