MBaaS Player FeedHenry Attracts Attention of Leading Cloud Providers

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Open source PaaS offerings look to MBaaS to fulfill their mobile app platform requirements.
  • FeedHenry and other MBaaS providers differentiate from MEAPs by shifting the focus from the building of the app to how apps connect securely to backend systems.

I have been following PaaS providers’ mobile application platform strategies for the past year and have concluded that leading open source PaaS offerings are opting for MBaaS over traditional MEAP.  IBM added the IBM Worklight technology to its PaaS appliance in the spring, and SAP added components of SAP Mobile Platform to the SAP HANA Cloud PaaS platform about the same time.  However, the two leading open source enterprise PaaS offerings in this space – VMware/Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift – seem to be pinning all their mobile app platform hopes on a little-known mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) provider called FeedHenry.  This is a company worth following, because it has aspirations to continue building out its ecosystem to partner with other leading cloud providers, including those that move in non-middleware circles, such as HP.

FeedHenry, whose whole genesis is based on the cloud, provides a flexible development option which allows developers to use their own frontend application platforms, although the company has got the UI covered for those who need it.  FeedHenry’s mobile application platform includes app development, integration to backend systems, deployment to multiple devices, and app management and reporting.  Its server-side code is based on Node.js.  FeedHenry, along with other MBaaS players, seems to have figured out that enterprises use a variety of development tools and want to maintain the option of building native apps sometimes, using simpler mobile development frameworks such as PhoneGap, or taking a hybrid development approach.  MBaaS’ main differentiation from traditional MEAP solutions is to place less emphases on the building of the app and more on how those apps connect securely to backend systems.  FeedHenry’s support of JavaScript for server-side programming means that if there is not a RESTful API for a particular backend system, the developer can create one more easily.  The company sees this approach as a primary differentiator from MBaaS pioneers focused on social media developer audiences, but its enterprise-focused market will continue to become more crowded.

FeedHenry may have remained somewhat under the radar, but it has still managed to get the attention of enterprise leaders, including VMware, which lacks the mobile app platform component within its Horizon mobile initiative and has invested in FeedHenry; Red Hat, which has been a huge fan of the company for some time now and plans to leverage its MBaaS to complement its JBoss middleware and PaaS offering; and HP, which may be considering the technology as an enhancement to its HP Cloud.  As far as FeedHenry’s go-to-market strategy, it is looking to partner with all these folks and then some, building out its cloud ecosystem beyond Amazon and Rackspace along with its global mobile operator partnerships and even carving out new channel programs to include systems integrators.  We will continue to follow and analyze the emerging MBaaS segment of mobile app platforms in coming months through reports and webinars.

About Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte is a Senior Analyst for Application Platforms at Current Analysis. She covers the technologies that provide the infrastructure necessary to build and run enterprise applications and services. She analyzes the software, services and professional services necessary to integrate disparate systems, create cross-business and cross-technology communications, deliver rich, collaborative applications, and build software that is transparent, optimized and reusable.

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