Parsing Parse

Our biggest app uses Parse, so last week’s announcement that the service was ending was a shock. It will mean moving all our users’ data somewhere else, investing lots of time in the process, and all for an update that—best case scenario—users won’t even notice.

Do I regret using Parse as a back-end? I’ve given this a lot of thought in the past week, read the thoughts of Allen Pike from the other side of the country (Canada, if you’re wondering), heard the reflections of Charles and Joe from the Release Notes podcast, and steadily come to my own conclusions. The answer is no, and I’m not even that bothered by it after a week.

Here’s the thing: Parse was awesome and Parse was essentially free. If you’re not paying anything for a service, it’s hard to say it owes you much—and despite that, Parse delivered pretty consistent service (in my experience, at least), had great documentation, and let us build a back-end for our last app with relative ease.

Maybe it’s different if you’re a big company with staff that aren’t beagles. Maybe then it’s worth it to build an entire back-end from scratch before you even know if people are buying what you’re selling. But for a small, bootstrapped company like mine, Parse was a great fit. And finding a replacement is going to mean a heck of a lot more learning, and because it’s now inevitable I’m actually getting pretty excited about it.

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