All sorts of businesses across the world use Back4App’s flexible backend to launch applications. Here, we’ll share some customer success stories to show you exactly how companies have benefited from using Back4App as part of their tech stack.
As a startup, VantageBP sought a solution that would enable them to build their application as quickly as possible. With their ever-growing database of online marketplace listings, the biggest challenge was to achieve scalability in a sustainable way. In other words, they needed the flexibility to add new modules and integrate new APIs rapidly and without restrictions. This, in turn, called for a solution that would allow VantageBP’s development team to run operations on all of the data they collect to make it easier to manage and build microservices on it that would integrate seamlessly with the core application.
To get their platform up and running, VantageBP needed a way to build a backend quickly in addition to thin-client architecture that would enable them to leverage cloud functions in order to maintain their application and make modifications to it down the line, as easily as possible.
The Back4App Solution
Having used Back4App before to build various web apps, VantageBP CTO, Joren Winge, accepted the challenge and decided to take on the project without the need to hire a full-time DevOps team. Along with VantageBP Founder, Derick Manlapeg, Winge was confident the application would be built with scalability in mind.
Using Back4App’s reliable backend, VantageBP was able to build their platform and scale the way they wanted. It gave them the flexibility and infrastructure they needed to extend the core application, whether that involved using Python that ensured compatibility with their existing database and PHP for building data processing tools such as web scrapers.
VantageBP was able to have independent web scrapers import directly back into their database via cloud code methods. Similarly, they were able to leverage the microservices architecture by having various independent services that run separately from Back4App. These services are activated via cloud code and they call methods in cloud code, however, they do data processing on other servers. These services call (and are called by) Back4App for successful integration.
Back4App’s inherent flexibility made it possible for VantageBP’s development team to modify database tables on the fly which typically involved adding or removing columns. It also made it incredibly easy and fast for VantageBP to onboard new developers since they were able to use the SDK along with cloud functions, giving them quick access to Back4App’s API.
At the beginning of the development process, VantageBP was able to save valuable development time by skipping building every single admin function and instead focusing on building the customer-facing side. The team’s designer was able to use Back4App to do it manually in the database using the interface. This would not have been possible if VantageBP was using something like Amazon AWS or Digital Ocean. According to Winge:
If I was [building the platform] on Digital Ocean, I wouldn’t have anything for [the designer] to go into the database and make changes or create a user.
VantageBP was able to build the entire application using cloud functions in Back4App, avoiding PF queries in the client. This allowed them to implement a thin-client architecture and put most of their algorithms and logic on cloud functions, whenever possible, giving developers more flexibility to make changes or upgrade the application. Since they’re all thin-clients running off of the same APIs, making changes to around a dozen of them became easier even in separate code bases.
Results, Expectations, and Future Plans
Back4App has helped VantageBP scale their app to a point where the platform uses multiple servers along with a load balancer. The development team was able to build a complex, robust system putting scalability at the top. Though VantageBP’s application is built entirely on Back4App, it has the ability to integrate seamlessly with microservices and be modified easily. As Winge puts it:
The nice thing is that I don’t have to worry about uptime, scalability, or DevOps issues.
Using Back4App, VantageBP was able to save time and simplify their workload at multiple points in their development journey which allowed them to build out their entire application on time and within budget, thereby meeting their goals head-on.
Without Back4App, everything would have taken much longer.
In terms of measurable results, VantageBP met the goals and objectives they had set at the beginning of the project and were able to build their entire platform without having to hire an additional two to three full-time developers or a full-time DevOps team which would have cost the company $300,000, at the very least. Over the course of 1.5 years, the company estimated savings of a whopping $500,000 using Back4App.
For the future, VantageBP expects to continue receiving support from Back4App as they grow their platform and hope Back4App will keep integrating new technologies like GraphQL and faster-searching capabilities.
Back4App is like having a custom dev team that I don’t have to pay for.
Joren Winge, CTO at VantageBP
VantageBP is a leader in the online brand protection and IP enforcement space, helping companies and brand manufacturers monitor online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay for counterfeits, unauthorized resellers, and gray market sellers. Big-name brands like Unilever rely on VantageBP to control and enforce unauthorized sellers from sourcing products from unauthorized channels and reselling them.
VantageBP CTO, Joren Winge, decided to take on the development side of the project and was able to build the VantageBP application with scalability in mind. The platform is designed to scan hundreds of online marketplaces, social media platforms, and third-party websites continuously for a company’s products, check each seller of each one of the company’s products, and remove any unauthorized sellers from the marketplace. VantageBP boasts over 1.8 million successful infringement removals.
Originally published at https://blog.back4app.com on October 8, 2019.