Amazon plunges into MBaaS market with new service launches

Amazon is launching a number of cloud-based products that it hopes will enable to dominate the mobile-backend-as-a-service, or MBaaS, market.

MBaaS is cloud-based middleware platform designed to help app developers handle the proliferation of mobile apps, which can strain server performance, storage capacity and data management.

In an exclusive interview with FierceMobileIT, Sravish Sridhar, CEO of MBaaS provider Kinvey, explained, "We are moving to a world where mobile is driving cloud adoption in the enterprise. So IT is looking for a cloud-based service that the line of businesses can use and consume in a completely self-service fashion."

Amazon wants to move in and dominate that world, as it has seemingly dominated every market it has moved into. To do this, its cloud unit AWS is launching Amazon Cognito, Mobile Analytics and an updated mobile software development kit, or SDK.

Cognito helps developers with authenticating users and storing, managing and syncing data across devices, platforms and apps. Cognito "works online or offline, and allows you to securely save user-specific data such as application preferences and game state" and with "multiple existing identity providers and also supports unauthenticated guest users," explains AWS in a blog.

Amazon Mobile Analytics helps developers collect, visualize and understand app usage, engagement and revenue. "Analytics can be collected via the AWS Mobile SDK or a set of REST APIs. Metrics are available through a series of reporting tabs in the AWS Management Console," the blog relates.

The updated mobile SDK provides developers with access to service for building mobile apps, mobile optimized connected to AWS data streaming, storage and database services, and access to other AWS services, client-side data caching and intelligence conflict resolution. The SDK helps build mobile apps for iOS, Android and Amazon's own Fire operating system (based on Android).

Forbes contributor Ben Kepes, who was briefed on the new AWS services, explains that "AWS noticed a significant amount of reworking whereby customers would have to spend time and effort recreating the same basic building blocks for their applications. AWS is in the habit of giving developers tools to remove these basic jobs from their workflow and in doing so allows them to focus on key deliverables."

While Kepes was impressed by the new services, he expressed concern that there were no location-based services associated with the new offering and that the MBaaS services are not being offered as a package. "While AWS prides itself on offering everything as a module, MBaaS is one area that a more packaged offering makes sense," he writes.

Kinvey's Sridhar says Amazon's new MBaaS offering announcement appears to be timed with the release of its new Fire smartphone. "Amazon's announcement conveniently comes just weeks after they launched their Fire phone--a serious driver for app development, and Amazon wants to ensure those app backends stay on AWS," he writes in a blog.

For more:
- check out the AWS blog
- read Kepes' article
- see Sridhar's blog

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