In a not-very-surprising move, PayPal is shutting down the mobile development platform it bought in December and will focus those resources on — what else? — electronic payments.

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photo: Samsung

It was probably inevitable that things would change after PayPal bought StackMob and its mobile app development platform three months ago. Now that change has arrived. StackMob is shutting down and its people are being pulled into mobile payments, according to a blog post by StackMob co-founder Ty Amell.

Here’s the gist: The platform will stop working on May 11, 2014 and at that time, customers will lose access to their accounts. “This serves as our notice of termination of our agreement with you,” Amell wrote.

He continued:

“To ease the transition, we are launching a data exporter to help you get all your data out of StackMob in CSV format. If you would like the data you have stored in StackMob, please ensure you export your data before May 11th (the data will not be available for export after this date). If you have any specific questions about your apps or any requests about extracting your data, please email stackmob@paypal.com.”

Developers use these server-side platforms — typically known by the awful term “Mobile Backend as a Service,” or MBaaS — to speed development of mobile apps that hook into various cloud back-end subsystems. And that world is both narrowing and expanding: Facebook bought Parse last April and Amazon Web Services is gearing up its mobile development push, as is Salesforce.com. and Microsoft with Windows Azure. A handful of enterprise-focused MBaaS players — Kinvey, AnyPresence and FeedHenry — remain independent.

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  1. You can import your stackmob data to http://www.apiomat.com using a migration script: http://bit.ly/1kCqyTS apiOmat is Backend as a Service from germany, provides cool features, generated SDKs and OnPremise installation.

  2. Reblogged this on CopyKatMedia and commented:
    Another example of how acquisition of companies can be a game changer and revolutionary for the parent brand. I wonder how PayPal will utlilise these tech wiz’s.

  3. Dave McLauchlan Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Another great option for developers is Buddy.com – a complete cross-platform BaaS that has global support and for the vast majority of developers will be free. No API call limits, no user limits, and very high storage limits.

    Full disclosure – I’m a founder and CEO at Buddy, but we’d love a chance to win the business of any developer orphaned by StackMob, and looking for a new BaaS home.

  4. Great post Barb! MBaaS customers clearly need to weigh the pros and cons of using a 100% cloud-based solution versus an enterprise solution with no platform lock-in and flexible hosting. The platform lock-in is huge in this scenario, as StackMob’s customers have essentially been left out in the cold. With solutions like AnyPresence, the run-time and design-time APIs are separate, making it possible for customers to not only own the data in their apps, but also the server and app code as well.

    We wrote a blog post a couple of months ago on this very topic: http://www.anypresence.com/blog/2013/04/fool-me-once-the-truth-about-enterprise-mobility-and-platform-lock-in/

  5. I encourage anyone reading this to NOT invest any time in using another BaaS. You’re better off using AWS and learning how to create a LAMP stack then running your own server code. Once your app takes off you can very easily scale the server and adjust the cost to your budget.

    The short term trade-off with BaaS is not worth it.

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