All posts by Itay Herskovits

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Single Sign-On with Azure Active Directory and Backand

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017

Most internet users have accounts with many different service providers. As these providers have grown, they have also opened up their authentication systems to third-party developers. By leveraging these authentication systems, third party apps can reduce their scope and complexity, offloading user registration, verification, and authentication to a package solution like Google Plus, Github, Facebook, or Azure AD (Active Directory).

Building on this functionality, many providers offer Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality. Below we’ll look into SSO as a concept, dive deep into Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory SSO process, and finally touch on integrating this process into your Backand application.  Continue reading

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Free Hosting and 30% Off All Plans

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, we at Backand —  the super-powerful backend-as-a-service — are delighted to offer you some holiday gifts. We hope you like them.

2017 Annual Plans

Now there’s a new way to save on your Backand plan. Choose any of our plans, billed as a one-time payment for 12 months, and enjoy 20% off! Do it by December 31, 2016, and we’ll make it a 30% discount.

To add even more cheer to your year, sign up to an annual plan by December 31, 2016 and receive 1 terabyte of FREE hosting for the entire year. It’s fast, reliable and secure, and gives you everything you need for your hosting, including built-in SSL encryption, optional CDN and custom domain.

Year-End 30% Discount

Not quite ready to commit to an annual plan? That’s ok. Subscribe to a new monthly plan or upgrade an existing monthly plan by December 31, 2016 and we’ll give you 30% off for the first 3 months of 2017.

Grab your free gifts before they are gone by replying to this email and letting me know which plan you want. Just like the year, this offer expires December 31st.

How to take advantage of these offers

If you currently have a Backand account, you should have received an email from us about this. Simply reply with the plan you want. Alternatively, use this form to contact us.

You can also click on the little message icon at the bottom-right of this page. screenshot-2016-12-15-11-50-53

For details of our full-price month-by-month plans, visit our pricing page.

Don’t have a Backand account yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up for free.


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Platforms for ChatBots in a Post-App World

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016

As the Internet moves towards a post-app world, a world where content is delivered via bots, many different types of content providers are rising to prominence. The most popular of these providers will be  the basis for the continued growth of the post-app Internet, and as such it makes sense to get a feel for what capabilities are currently available for bot-writers looking to leverage one of the more popular sites to drive their efforts. Below we’ll look at a few of the options available for integrating with a bot, and deep-dive into one — Facebook Messenger — to see what an integration might look like.

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New Feature: Facebook Graph API Support

Posted by on Dec 06, 2016

We’re pleased to announce Backand support for the Facebook Graph API. The Graph API gives your application access to user’s Facebook profiles (with their permission, of course). With it, you can retrieve data such as birthdays, friends list and profile photos and enrich the data of your app running on the Backand, backend-as-a-service (BaaS).

Retrieving data from Facebook using the Graph API

To retrieve data from Facebook using the Graph API, get the Facebook user ID after the user signed up to your Backand app. Once you have the Facebook user ID, use the Facebook graph API to retrieve data or perform other actions.

To get the Facebook user ID (FUID) in Backand, follow these steps:

  1. Open Security & Auth >> Security actions menu and Edit “beforeSocialSignup” action
  2. Change the Where Condition to true (bottom of the page)
  3. Uncomment the code that saves the Facebook user id:userInput.fuid =;
  4. Save the Action

Next you need to add the fuid field in the users object:

  1. Open the model page under objects menu
  2. Add new Field in the users object named fuid
  3. Click Validate & Update and Ok in the dialog

Now, when a user signs up to your app using Facebook as a social login provider, you will see the users’s FUID in the users object.

Getting Facebook data in Backand code

Once you have the Facebook user ID, use the Graph API to access any available Facebook data.

  1. The FB Graph API docs
  2. You also would need access token of your app, use this FB tool to get it.
  3. More FB tools
  4. For example, to get a user’s friends use the following JavaScript action code:

Getting a Facebook profile image

To get the Facebook profile image you just need to point to the following URL with a correct FUID:{fuid}/picture


http://graph.facebook .com/10209560720107355/picture?type=large

You can also review Facebook’s docs on how to use the Graph API.

​Don’t have a Backand backend-as-a-service account? Why not get one now?  Get Free Backand Account.

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How to Build a Facebook Messenger Chatbot in 10 Minutes

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016

The new Facebook Messenger platform, announced back in April, lets developers write bots, or automated chat programs, that drive user engagement and provide value in an intelligent and interactive way.

In this series of articles, we’re going to take a look at what it takes to build out a Facebook Messenger chat bot, with Backand serving as the back-end. This article will cover creating the Facebook app, tying it to a Backand, then testing the pairing. Future articles will cover what is happening on the back-end in greater depth, as well as integrating with third-party providers to create even more interesting content for your users.

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Bots, BaaS and the Death of Apps

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016

The release of the first iPhone in 2008 gave developers an entirely new medium in which to provide content – the mobile app. While mobile apps had existed prior to the launch of Apple’s AppStore, it was the iPhone that truly pushed smartphone apps into the public consciousness.

Apps have advantages over their mobile web app counterparts – they are fast, they can operate in an environment with minimal connectivity, they allow app developers to provide a cohesive mobile-first experience – but they are not without their drawbacks. Take music apps as an example. At the moment, your average Android phone will have, at a minimum, the built-in music player and the Google Play store. This allows you to access and purchase music from Google Play, but if you want to include any music from Amazon Prime, you need to install the Amazon Music app. These walled gardens are frustrating for users, and as a result many prognosticators are looking for what a post-app world might look like. In this post, we’ll take a look at what a post-app world is, and how a Backend-as-a-Service, such as Backand, can enable it.

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New Feature: Analytics & Reporting

Posted by on Jul 28, 2016

We’re excited to announce that we just released one of our most requested features: analytics and reporting.

You can now view detailed tables and charts about your Backand application activity (such as active users) and application performance and resource consumption (such as cache memory usage or requests per second).

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